McCann Super Bowl ads take a different path

Published on February 6, 2019

At this year’s Super Bowl – the biggest event of the US advertising calendar – work for McCann clients took a more serious note than the traditional humorous tone with a hard-hitting campaign on the impact of first responders for Verizon, and inclusivity for Microsoft.

The decision to go against the grain stole the attention of spectators and viewers a like with The Drum noting that the Microsoft advert was the best received of the night according to System 1 research

The advert for Verizon, which is part of a wider documentary series called ”The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here”. was crafted by McCann and Hollywood director Peter Berg and features NFL players telling stories of how first responders saved their lives.

Verizon, the company that connects the phone calls between those in need and first responders, wanted to highlight the vital work that first responders do. It achieved that by highlighting who in the NFL would not be alive today if first responders weren’t on call and creating “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here.”

Players in the team were interviewed on film including Oakland Raiders quarterback AJ McCarron and defensive tackle for the Houston Texans Carlos Watkins, who gave particularly emotional tributes to the work of first responders.

For Microsoft, the intent was to deliver on its mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. This year McCann created an advert that shows children with disabilities playing video games using the Xbox Adaptive Controller called ’We all Win’.

The 60 second advert, which aired in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, highlighted the joy that the Xbox Adaptive Controller gives to the children with limited mobility and their parents who simply want them to be included, with the tagline, “When everybody plays, we all win.”

Both adverts were broadcast on 2nd February to an audience of more than 100million people across the globe giving maximum exposure on the busiest advertising day of the year.