This year’s Super Bowl commercials have come and gone, and naturally everyone hacky writer on the web has compiled a list of their favorites. (Even me!) However, many of the lists are a bit too general, without a real main theme being focused on.
Well, as the expert television watcher I am, I noticed that one of the interesting trends this year was sustainability, something many companies attempt to capitalize but few properly advertise. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 4 sustainability-focused commercials at this year’s Super Bowl.
Budweiser – Wind Never Felt Better
Beer commercials have become a major staple of Super Bowl commercials over the years. However, while your typical commercial will feature people partying, fountains of beer, or that weird Coors Light train that never made any sense, this year’s Budweiser ad had a surprisingly ecological message.
Featuring yet another Super Bowl commercial staple, dogs, the ad shows an adorable dalmatian being taken for a ride by the iconic Budweiser stallions with wind blowing in its face. The camera pans out and we see the troupe of animals travelling through a group of wind turbines with the message, “Now Brewed With Wind Power For A Better Tomorrow.” I like beer, I like dogs, and I like making the world a better place. This one’s a winner for me.
Bud Light – Special Delivery
Beer commercials have become a major staple … Is there an echo in here? Similar to it’s sister Budweiser, Bud Light focused on sustainability as well, with more comedy and frequency. Commanding three separate commercials (each 2019 Super Bowl 30 second spot reportedly costing $5.25 million), Bud Light called out their competitors directly for using corn syrup in the brewing of their beers.
The most entertaining of these commercials, in my humble opinion, was the one where a medieval Bud Light entourage finds a house-sized barrel of corn syrup mistakenly delivered to the Bud Light castle and drags it to the Coors Light and Miller Light castles. But while this expensive gamble may pay off in the long run, there’s been quite a bit of short term backlash.
Even though Bud Light claims it doesn’t use corn syrup, Fortune recently pointed out that “Corn syrup is listed as one of the main ingredients in a number of AB-InBev beers, including Bud Ice, Busch, Busch Ice, Busch Light, King Cobra, Natural Ice, Natural Light, and every single one of the “Ritas” products that also prominently show the “Bud Light” name on their cans.” The National Corn Growers Association also publicly chastised Bud Light saying “America’s corn farmers are disappointed in you.”
Wait … there’s a National Corn Growers Association?
Audi – Cashew
If you only watched the first half of this ad, you’d definitely think it was going for more of an emotional presence. A man walks through a beautiful field to a large house, greeting his grandfather. The two embrace in a hug, with the grandfather unveiling a brand new electric car to the man. The man starts the car, gets ready to rev up and it’s revealed that he’s … been hallucinating while choking on a cashew. Definitely didn’t expect that Shyamalan-ian plot twist. An overall simple commercial with great visuals, humor, and a focus on alternative energy, Audi’s commercial shows you don’t have to completely play it straight to have an ecological message.
Netflix – Our Planet
In the least surprising news of 2019, Netflix is still making a whole lot of content. Considering they hit 1,000 original shows/movies last year, why stop now? The media company’s Super Bowl ad focused on Our Planet, a nature-focused series that looks and sounds suspiciously similar to Planet Earth. Hey, I’ll let the the lawyers figure all that out.
The commercial itself packs a lot in, with stunning visuals, a powerful score, and… a gazelle getting taken down by a cheetah. A bit harsh, but that’s nature for you. While not as heavy on the environmental message as the aforementioned commercials, this short teaser definitely gives you the feeling the series will focus on the beauty of our natural world, which in itself is a sustainable message. Hey, points for subtlety.