Superbowl season is when adland shows its creative best — so this fortnight we trained our lens on the commercials that wowed viewers on game nights in the US. Back home, the Valentine mush continued, though this time, smart brands came up with ‘Palentine’ (hanging out with friends) and Galentine (girl gang meetings) pitches. But there were also spots that stayed away from the love frenzy.

Superbowled over by celebs

Superbowl ads were celebrity- and comedy-loaded. Great combination if the brand can pull it off. Dunkin’ Donuts managed to do so in a hilarious ad that featured Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Tom Brady and Jennifer Lopez. In the spot, Affleck, Brady and Damon storm into Lopez’s recording studio, sporting Dunkin’ tracksuits and pitching their band called ‘DunKings’. Don’t know about the donuts but the Dunkin’ tracksuit merchandise did roaring business.

Uber Eats also put out a celebrity-filled ad featuring Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, David and Victoria Beckham, and R&B star Usher. The ad showed instances of the celebs forgetting simple things, with the tag line popping up to say, “Whatever you forget, remember Uber Eats gets groceries”. Although clever, the ad got trolled for showing someone forgetting peanut allergy, and that bit had to be edited out — yet another reminder that brands cannot afford to ignore sensitivities.

Snapchat’s anti social media ad caught the eye. Its ‘Less likes, more love, less social media, more Snapchat’ ad referenced the Taylor Swift craze and unwittingly scored — for though the pop superstar didn’t perform at Superbowl 2024, against much speculation, she made a lot of football-adjacent news during the event. Especially as she was there to watch the Kansas City Chiefs win and cheer boyfriend Travis Kelce. CeraVe, Dove and Budweiser were the other ads that scored masterfully.

Scripting transitions

Back home, the new ad from Aditya Birla Finance Ltd (ABFL), featuring cricket star KL Rahul, worked well. Titled ‘Ab Kahani Badlegi’, the campaign, crafted by Dentsu Creative India, shows Rahul’s small-town origins and his evolution at various stages of life. The connect with ABFL is quite seamless as it plays on how everyone can change their life story with a little bit of help.

Polished humour

Pidilite Industries’ new digital campaign for Motomax Insta Shine is packed with quirky humour. The film kicks off with a relatable scenario. A boy sees a girl and realises dejectedly that he is unlikely to attract her attention. He decides to polish his bike with Motomax Insta Shine, telling himself, “Smart toh hu main; yeh kya, iska papa bhi aayenge”. Sure enough the girl does ask for a lift on his bike, but her dad wants one too, and asks to tag along.