While many people watch the Super Bowl for the football, those of us in marketing watch the commercials so we can offer a perspective on the best Super Bowl Commercial – in this case, for 2018. Plenty of the Super Bowl Commercials were powerful or memorable. But the Budweiser “Stand by You” commercial gets the award for Best Super Bowl Commercial for a number of reasons I’ll explore from a marketing perspective.
There are so many things Budweiser did right with this commercial. Their creative team deserves a gold star, and management gets a gold star for approving it.
If you didn’t catch this 2018 Super Bowl Ad, take a minute and view this Super Bowl ad.
Highlights of the Best Super Bowl Commercial of 2018
This powerful ad starts with a Budweiser plant manager getting a call in the middle of the night and then driving over to the plant to start the process of providing emergency relief for Americans in disaster zones. The commercial references the epic hurricane season of 2017 that hit Houston, then Puerto Rico and Florida (as well as other islands in the Caribbean). People were without power, food, and most important, potable water.
This Super Bowl commercial does a fantastic job of highlighting the real people at the Budweiser plant who switched gears and started producing cans of WATER instead of beer. Cutaway shots provided plenty of coverage of cans of Budweiser beer for great product placement. And then the commercial did quick video cuts showing the actual process of changing the assembly line from beer to water, followed by Budweiser trucks leaving for disaster zones to distribute clean, drinkable water.
All the while the video is telling the story, a whisky-voiced woman is singing a soft, quiet, “Zen” version of “Stand By Me.”
At the end, simple clear messages pop up on the screen telling viewers where Budweiser provided disaster assistance: “Texas. Florida. Puerto Rico.”
The Top 4 Reasons Why the Budweiser Commercial Was The Best Super Bowl Ad of 2018
Here are the top 4 reasons why we give the Budweiser Super Bowl Ad of 2018 a thumb’s up over the others.
- Contrasting Pacing. Many of the Super Bowl ads of 2018 had super fast pacing, a barrage of ballistic, fast-moving cutaway shots, and loud, fast music that matched the raucous, rowdy nature of a typical Super Bowl game. Budweiser’s creative team used slower pacing in this ad and created an “island” of calm amid all the noise.
- A basis in REALITY. When stories being told are true, it adds power to the message and the images.
- A basis in Life and Death Situations: The lack of potable water in post-hurricane Texas, Florida & Puerto Rico was particularly dangerous because those areas are known for high heat and humidity. Water is even more important in those climates. To paraphrase the Native American tribes who fought the pipeline going over their lands up in the Dakotas, “Water is life.”
- A HEART connection. Many of the Super Bowl ads of 2018 were funny or memorable because of fast action and loud music, or humor. The Budweiser ad was more low-key but it had heart.
Learning Points from the Best Super Bowl Ad of 2018
Here are some learning points to glean from this thoughtful, strategic ad:
- Don’t be afraid to tell your unique story. Budweiser told their story without preaching or bragging. They just told the story in plain simple language, and it was powerful.
- Don’t be afraid to go a different route than everyone else. Most Super Bowl ads were rowdy, fast-paced & loud. The Budweiser ad was quiet & soulful. As a result, it stood out from the other ads.
- Don’t be afraid to focus on what’s really important. With all the focus on celebrities on social media, the latest trendy tech toy, and other superficial storylines, it’s a breath of fresh air when a company focuses on something that’s actually important.
- Don’t be afraid to show some heart and soul. The most powerful aspect of this Super Bowl ad was its heart and soul. When you watch the news, it can be soul-crushing to see the harm done to people and this planet. Seeing people doing good things is a refreshing antidote to the news, and people are hungry for it.
So that’s my take on the Best Super Bowl Ad of 2018, and why. As you move forward with marketing your companies, look at how you can leverage these concepts to build better connections with your customers & prospects. (Or feel free to contact DeWinter Marketing & PR-Denver if you need help, or call us at 303.572.8180.) Thanks for reading!