Super Bowl LVIII Ads: Marketing Agency in Chicago’s Perspective

We’re here to talk about the Super Bowl LVIII ads. 


But we can’t bury the lead. With their second straight championship and third in five years, Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs organization have taught the country what consummate professionalism and composure under pressure looks like, and that’s something that contains more value than this blog can give you (though we’re going to try our best.)


Alright so let’s get into it. We’re going to break down the ads we saw tonight into two categories, and they’re the categories that CLEARLY stuck out from a strategy perspective. Even if you were watching the game on mute, you would’ve picked up on them. These categories are influencer marketing and emotional appeal.




I loved Michael Cera’s ad with the lotion brand CeraVe, and I don’t think it’s just my love of 2000s movies speaking for me here. This campaign was great because it actually made sense and was executed over time, not just during the game.


In case you’re not following along yet, the premise of the commercial is a play on how his last name is the same as the brand, as he proceeds to joke about creating the formula for their lotion himself. The campaign started in prior weeks, where people online began to notice that Michael Cera was roaming around the streets of Brooklyn, signing bottles of CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion. 


It caught the attention of millions and was posted about everywhere from TikTok to X, simply because everyone loves Michael Cera and his aura of randomness and playfulness that he has always been in tune with. I’d be shocked if this campaign doesn’t end up as a huge success for this brand. In a cluttered landscape of celebrity appearances on these ads, this campaign felt way more like true marketing creativity at work, and much less like a bloated budget mixed with an indifferent but recognizable spokesperson only there to cash a check, as some influencer examples did. (Looking at you, Popeyes and Ken Jeong.)


See the ad here.




Just when you were likely becoming a bit exhausted by the number of celebrities being paraded through your living room via the screen, Volkswagen stepped in with a classy ad celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary. 


Super Bowl ads often rely heavily on emotional appeal, aiming to evoke feelings of nostalgia, humor, joy, or even sadness. Advertisers understand that emotions can deeply influence consumer decision-making, and they leverage this by creating ads that forge strong emotional connections with viewers. In the case of Volkswagen, they took their viewers on a journey through the company’s earlier days, complete with Americana-esque scenes of their cars, but more importantly, people looking genuinely happy around them. It evoked a sense of a simpler time – real or imagined – and that angle works on people, plain and simple.


While it may not have been as heavy-handed an emotional appeal as we saw from other brands and organizations last night, I think Volkswagen found the perfect balance between brand promotion and cinematic charm in this very watchable and rewatchable commercial. Volkswagen has been a fixture of American popular culture for a long time and they found a perfect way to remind folks of that.


Here’s the 60-second ad:





It all comes back to Taylor. 


I think my high-level takeaway from this year’s super bowl ads is that higher-than-ever celebrity usage was the predictable outcome based on what this NFL season was. The league adopted the world’s biggest pop star as its poster woman, leading to them reaching an audience they had never reached before. Advertisers knew this, and sought to appease this younger, influencer-happy generation. 


The bottom line is that all advertisers – but particularly Super Bowl advertisers – have to know how to leverage cognitive biases, and social proof is one of the biggest cognitive biases there is, and it’s why influencer marketing exists in the first place. By understanding how the human mind processes information and makes decisions, advertisers can increase the likelihood of desired outcomes, such as brand preference or purchase intent.


Overall, the psychology of Super Bowl advertising demonstrates the complex interplay between emotions, social dynamics, cognitive processes, and this year, all were at play. Thank you for reading and we will look forward to commenting on next year’s ads, probably in the aftermath of another Chiefs win if we’re being honest with ourselves. 


If you’re a brand looking for help with strategy, a new website, or practically any other marketing question, let’s connect. We have helped brands nationwide, from Nike to local non-profits, and we’d love to work with you next.

In the world of branding, a slogan is akin to a thesis, establishing values and rearranging perceptions with every word. Think about the brands you love; chances are, they have connected with you through their written words. A great slogan is a condensed mission statement, reminding the consumer that they and the brand share the same attitude towards the world; that they and the brand are friends, willing to do right by one another. In this blog, we are going to discuss the significance of slogans, provide insight on what to do and what not to do when crafting a slogan, and reference case studies of brands that Fortress has helped discover slogans and taglines for through our Branding and Corporate Identity Services


The Best Slogans in the World


We all know these slogans, but do we know what makes them so memorable? Let’s start with Nike’s “Just Do It.” This slogan is brilliant for a few reasons; it is extremely brief at only three words and eight letters; it is motivational and fits with their brand philosophy of pushing one’s physical limits and being prepared for adventure; and lastly it is works as as a subliminal message that helps users make their decision to buy from Nike. Debating on getting that new pair of running shoes? “Just Do It.” Enough said.


Next up, Apple. Their iconic slogan, “Think Different,” encapsulates the very essence of their brand philosophy. It’s not just a call to buy their products; it’s an invitation to embrace innovation and individuality. In just two words, they’ve managed to capture the spirit of those who dare to challenge the status quo and break new ground. 

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      Fortress is a fast-growing digital marketing and branding agency headquartered in Chicago that has worked with clients ranging from global corporations like Nike, Jordan, All-State, Acura, athletes, and celebrities like Kevin Hart, Steph Curry, prestigious universities, startups, and everyone in between. We believe in putting family first, being team players, staying humble, and being obsessed with our clients’ success. We provide a unique and energetic culture that fosters creativity and camaraderie.

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      You’re knowledgeable and skilled in Web, Branding, large-scale marketing campaigns, and more. You’re a jack of all trades in creative software, but you also have a passion for design beyond the screen. You understand that great design is in the nuance—that subtle cultural references should be woven into the things you create and every project should be approached with the end-user at the center of it. You love working on a team with diverse perspectives and you’re willing to learn from as well as build up those around you. At the core, you’re a problem solver with a knack for making things look good.


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