LIV IT ad recap: Who won the Big Game?
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and we all know who the big winner was: Reese’s Take5. Oh, sure, QB Patrick Mahomes led an epic comeback to deliver Kansas City Chiefs fans a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers and Coach Nepotism is Still My Name in the actual football game. Who, on the other hand, actually watches the broadcast to see football?
Candymaker Reese’s and its presumably unknown Take5 bar won the most important battle, the one to get the biggest laugh out of the 99.9 million viewers who tuned in to watch the commercials that aired during breaks in the on-field action (mostly stretches of boring offensive football memorably interrupted at one point by a Shakira and J-Lo performing a, uh, musical number).
Here at Certification Magazine, of course, we don’t even care about watching all of the commercials — which, let’s face it, are the real draw. Companies aren’t spending $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time (to say nothing of the money actually required to create and produce the ad itself) because they think you’re going to get snacks from the kitchen during the commercial breaks.
The commercials that tickle our fancy are the ones that are at least tangentially related to IT services and products. We may not know the difference between a pump fake and a two-point conversion, but we are here to keep score. It was a tight battle to determine the best IT ad of LIV, but we don’t get paid to duck the tough calls.
1) Dashlane reminds you that remembering passwords is hard
A poor unfortunate soul is headed across the River Styx to his ultimate reward … which turns out to be more upbeat than expected. Unfortunately, the Grim Reaper requires a password before completing delivery. And the suddenly frantic guy in the boat doesn’t know the password — or the answers to any of the security questions. Best Moment: The guy can’t remember the name of his first pet. No, no, first pet.
2) Amazon gives a short history of Alexa
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres wonders what people did before there was an Alexa in their lives, which leads to a quick jump-around through several historical precedents. Best Moment: President Richard M. Nixon requests his (non-digital) personal assistant “Alicia” to remind him to delete “those tapes,” prompting a sardonic aside.
3) Facebook users form rock groups
Do you belong to a Facebook group? This commercial cleverly envisions variations on the types of “rock” that people might come together to form groups around. The final punchline is a little too telegraphed, but still funny. Best Moment: The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it name of a group dedicated to individuals who build replicas of Stonehenge.
4) Squarespace trades in Keanu Reeves for Winona Ryder
In 2018, Keanu Reeves and his motorcycle obsession were the star of the Squarespace Super Bowl Ad. In 2020, it’s Reeves’ sometime costar Winona Ryder (who’s hip again thanks to Stranger Things on Netflix). Alas, the one-joke premise of Ryder creating a web site that has “pictures on it” about Winona … Winona, Minn., that is … doesn’t ever really pay off. Best Moment: The accents are kind of funny, if you really liked Frances McDormand in Fargo.
5) Quibi has … cool content?
The pending launch of streaming site Quibi, with “quick bite” (or perhaps more properly “quick byte“) entertainment videos will probably go about as well as this commercial does. A trio of bank robbers get left hanging when their getaway driver is too busy watching funny videos on Quibi. Uh-huh. We already have YouTube for that. Best Moment: Some pretty good acting when one of the bank robbers decides to kill time waiting for the driver by watching some Quibi himself. The guy’s facial expression sells that he’s entertained, but you won’t be able to imagine why from the short clip of the video he’s watching.
6) Google is making memories
Google makes its pitch to become your go-to repository for, um, memories of the good times. Not by storing photos, or interviews, or old letters, but by taking notes whenever you have Chris Farley-esque “Remember that? That was awesome” moment. The product, such as it is, feels more invasive and creepy than heartwarming … an emotion the commercial attempts to hit you over the head with. Best Moment: When it’s over?