Love it or not, the adrenaline-fueled, quarter-back tackling sport of American football has played a monumental part in establishing peak-marketing performance. At first glance, the gritty, gladiatorial Super Bowl seems like no place for emotional storytelling, incredible scriptwriting, and awe-inspiring voice overs. Yet somehow, we find the release of yearly Superbowl ads to be the most memorable marketing event of the year.
Demanding multi-million-dollar budgets, Super Bowl commercials ought to be the best of the best. They can’t afford to be anything less than exceptional. But just what makes Super Bowl ads so memorable?
Here’s why Super Bowl commercials and the voice overs associated with them are paramount, and our choice of the most amazing more recent ads.
Get your head in the game, it’s time for the marketing plays of the year!
Before we get to our ads, it’s important to remember this: storytelling matters.
Storytelling is the root and foundation of any successful ad, whether it’s aired during the Superbowl or not. You could pump a million dollars into an ad without storytelling, and it’d be a million-dollar flop.
As we go through our examples, it’s best to pay attention to how storytelling has been carefully crafted to mesmerize audiences.
Another important factor — the voice over. You’ll notice that these Super Bowl ads feature an effective voice over. Why? Because a voice over is one of your best storytelling tools.
Alright, with that out of our way, let’s get to our choice of the best!
2021 Toyota Big Game Commercial: Jessica Long’s Story | Upstream
What an audiovisual masterpiece. Toyota’s 2021 Super Bowl Ad features the story of 13x Paralympic Gold Medalist, Jessica Long, and it’s an incredible minute of storytelling.
We start with seeing deep blues in the water, and the contrasting paralympian in red, swimming. It’s an open space, and it prepares us for emotional and visual depth.
What follows is an emotional voice over, a phone call conversation about adopting Jessica who needs amputation, as she swims across scenes of growing up.
Glows of orange highlight her victories and heartwarming life events, ultimately circling back to Jessica watching her mother saying yes to her own adoption, as Jessica reaches the end of her swim. Talk about an Olympic-sized pool full of emotion.
This Super Bowl commercial is the kind that leaves a deep emotional impact on its viewers. Did it have anything to do with cars? Nope. Does it make you more aware of Toyota, its storytelling, and its values? Probably!
Alexa Loses Her Voice
When Alexa Loses Her Voice, renown celebrities like Gordon Ramsey, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B and Sir Anthony Hopkins come to fill the void.
If anything, this is a testament to how a voice over can enrich an ad. The celebrity factor certainly enhances the virality of it, but we think you don’t actually need a celebrity voice over. Instead, we think you need a celebrity’s storytelling ability.
That’s exactly what we’re getting in this 2018 Super Bowl commercial. The celebrity personalities — including Gordon Ramsey cussing you out — come through as rich, flavorful, exciting and memorable elements of this Superbowl ad.
Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
You might remember this ancient artifact of an ad. Can you believe this was from over a decade ago? It was exciting, fast-paced, attention-grabbing, and perfect for 2010.
Interestingly enough, we can remember it like it happened yesterday. But one thing’s for certain. While this Super Bowl ad took the internet by storm 10 years ago, this kind of storytelling doesn’t hold up in 2021.
Not to say it’s a bad ad. Not at all. This is a good example of the change in style and type of storytelling over the years. The quick-paced randomness that carried the bulk of this Super Bowl commercial no longer holds audiences’ attention.
Terry Crews managed to carry out that style for a few more years, but you can see the need for longer storytelling reflected in a 2021 Old Spice ad. Nevertheless, the classic Old Spice commercial holds a special place in our distraction-hungry minds.
Doritos 3D | Flat Matthew Super Bowl LV
Doritos’ Super Bowl Ad features celebrity Matthew McConaughey as a flat person. But his voice over, which is almost the entirety of the ad, is far from flat.
You may call the voice over plain and not very exciting, but it’s the honest, every-day voice that people relate to these days. It’s an earnest search for the solution to a life’s problem, a story that anybody can relate to.
The fact that it’s Matthew McConaughey definitely helps. In our opinion, he’s nailed the every-day, every-person feel of this ad., and succeeds in taking an audience member through the Dorito journey. Bravo.
As for the storytelling, it’s actually quite funny. The adventures of #FlatMatthew — can’t believe that’s a hashtag now — are humorous, creative and charming. Note that the story is long-paced, and the punchline is saved for the end, a contrast from something like the Old Spice commercial above.
The recipe to a successful Super Bowl commercial is creative scriptwriting, engaging storytelling, and an effective voice over. You’ll see that our top choices implemented these elements without flaw!
You may question the need for a voice over. After all, a great script and story can already do wonders. But it’s best to recognize the power of a voice over and its ability to connect with people on a deep level.
Voice123 happens to have some of the finest professional voice actors in the world — and combined with your great script and idea — you might be able to pull off a Super Bowl-level ad.
So – what are you waiting for?