From Muppets to puppies, Super Bowl ads get cute
NEW YORK — Call it Cute Bowl.
Adorable is the name of the game this year as Super Bowl advertisers try to grab your attention. That means lots of “cute” story lines, including a family that's expecting a new baby and a horse that forms a long-lasting bond with a puppy.
The saccharine spots are partly a result of more family-friendly brands like Cheerios and Heinz advertising this year. At the same time, fewer startups that tend to have more provocative commercials are in the advertising game this year.
The trend also is a sign of the times. After widespread criticism of more racy or gross-out ads in recent years, companies are being more careful not to offend the more than 108 million viewers who are expected to tune in on Sunday. That's increasingly important given their large investment A 30-second Super Bowl spot goes an estimated $4 million.
“People want nostalgia and fun and escape,” said Barbara Lippert, a columnist at Mediapost, trade publication for the media industry.
Here are five “cute” commercials to watch for:
1. Anheuser Busch's “Puppy Love” ad shows its iconic Clydesdales bonding with a cute Labrador puppy. The two try desperately to reconnect with each other after their first meeting.
2. Cheerios is showcasing the same biracial little girl and her parents who were in another ad that debuted last year. The company faced racist comments online when last year's ad was rolled out, but says the overwhelming response was positive.
So Cheerios is bringing the family back in its first Super Bowl ad. In the spot, the father tells his daughter that they're going to have an addition to the family, a baby boy. Then, the little girl strongly suggests they also get a puppy.
“We just fell in love with this family, and the big game provided another opportunity to tell a story about family love,” says Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for Cheerios.
3. CarMax's “Slow Clap” Super Bowl ad shows denizens of a small town congratulating a car buyer with a slow clap. The company also re-enacted the ad for an online video using only puppies that's called “Slow Bark.”
4. Toyota enlists a carful of Muppets singing a “We Ain't Got No Room for Boring” to promote its Highlander SUV.
5. One of Coca-Cola's two Super Bowl ads features a boy who makes a surprise play in a little league football game and runs to make a touchdown. He then keeps running until he gets to Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers play. A groundskeeper offers him a Coke.
“We go with the story that feels the best for Coke at the right time,” says Katie Bayne, Coke's president, North America Brands.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brawl erupts at Monroeville Mall
- Rossi: Change is costly, but Pitt must spend
- Steelers LB Worilds finds his trajectory
- New coach Narduzzi committed to building Pitt into national power
- Ex-Penguin Niskanen feeling pressure to live up to $40M contract in Washington
- New Pitt football coach will help select athletic director
- Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Taylor questionable; Bryant, Heyward win awards
- PSU women struggling to fill shoes of past hoops teams
- Woman, 16-year-old boy die of injuries sustained in crash on Route 711 in Fayette County
- Valley News Dispatch roundup: Last-second basket lifts Freeport past Avonworth
- Public vs. private interests at play in Allegheny County judge’s ruling on access to online docket