Super Bowl 2015 Ads Probably Made More People Cry This Year, But Did They Have To Be Such A Boys Club? — VIDEO
Though I will admit that I was worried about this year's Super Bowl ad line-up being slightly lackluster due to the copious amount of ads that were revealed early, I have to say — the 2015 Super Bowl ads brought it. And by "it," I mean they brought major feels. Be honest, who else totally felt like they were on a roller coaster of emotion during the duration of this year's game? It's like we all went from crying at a Nissan ad to gawking at football...then back to crying at a Nationwide ad, before back to gawking at football, then cheering on Katy Perry as she totally owned her Super Bowl halftime show with Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, and the "More You Know" star...before going right back to crying at a Budweiser ad. I don't think I've felt this much emotion in years, it's exhausting.
Aside from the fact that a lot of this year's Super Bowl ads stuck to playing on the delicate emotions of viewers across the country, however, there was another thing of note that stuck out a ton: Of the 8 super emotional advertisements that aired during the Super Bowl this year, only one of them (Microsoft's Estella's Brilliant Bus ad) focused entirely on a girl — the others mainly focused on young boys instead, or fathers, or puppies. Though the emotional reaction that the ads elicited was still a strong one, it's a strange choice for advertisers to make, especially considering that the gap between the number of males and the number of females watching the Super Bowl was proven to have shrunk tremendously since 2002 according to a 2012 study from Nielsen.
There was truly a huge opportunity here for so much more gender diversity with these ads — why did it have to be such a boys club?
That observation aside, the ads were still genuinely emotional — even if they didn't exactly get the whole gender diversity part right. Here's a full list of the ads that aired (and possibly made you shed a few tears) during Sunday's game:
Considering the fact that this ad included a dead kid, this ad was pretty much a full-blown tearjerker.
Another tearjerker, this time about fatherhood. This ad mostly focuses on a father and his son.
This was a local ad that aired in the St. Louis, Missouri area, so if you weren't watching there, you likely missed it. However, featuring a teenage boy who overdoses on heroin, it was without a doubt one of the most painful to watch.
Oh, Budweiser. Yet again, you preyed upon the emotions of viewers across America, and took advantage of everyone's soft spot for an adorable puppy. I'm still crying (and researching where to adopt a dog) because of this one.
Of all the ads that aired during the Super Bowl, none were as important or as jarring to watch as NoMore.org's anti-domestic violence ad was. It didn't feature any actors, or, really, anyone at all — just a voiceover recording of a call made by a woman in a situation of domestic violence to raise awareness for NoMore.org's campaign to help end sexual assault and domestic violence. Truly powerful.
This ad did include a young girl, but it mostly focuses on her father and his emotions as his daughter prepares to join the military. Still a tearjerker, but it wouldn't have hurt to add a little more about the daughter.
Microsoft — Estella's Brilliant Bus
Here's one ad that actually did focus on a woman: Microsoft's emotional ad highlighting Estella's Brilliant Bus, a mobile learning bus service started by a retired teacher (Estella Pyfrom) that aims to help kids from low income areas get an education. It was truly amazing and emotional to watch, in an uplifting sort of way.
Microsoft — Braylon O'Neill
Another Microsoft ad that was deeply emotional: It focuses on a young boy named Braylon, who was born missing the tibia and fibula bones in both of his legs, and how Microsoft technology is helping him be able to walk, run, and play just like any other six-year-old. I may have just shed another tear writing this.
Late Sunday night, Nationwide issued a statement regarding their "Dead Kid" ad to NBC News:
Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don't know that. Nationwide ran an ad during the Super Bowl that started a fierce conversation. The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance. We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us-the safety and well being of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited MakeSafeHappen.com, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.