Super Bowl 2020 Best Four TV Commercials

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TV commercials at Super Bowl 2020 are rated for storytelling visual and verbal power among top brands. Who was the winner?

For other Super Bowl TV Commercial content: Blog: Top three Super Bowl TV Commercials in 2021, Top 3 2021 Video, Top 3 2021 Video

How do you amplify your brand’s messages in 30 seconds, straight to the heart and soul of your target audience, to convey Trust and Competence? This was the question we left with you last time. Last Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday 2020, among all the TV commercials aired, it is MY PERSONAL opinion that these are the top 4 winners, in term of TRUST and COMPETENCE. Please note that I did not choose any political ads, even though they can be just as compelling. My criteria is strictly from the point of helping a business get their business’ unique value propositions across to their target audience. Counting down 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 to my personal winner:

4) Rocket Mortgage – What does home mean (1’20”):

As a “celebrity” drives into his home’s driveway, he narrates: “What does home mean to me? A sanctuary. One place I can let my guard down.” As he pulls off his plastic macho arm muscles, torsos, and a hair wig, he continues: “Where I kick back and can be totally comfortable in my own skin. Rocket Mortgage understands that home is where I can be myself. And that feels pretty darn good.”

Impressive uses of surprises, humor, self-deprecating and anti stereotypical concepts of what is “masculine”… have pushed the point across that “home is where you feel most comfortable.” But how is it relevant to mortgage financing? Is the connection a bit stretched? The elements of “trust” and “competence” for approving a loan (rather than how you feel at your home) are under-delivered.

3) New York Life Insurance’s (60”):

It is a “teaching” type of ad, explaining four Ancient Greek words for love with visuals (“philia” – friendship; “storge” – love for siblings and relatives; “eros”- romantic love; and the highest kind of love, the most admirable, which was the ad’s point: “agape”, that takes courage, sacrifice, strength, and most of all, ACTION. Then the ad concludes New York Life’s TRUST and COMPETENCE part: “For 175 years, we help people ACT on their LOVE, so they can look back and look ahead, say: we got it right.” On the screen: “Be good at life”. Voice: “We did good.” Then “ #LoveTakesAction”

Power of association: Act on love = Life Insurance.

This ad did NOT say: what difference a life insurance can make, and who will benefit… It intends to “tell” you about love, and “ask” you to pursue the most admirable kind of love.

A bit too preachy. The connection the ad tries to establish between the highest form of love and an insurance policy is a bit forced.

2) Under Armour: the only way is through (1’30:):

Few words, lots of footage of various types of athletes sweating, panting, training, running, doing pushups, weightlifting, and working hard. Voiceover: “You are more than your successes, you are more than your failures. You are work, dirty work. Work that hurts you, work that defines you, the fire that burns inside of you. Be you. It’s always been you. You are the work. You want that smoke. Give them the fire.” Then the arena, the track, the court, the action of competing. The roar of the spectators. Twice, in all caps and bold: “THE ONLY WAY IS THROUGH.”

Central point: hard work = you = Under Armour.

Did they say about how breathable their under armour is? How does it keep you dry? What is the technology behind it? – NO. They are connecting a BRAND to the VALUE of HARD WORK: If you believe in hard work, Under Armour is with you, literally and physically. Trust and competence.

1) Google’s AI/voice-recognition ad: “Loretta”: (1’30”)

Starting with the typing of “how to not forget” on Google search screen, then in a REAL old man’s own voice: “Hey Google, show me photos of me with Loretta.” Screen answers: “Here are your photos.” Then the old man laughs at his younger self with a mustache next to his wife. The old man talks, as if to you and to me: “Remember she always snorted when she laughed”, the screen shows real life, home made video clips of her laughing and a photo of her laughing. “Play our favorite movie.” Then Casablanca’s lovers parting scene comes up. Google’s screen then pulls up these words: “Here is what you told me to remember: Loretta used to hum shower tunes. 1/26/2020. Loretta’s favorite flowers were tulips. 11/27/2019. Loretta had the most beautiful handwriting. 7/2/2018…” Then the footage of their home video clips of episodes of their life’s moments. Then the voice: “remember I am the luckiest guy in the world.” then the sound of door opening, and “come on boy”, and the sound of a dog’s paws running across the floor…

The screen says: “A little help with the little things.” ending with G logo for Google.

WELL DONE. A simple and touching story, told by two “invisibles”: the old man who never showed himself but vividly portrayed by his voice, the real voice of an old man (and his dog represented by the sound of paws), and the invisible AI who understood, responded to, and served the old man’s every request. Technology seamlessly intertwined with humanity. Bingo! This Google ad completely refuted the counter argument about Google spying on us, taking our private data for commercial use. Without argument of any kind, preaching of any sort, over dramatization or self deprecation, the powerful point is told with the least amount of words, and minimum amount of acting. It is about voice recognition technology, told by voice, answered by the silent voice on screen, and the only visuals are the center of the story: Lorreta, a deceased and beloved wife of an old man. Google’s AI technology made the adoring old husband happy, giggling, and proud. That’s the whole point. The ultimate trust and competence of Google’s AI technology was implied, understated, delivered, completely, fully, economically and most convincingly. Bravo!

I noticed that the best Super Bowl 2020 TV Commercials (by my standard) were all paid by large corporations. It does not have to take the deepest pocket to create the best ad. We at 10+ Visual Branding are master storytellers, we tell your story that touches hearts and souls of your target audience, seldom with any special effects, always at affordable budgets.

Oh, one more note: none of the above four TV commercials was 30 second long, the shortest was a minute. It is hard to tell a moving story and drive a compelling point in half a minute.

If you would like to have your own BRAND stories told masterfully, verbally and visually, please call us at (408) 337-2318 or email: or visit

Thank you!

Written by Joanne Tan. Edited by Glenn Perkins. © Joanne Tan, 2020. All rights reserved.

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