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Did the Robots win the Superbowl?

Superbowl Sunday is an exciting time for marketing teams. Apart from any interest in the game, the Superbowl is the year’s pinnacle of television advertising and a reflection of pop culture and trends. That’s why we were thrilled to see so many ads featuring AI and robots! These are the eight most industry-relevant ads from the 2019 Superbowl:

#8 Sprint

Do you remember those memes that said “What society thinks I do, What my mum thinks I do, What I think I do, what I actually do’? Well, this is the answer to “What an Advertising Exec thinks AI is”.

#7 Turbo Tax

Did you finish this video wondering if you ever expected emotional intelligence from your accountant? We’ll take the higher tax return thanks! 

#6 Olay

For all of us who grew up in the 90’s exploring the thriller/horror genre at sleepovers, this has nostalgia in spades. The AI component is brief, but we love that is showed how integrated this tech already is.

While it is nice to see an ad specifically aimed at women during a major sporting event, it is disappointing that the same messaging of looking betterer and younger is present.

#5 Pringles

Voice assistant with “the feels”… is anyone else surprised it took so long for the guy to request a song?

#4 Simple Safe

Not fans of fearmongering but we did enjoy the parody of the doom and gloom we often face in the world. 

Favourite Bit: Porch Pirates… surely there is a summer blockbuster in this.

#3 Michelob ULTRA

Oh come on, Boston Dynamics totally should have been contacted for this one! 

#2 Google

Utility and humanity. Google’s ad showcasing Google Translate is one of the few that showcases the positive impacts of AI technology. 

#1 Amazon

This commercial was always going to rate well… Harrison Ford and a puppy will always get you brownie points at Silverpond. 

We’re also fans of the “Not Everything Makes the Cut” mantra, showing not only how good design processes are important, but also we don’t need AI in everything…Our office pooches may disagree though.    

Things we like about these eight ads: 

  • Robots and AI are now mainstream enough to be in the most important and expensive ads, inciting conversations in households across the USA and the world.
  • AI and Robots were engaged in everyday tasks, they were accepted as a part of the environment. 
  • Humans are back in the picture. An underlying theme here is what it means to be human, how can AI help us, and what are we best left to doing ourselves… like enjoying a cold drink.
  • The conversation around AI is a little more critical, laughing at failures and acknowledging limitations and privacy concerns. As AI gains momentum, people increasingly question the access these devices have to their data. This was a reoccurring theme, and rightly so. 

Things we weren’t all that happy about:

  • Hollywood and mass media doesn’t have the greatest track record with regards to how they portray computers and technology. Some of these commercials fit into that tradition of unrealistic portrayal… We have trouble when people are convinced that fiction represents the reality. 
  • Various technical inaccuracies and minimal realism… it’s just not how some of the tech works.
  • So much CGI, setting unrealistic expectations of robots.
  • Anthropomorphism. Alexa is sad she can’t taste, robots are sad they can’t drink beer.. not likely unless we program them to respond that way. 

So what did you think? Are we being comically over-sensitive (very likely), or does it really matter how pop culture shapes the public’s view of a subject? Leave a comment to let us know your favourite and your thoughts.

Disclaimer: Silverpond does not endorse any of the products above … we are just excited the robots have so gone mainstream 

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