Are you even a marketing publication if you don’t write about the best Super Bowl ads?

We’re doing something a little different this year, though. In the past, we’d look at things like USA Today’s Ad Meter and Amobee Brand Intelligence’s analysis, and declare winners (and losers) based on the public’s perception. But over the last year, ClickZ has become less about best practices and more about the technology that enables them.

That’s what determines our winners this year. As much as we loved that Australian tourism ad, we’re focusing on the brands that used technology in the coolest, most innovative ways. So which advertisers did that?

Skittles

It’s been proven time and time again that consumers respond to personalization. This year, Skittles took that to the extreme and created a hyper-personalized ad for a single 17-year-old fan.

Only Marcos Menendez of Canoga Park, California, got to watch the ad. The rest of us could only see his reaction to the ad, which Skittles shared on Facebook Live. Creating a TV commercial for an audience of one is obviously more of a novelty than anything. The fact that it’s even possible says a lot about the possibilities around personalized experiences, though, no?

Pepsi

A regular advertiser, Pepsi has had many Super Bowl ads over the years. Through a partnership with Google, the brand allowed consumers to revisit two particularly iconic ones, starring race car driver Jeff Gordon and supermodel Cindy Crawford, respectively.

With virtual reality, Super Bowl attendees could get in a Delorean and actually experience these blast-from-the-past ads. Fans at home could also participate with a VR headset.

Kraft

Super Bowl commercials are generally a star-studded affair; David Schwimmer is in the Skittles ad you’ll never see. Instead, Kraft invited fans to star in its first Super Bowl spot, which is part of its “Family Greatly” campaign.

If you shared your family photo on Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag #FamilyGreatly or #KraftEntry, you could have been a part of the commercial. Kraft promised to include as many families as it could have possibly fit in a 30-second ad, no matter how “they family on game day.” At the end of the day, advertising is all about the consumer, right? Kraft really showcased that, using social media to involve the consumer. The brand also demonstrated its commitment to diversity, which has been a popular strategy in years past.

Avocados From Mexico

A TV commercial isn’t enough anymore. The most successful marketing campaigns are omnichannel, engaging people everywhere they happen to be consuming content (so, everywhere). This year, Avocados From Mexico has created an entire digital world around the versatility of guacamole.

As one part of the produce brand’s “GuacWorld” campaign, consumers can combine a selfie with an (avocado) emoji and share it on various messaging platforms. If Snapchat has taught us anything, it’s that people love to send vaguely terrifying pictures of themselves as food (remember Taco Bell’s Cinco De Mayo filter?). By the time the game ended, Avocados From Mexico had by far the most social media buzz of any advertiser, according to Sprinklr’s Brand Bowl.

Dietz & Watson

If there are two group of people who were guaranteed to tune into the Super Bowl, it’s Philadelphians and hungry people. Nielsen projected that Americans would collectively spend $170 million on meat and cheese snacks alone.

Spoofing Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” catchphrase, Dietz & Watson ran several regional ads promoting its wide selection of both. The brand took it further with a microsite, which included 10-hour livestreams of Ye Old Deli Attendant cutting up meats and cheeses… which consumers could order directly and have delivered by Amazon Fresh.

Amazon

Speak of the devil. Though Amazon’s ad didn’t deploy technology in a particularly exciting way, we still think it still deserves a mention because it poked fun at how reliant we are on it.

Considering the role Amazon plays in so many of our lives, it’s fitting. But seriously, what if Alexa did lose her voice?

Tide

What do all the previously mentioned ads have in common? The people featured in them were wearing clothes. Clean clothes. So by default, we guess they were all Tide ads.

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