Super Bowl afterglow: Expert panelists on commercial winners, losers, and the importance of a sober audience


Mikaela Shiffrin flies past the boys in the fan favorite NBC Super Bowl commercial for the winter Olympics

Holly: Channeling TBT today. Not far, just a short rewind to the most fun aspect of Sunday’s Super Bowl – those commercials.

Student members of the OU Public Relations and Advertising Club threw an afterglow party Wednesday night, inviting industry professionals to weigh in on the winners and losers of the evening’s second most important competition.

Panelists and PRAders: Cheryl Sellers, Erik Kornmiller, Jake Rapanotti (PRAd v.p.), Magdalene Waldecker (PRAd pres.), Lennon Kyriakoza and Stuart O’Neil

The stellar lineup of panelists included:

  • Stuart O’Neil, Executive Creative Director at GTB
  • Cheryl Sellers, Manager of Digital for Certified Service at General Motors
  • Lennon Kyriakoza, Social Media Strategist at Society Agency
  • Erik Kornmiller, Director of Account Management at 3D Excite.

Before the big reveal, here are few highlights from the Q&A. For the purposes of brevity, answers are paraphrased and aggregated.

What’s the most advantageous time for an ad to run?

Advertisers can request placement, but specific times are never guaranteed. Before half-time is good, during the first break is better.

Which brings us to the bottom line of the night:
“You want the largest sober audience.” – Stuart O’Neil.

Weren’t there more controversial political ads last year?

Yep. Advertisers decided they don’t want to alienate 50 percent of the country. They know how hostile the environment can be and most brands really just want to stay safe. This year the keyword was humor. Humor is entertaining and people like to be entertained.

Well, isn’t there a right way to touch on controversial topics?

Sure. When a company wants to take a stand on something, it can’t be self-serving and they have to stick by it. There is a positive way.

What about that Ram Truck MLK ad? How does something like that get approved?

Could be the CEO saw it one way, or there were just different opinions. There was some warning, but consensus was that it would be inspirational. You have to remember that people can be offended by anything.

But we still can’t get over that Kylie Jenner Pepsi ad. What did you guys think?

Crickets.

And now for the winners. The PRAd panelists shared a lot of love for the 2018 commericals, but these are their favorites.

Stuart O’Neil

Tourism Australia Dundee ad featuring Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride. The campaign was wonderfully built up and there is, in fact, an online campaign advocating for an actual movie.

Cheryl Sellers

Winter Olympics Best of U.S. Mikaela Shiffrin ad. Always be faster than the boys. The power of TV and digital combined can do great things. Also, that Tide ad. “Once it ran, you were thinking about Tide.” Five spots but only 1.25 minutes of time.

Lennon Kyriakoza

Amazon Echo Using a range of celebrities – Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B. and Anthony Hopkins  – was innovative and Amazon has done a good job extending the spot into digital.

Erik Kornmiller

The Tide ad Effectively pranking the audience. This made them wonder from here on out about every commercial “is this a Tide ad?” “What separates some from others? They want to win awards. Tide fucking won.”

For more information about PRAd, visit here. You can also talk with OU journalism faculty Dr. Laura Fry, Dr. Suzy Lee (advertising) and Dr. Chiaoning Su (public relations).

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