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Super Bowl 2015

Why Super Bowl XLIX Was Super Serious, 2 years, 7 months ago

RAPP ECD, Rik Haslam, on this year’s super sentimentality

Why Super Bowl XLIX Was Super Serious

‘Super Serious’ was the trend that dominated Super Bowl advertising. Although Bud Light’s Pacman work and the excellent Loctite spot provided some light relief, most of the work made for pretty po-faced viewing. 

And it was Dads who were the focus of much of the sentimentality. For years, much advertising has featured men as witless idiots who can do no right. So in some respects it was a relief to see men depicted as people who care, have emotions and take their responsibilities seriously. 

That said, it was a little galling to see Dove Men and Toyota rush to deliver their saccharine paeans to modern masculinity. It’s an easy trick to pull at the heartstrings and play on a fathers’ love for his children, but I suspect most men will react with skepticism to brands speaking to them in such an unsophisticated, melodramatic way. 

Nissan probably came closest to connecting with their brave decision to feature the danger and excitement of Nascar. But even they couldn’t resist the urge to sugar coat the ending of the spot.   

Obviously, the other trend that’s still alive is animals. And just as we saw screaming goats and the triumphant return of the Budweiser puppy, so too did fans on social media show their passion for pets. Using our poptag platform (, we analysed imagery posted by #Seahawks and #Patriot fans. Instagram and Twitter were inundated with cats and dogs wearing team branded jerseys, scarves, shirts, caps and more.

Rik Haslam is Executive Creative Director at RAPP