The M&Ms Super Bowl commercial was about how ads have changed over the years

Alicia Silverstone at Rakuten as the Clueless Cher and Caddyshack for Michelob Ultra at the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is a lot of work. People get invested in the game, leave the room, scroll through their phones, chat with their friends. Some ads can be turned off before they air.

The scales tipped heavily towards celebrity talent, in several cases, thrown together in incongruous bunches, in commercials that were loud but often didn’t make sense.

For starters, it helps when the talent has some kind of logical connection to the product, or at least figures into the creative in a way that advances that message. Being cute for its own sake can be fine, but it’s seldom particularly memorable.

Using that logic, bravo to Rakuten, a shopping site, for enlisting Alicia Silverstone to reprise her “Clueless” role as the shopping-obsessed Cher, which she slid into like an old private-school uniform; and thumbs down to a celebrity-studded spot for Michelob Ultra featuring Serena Williams, Brian Cox and a host of others in an odd tribute to “Caddyshack.”

What Takeaways Super Bowl Commercials Have Learned About Films and Other Media? The Case for the Budweiser ad, or Stephen Bacon a Bud Light

Beer ads show a couple with a beer. The ad didn’t argue the case for that being a Bud Light. Ditto for Budweiser connecting a six-pack of Bud to “Six Degrees of Separation” (or Kevin Bacon), which had the right vibe to it but felt like a bit of a stretch.

As was noted before the game, crypto ads that sought to make a splash at Super Bowl LVI sat out this year’s showcase, a reminder that newer product categories brave entering the Super Bowl derby at their own peril.

The highlights were outnumbered by the low ones. Here’s a snap-decision breakdown of who scored and who fumbled on TV’s biggest stage. While this doesn’t include every spot that aired, if an ad featured four or more celebrities, assume it leaned toward the “loser” column.

The movie business has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels but the number of ads for blockbusters feels like a vote of confidence. Hollywood will likely never completely bounce back in the streaming age, but the studios appeared to serve notice that they’re not giving up without a fight.

Of that collection of titles, give the nod to the film “TheFlash,” which should generate a lot of interest since it is the Warner Bros. title. Give honorable mention to “Indiana Jones” and “Creed” among the sequels, which also included pregame spots for “Transformers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The air is based on Michael Jordan’s Nike deal.


T-Mobile, Breaking Bad, or Disney: What happened when Ben Stiller and Steve Martin studied acting, or if it were a dog or a cat?

T-Mobile. When Bradley was told that he hadn’t won anything while being nominated for stuff, he was very cute with his mother. Much better, alas, than its John Travolta “Grease” homage.

Zero sugar is the name of the beverage. Ben Stiller and Steve Martin taught acting classes. Is it true that they drink this stuff? Probably not, but it was fun to watch them pretend, and enhanced by the one-two punch of it.

PopCorners: Just the idea of a “Breaking Bad” reunion gets high marks (plus the line “We don’t eat our own supply”), even if the snack-food product might not have been the ideal vehicle for it.

Watching a dog’s life unfold, and thinking of losing one, served as one of the few genuine tearjerkers of the day, while getting a destructive pooch a friend, via Amazon.

A new spot brought together many unlikely people, but also demonstrated how the company’s product could fix old photos.

There is a Disney: Marking its 100th anniversary, the studio ran a spot to demonstrate the sweeping depth of its content, and its intricate hold on childhood memories.


The Super Bowl ad: How the Green M&M spokescandies return: A response to the upset and outbursts during the CNN Super Bowl

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen: After the histrionics of Fox’s pregame show (never mind the issues with the sound being off), the announcers – handling their first Super Bowl – rose to the occasion, with a solid call that identified the problems with the field, debated a “game-altering penalty” at the end; didn’t get in the way of the action and reminded everyone this was, after all, a football game.

General Motors and Netflix: GM teamed with Netflix shows to push its EV cars, with Will Ferrell as the guide through shows like “Bridgerton” and “Stranger Things.” It felt large and inventive, but it wasn’t great.

He gets it at The ads in this campaign made people understand that Jesus is a refugee, and that they should love everyone. Despite being one of the few ads that aired Sunday, the goal of its message seemed confusing, as a result of details about the group behind it.

The Super Bowl commercial, billed as the conclusion to weeks-long drama surrounding the status of the “spokescandies,” left some viewers scratching their heads.

In it, actress and comedian Maya Rudolph tosses the colorful candy into the air but instead of M’s it has “Ma” and “Ya” written on it. The candy is now filled with clams. In the video, people take bites and look disgusted. Towards the end, you will see a distressed looking Yellow M&M and a red M&M holding up a sign asking for help.

The Green M&M characters became a topic of discussion and criticism after they swapped from heels to sneakers and after a January International Women’s Day campaign featuring female candy prompted cries of “woke!” The commentators were from the right-wing.

They wanted to know if the M&M is okay. One person asked a question. “Help me understand the #mms “Clams” #SuperBowlAd Seriously help me,” another pleaded. Some thought it was dumb, others funny.

Now, the brand assures people in a press release, the spokecandies have returned. In a new ad airing on Sunday, the characters say in a press conference they are happy to be back. The chyron says: “Back together again: M&M’s characters return.”

Getting People’s Attention During the Super Bowl: Doritos, Mr Peanut’s Roast and the Planters ad campaign

Karen North is a professor of digital social media at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and she said that anything you run during the Super Bowl will get some attention. The question is, how do you get people’s attention?

Some brands, like M&M’s, created an elaborate story for its characters. Others just hinted at which celebrities would be featured in their spots or released teasers. Doritos turned its campaign into a contest, inviting people to participate in a TikTok dance competition, with the winner appearing in Sunday’s ad. The stakes for viewers were raised when DraftKings and a beer company agreed to let people bet on contents of an ad before the game.

This year Planters aired an episode of Mr Peanut’s roast in advance of the game, just a few years after he died in a Super Bowl commercial and was reborn as a baby.

Plus, hyping the commercials raises already-high expectations, noted Charles R. Taylor professor of marketing at the Villanova School of Business. A disappointing ad can weaken the rest of the campaign and chalk up a very expensive loss.

By hedging with an online campaign, itself designed to get people thinking about the brand, “you go into [the Super Bowl] with a much lower risk profile,” Calkins said.

Companies that release ads ahead of time can also gauge the public’s reaction. They can change it if it’s negative. The ad about the puppy being sold online, which was pulled by GoDaddy in 2015, was replaced with a different ad after animal rights activists and others criticized it.


Why didn’t M&M announce a new spokescandie campaign in the run up to Superbowl? An assessment of the campaign by Calkins and Ma&Ya

Everybody copies the same thing as soon as it works. Calkins said it was happening in the run up to the Superbowl.

The social campaigns themselves have to be effective, as well. M&M’s got a lot of people talking when it said it would put its spokescandies on pause. But few people were talking about Ma&Ya’s, or the characters’ search for alternate employment or hobbies.

And the campaign failed to address that initial claim from the company, that the spokescandies were too polarizing, which many saw as a capitulation to those accusations of the brand being too “woke.” Mars said it was giving more grants to change-making women than it had announced in its Women’s Day campaign.

The candy brand’s social campaign caught the attention of USC Annenberg’s North due to a crisis. I am unsure if that is a positive move.

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