Yes, it may cost an arm and leg, but getting a spot for your commercial before, during, or just after Super Bowl, will almost certainly earn you a few thousand column inches, millions of views and an uplift in visibility. It's no wonder that brands who want their place in the sun will go all out to secure ad space on that day and at that time. But there are strict rules surrounding advertising, and of course, the NFL want to have their say too. Not all companies made it through, and some of those that did will have needed to compromise, whether we got to found out about it or not. Let's take a look at a selection of original ads that never made it to the national stage.
Ads You Didn't Get to See Because They Were Banned
SodaStream's original ad, featuring film actress Scarlett Johannsen, was "censored", because it referenced SodaStream's direct competitors, Coke and Pepsi by name. In the backlash that followed, Johannsen "stepped down" from her role as Oxfam ambassodor, a revised ad was submitted and accepted, and the uncensored version generated 10.2 million views in a week.
Gun manufacturer, Daniel Defense, made plans to purchase Super Bowl ad space last November but failed to secure any spots. They were told that their proposed commercial contravened the NFL's rule on advertising guns which stated "Firearms, ammunition or other weapons are prohibited; however, stores that sell firearms and ammunition (e.g., outdoor stores and camping stores) will be permitted, provided they sell other products and the ads do not mention firearms, ammunition or other weapons." The company offered to replace the company's logo with an American flag but the NFL held firm and the ad did not air, much to the fury of America's gun lobby.
Ads You Didn't Get to See on the National Stage
In September 2013, Colorado legalised the distribution of recreational marijuana and the first stores opened on January 1st of this year. But that doesn't mean that the establishment are ready or willing to embrace all things weed which is why this ad, from ColoradoKush didn't make it to prime time. H/T to What's Trending.
In what they called "Watch the #BigGame commercial the NFL would never air", the National Congress of American Indians in the United States released a video just days before the Super Bowl that denounced the term 'redskin.' The video is part of a wider campaign urging the Washington Redskins to change the team's name to one less inflammatory.
Ads You Didn't See Because You Don't Live in Savannah, Georgia
If you were watching the Super Bowl last night, and you live in Savannah, then you'll probably have seen an ad from Jamie Casino, personal injury attorney. Casino's commercial filled the entire first local ad break with a 2 minute story of his journey from defender of villains, to a representative of those who cannot defend themselves. It could have gone hideously wrong but it somehow manages to stay just on the right side of being too mawkish or uncomfortable. A heavy metal soundtrack will do that.
Ads You Couldn't Watch Because They Were Never Made
Newcastle Brown Ale has scored major kudos this year by releasing a series of ads about the ad they couldn't make for the Super Bowl. As if that wasn't genius enough, they are now showing viewers how they would have made the ads (from other brands), that were actually shown. Genius.
Happy Little Guillotine studios also took to YouTube to show off their range of fake Super Bowl ads for Monsanto, NSA, Swiffle, Doritos and Buzzfeed.
Here are the Ads You Could Have Watched (and Probably Did)
Unless you slept most of yesterday, here are the ads that did air.