Commentary

Top 10 Super Bowl 'Music Moments'

We invited folks from around our organization to give thoughts on their favorite "music moments" of the Super Bowl, and have rounded up a compilation.

1.Amazon - Alexa Loses Her Voice

Amazon shows the many ways we've already come to rely on voice search while simultaneously reminding us of music's versatility. Different times, places, and activities affect music selection, and listeners now dictate what gets played. However, Amazon hilariously flips the script with Cardi B blasting her major hit "Bodak Yellow" over the listener's request for country music.

2. Budweiser - Stand By You

This ad showcased the power of purpose-driven marketing. Synced to Skylar Grey's beautiful rendition of "Stand by Me," the spot authentically and uniquely highlights the real people of Anheuser-Busch. It would have been great to see more behind-the-scenes footage of their community involvement.

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3. Doritos / Mountain Dew - DORITOS BLAZE vs. MTN DEW ICE

Having loved the teaser video, I was both excited and nervous to see how Busta Rhymes, Peter Dinklage, Missy Elliott, Morgan Freeman, and a dramatic rap battle would all fit together. And the final spot did not disappoint. The abundant musical juxtapositions drove an energetic, yet funny narrative, and quirky cultural references were just subtle enough to make the whole thing work. 

4. KIA - Steven Tyler Big Game Ad

Here, Aerosmith’s “Dream On” blasts intermittently as Steven Tyler barrels ceaselessly into the past. Assuming Kia sought to reach the Boomer generation, the spot perfectly combines music with message. For Millennials, however, Aerosmith can seem overdone. Regardless, Kia and Steven Tyler look cool and invoke nostalgia.

5. Lexus - Lexus LS 500 F SPORT / Marvel Studios’ Black Panther Commercial

The Lexus cross-promo with much-anticipated Marvel film, Black Panther, was a refreshingly current mashup of entertainment, product promotion, and cultural relevance that is often difficult to achieve in a single advertisement. The 60-second spot uses the same bass-thumping Run The Jewels anthem from the movie’s official trailer, creating a consistent level of brand association for Lexus. This ad makes me want to drive to Black Panther’s premiere in a brand new Lexus LS with RTJ3 on full blast.

6. Michelob Ultra - “I Like Beer”

Viewers may have found themselves singing along to Tom T. Hall’s “I Like Beer” while enjoying a cold one during Michelob Ultra’s spot late in the game. It follows Chris Pratt from a dark bar right into the active lifestyle that Ultra aligns itself with, thanks to help from a few celebrity athletes along the way.

7. Monster Cable Products - Getting Started

Monster's headphones ad with Iggy Azalea and Yo Gotti stands out because it focuses on how music inspires creativity and innovation. Without being overly reliant on star power or trying to force itself into the conversation, Monster successfully translates the aspirational values of music to its brand. And it helps Iggy promote her new single.

8. NFL - Touchdown Celebrations To Come

What initially appears to be a generic football advertisement quickly and surprisingly evolves into a “touchdown dance” beautifully choreographed to the iconic song from Dirty Dancing, complete with a final lift. The commercial was intentionally silly and used the well-known song to be entertaining — which it was. (Especially Eli's concentration throughout the dance.)

9. Pepsi - The Super Bowl LII Pepsi Halftime Show

The Pepsi Halftime show was an entertainment spectacle with some very clever branding woven in by Pepsi — it was a dynamic performance, a coordination masterpiece, beautifully choreographed, and just so much gosh darn fun. Justin Timberlake took the audience through a mix of his hits, transitioned seamlessly through multiple stage setups, found time to honor Prince, and looked like he was having a blast alongside everyone in the audience.

10. Toyota - Good Odds

A quality product integrates form and function into its design. This was the recipe for Toyota’s “Good Odds”, following eight-time Paralympian Lauren Woolstencroft on her road to the 2018 Winter Olympics, accompanied by Kaleena Zanders’s “Stronger Than I’ve Ever Been.” The tune so perfectly supports the story that it might be mistaken for narration.

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