The Advertising Bowl

The Real Reason Novitas Watches the Super Bowl

The hype around Super Bowl advertisements is real. Although the game is the reason for the season, tons of people, especially our team of PR mavens, tune in just for the commercials.

Major PR campaigns are launched around the ads that premiere on Super Bowl Sunday. So, we thought we’d share some of our favorite and least favorite advertisements from the 2020 Super Bowl.

Michelle’s favorites

  1. Cheetos “Can’t Touch This”

At a time when everything in society seems so heavy, this lighthearted ad just made our Super Bowl party laugh. The gist of the ad is the guy uses the excuse that Cheetos stained his fingers, to not help around the house. It was clever, it was charming. And who doesn’t love an M.C. Hammer throwback?

  1. Hulu “Tom Brady’s Big Announcement”

I didn’t actually love ad itself; however, I loved how this ad demonstrated the way that PR and advertising can complement one another. For days before the ad ran, people speculated that superstar New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was either leaving the Pats or retiring. Allegedly, Brady’s wife, Gisele, was even school shopping in Nashville. As it turns out, the big announcement was simply that Hulu now carries live sports. The PR campaign around this ad made it one of the most anticipated ads in the Super Bowl. 

  1. Doritos “Old Town Road”

Finally, someone found a commercial use for dressage (that’s horse ballet for all you rubes out there). This was another ad that just made our entire party laugh. Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott were hilarious – especially when Sam Elliott’s mustache danced. Good music, Western dance-off, dressage – what’s not to love?

Hannah’s favorites

  1. Budweiser “Typical American”

Budweiser’s ad was successful in stirring American pride and deepening the association among viewers as being “America’s beer”. Budweiser cleverly turned a word that is often meant to be derogatory – “typical” – and related it, instead, to the courageous American spirit.

  1. Cheetos “Can’t Touch This”

The Cheeto commercial was fun and entertaining. The company took advantage of a common, and sometimes negative, stereotype of the product – messy fingers – and used it to be funny and relatable. The commercial also effectively showcased their new popcorn line, which we will be instacarting to the office.

  1. Google “Loretta”

Google’s ad depicted successful and heartfelt storytelling by sharing the story of a man who was struggling to remember his wife and, thus, used Google to bank memories of what he loved about her. It was a long commercial, but kept the audience’s attention throughout by its engaging plot. Google’s ad caused consumers think about new ways to use its services in a meaningful and lasting way.

Abigail’s favorites

  1. Google “Loretta”

Google continues to show the world the amazing things technology can do. This advertisement was a twist from the usual tech ad. It was a nice tribute to Loretta’s life while showing Google is the perfect tool for remembering the little things.

  1. Cheetos “Can’t Touch This”

Cheetos was extremely smart about this advertisement. The biggest downside to Cheetos, in my opinion, is how messy they are. You can’t eat Cheetos and multitask without making a mess. They turned this problem into a solution. Now people can snack on their Cheetos or Cheetos popcorn and be as lazy as they want. I love it. Also, a very fitting commercial for the Super Bowl due to the insane amount of snacks eaten while watching the game.

Michelle’s least favorites


Is there enough space for women? I think this ad was about promoting women in STEM education. I think. The ad was so chaotic that I wasn’t sure what it was asking me to do. Except not push the eject button? I really wanted to like this ad because I’m passionate about advancing women in STEM, but there was so much packed into this ad that I couldn’t wrap my head around it. 

  1. Planters Peanuts Baby Nut

I’d like to give you the backstory on this ad, but I have no idea what it was and I sort of don’t care. I think the most effective ads are those that require no further explanation other than what’s contained in the ad. I don’t understand what the ad wanted me to do or why there was a Baby Nut. In fairness to the ad, I also didn’t watch Game of Thrones because I didn’t want to have to learn an entirely new vernacular. I felt the same way here – I’m too busy to invest mental shelf space in a commercial.

Hannah’s least favorite

  1. Mountain Dew Zero Sugar “As Good As The Original”

The Mountain Dew Zero commercial based on The Shining was too scary, but I hate scary movies and have not seen The Shining. It distracted from the message and was not friendly for younger audiences or me.

  1. Rocket Mortgage “Comfortable.”

Rocket Mortgage’s commercial had nothing to do with its service. They tried to make a connection between Jason Momoa and the mortgage company, but by no means would I remember the company after the commercial. Also, it was just creepy.

Abigail’s least favorites

  1. Quibi “Bank Heist”

Quibi is a short-form mobile video app that is launching in April. Nothing about their ad was eye-catching or humorous. They used “quibi” as a term to refer to ten minutes or less, which could be a great campaign to launch the app. Unfortunately, they used a bland storyline. The actor sounded extremely unenthusiastic when introducing quibi. Not impressed!

  1. Mountain Dew Zero Sugar “As Good As The Original”

This one was weird. Mountain Dew tried to be funny, but the whole thing was cringe worthy. Bryan Cranston is Jack Nicholson from “The Shining” and forces his way into a bathroom to hand a lady the new Mountain Dew Zero Sugar. To end it, he’s dressed up as a lady confirming how odd he is. NOTE: Michelle tells me that these are ghost twins from The Shining, which were meant to be scary. I have not seen the movie. Not sure if I want to try their new drink if that’s who enjoys it.