Super Bowl Commericals Review: Technology Spotlight

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The big 5-0 of the biggest game of the year is over, but the commercial hangover is still going strong. The Super Bowl commercials are arguably one of biggest events in advertising each year, and this year as no exception. We got a lot of cute animals (wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs!), some scary hybrid animals – I’m looking at you “puppymonkeybaby,” so many celebrities, and a couple tear-jerkers. All in all, it was a good year for Super Bowl commercials.

What really caught my attention, though, obviously, was the presence of technology in the mix of commercials. As “smart” everything is starting to creep from the tech show aisles to the superstore aisles, brands used the year’s biggest advertising spotlight to bring their products to the masses. Here are a few noteworthy product commercials I spotted during Super Bowl 50:

Amazon: The mega-retailer signed on the likes of Dan Marino, Alec Baldwin, Jason Schwartzman, and Missy Elliot to promote their smart speaker, the Echo. They had a few spots, and they were clever. We haven’t seen a new commercial for the Echo since it was first released – and back then it didn’t support smart home technology, like controlling lights. Amazon was smart to call out this feature in their new ad, with Alec Baldwin using the Echo to turn on the lights of his snack stadium.

LG: The future is here, and it’s the LG OLED 4K TV. It has to be true, because Liam Neeson told us so in a Super Bowl ad. Seriously, though, this TV is pretty sharp, and the technology used to produce the picture is something that was prominently featured at CES in January. I’m interested to see how “smart” this TV will be – are TVs ready to move beyond just having streaming capabilities? Can TVs become smart without an attached box? Hopefully Liam has some more future to reveal to us soon.

FitBit: FitBit is a favorite in the wearable tech field, and they are ready to take on major competitors, like Apple. The FitBit Blaze is the new addition to the FitBit family, and they are position it not as a fitness tracker, but as a smart watch. They kept their ad mostly about the people, but gave us a glimpse of the new watch. It was a good enough teaser to send me straight to their website to find out more. The design is definitely moving in the direction of being more fashionable, but there doesn’t seem to be much new tech here. Something to keep an eye on though.

GoPro: The GoPro ad was great because it was so subtle. It basically said, yes, you can do THAT with a GoPro. It used exciting imagery to show you that this tech is able to handle extremes, and it did so with no dialogue, and no callouts. A splash of water onto the device let you know that yes, it is waterproof.

Hyundai: Yes, that Kevin Hart car commercial was funny! But, did you happen to notice the “smart” car tech that it was advertising? It was telling you about Car Finder, a cool feature which will let parents and psycho significant others track you at all times. Oh, and I guess it’s good if you lose your car.

That’s all folks! I’m already excited to see what technology becomes mainstream in the next year and earns a spot in a 2017 Super Bowl commercial.

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.

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