The Super Bowl is about more than football, viewers flocking to their screens to see what new commercials big brands have cooked up each year (and for many this past Sunday, to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift). 2024’s healthcare Super Bowl commercials tackled a range of topics, from father-daughter bonding to body image.
Let’s dive into some of the standouts.
Cetaphil’s Super Bowl commercial seamlessly weaves heartfelt storytelling and celebrity appeal together to create a memorable 90-second spot.
We see a forlorn father trying to bond with his daughter over football, but she shows no interest in sharing his excitement, that is, until she hears the announcer mention Taylor Swift being in attendance on the TV.
The father buys his daughter a jersey with the number 13 on it, Swift’s lucky number, while he wears friendship bracelets we can assume his daughter made for him, also a Swift trademark.
They sit down to watch the game, finally finding common ground.
It’s a genius use of Swift’s impact on this year’s football season and her influence on younger women, giving her credit for bringing fathers and daughters together.
Where does Cetaphil come in? Cetaphil’s placement of its own product is the only thing lacking in this commercial, as it feels a bit forced. We see the daughter doing her nighttime skincare routine before watching the game, which is quite early, given the game starts at 6:30 and people generally moisturize right before bed.
The placement that feels most natural is when the father swipes some Cetaphil moisturizer under his eyes like an athlete's anti-glare swipes of black. That's a subtle, fitting way to unite football and Cetaphil. It also loops Cetaphil in as an agent of the familial bonding, the dad using it to connect with his daughter in a goofy, endearing way.
Dove’s Super Bowl commercial is short and hard-hitting, covering the pressures of looking a certain way as a girl in sports in just 30 seconds.
Annie’s “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” plays over a montage of girls getting knocked down while practicing various sports, from ice skating to soccer, but the falls don’t deter them, their bodies do.
Dove drops a staggering statistic to hold our attention: 45% of girls quit sports by age 14.
Dove attributes this to the body image issues that plague a large number of women from youth onward and urges for a change to inspire confidence in girls so they continue to play the sports they love.
This commercial is so Dove. Dove is always wonderfully consistent. This commercial is perfectly aligned with its branding, centered around body acceptance and loving oneself.
Being a positive brand, Dove's commercial closes with a girl, who’s previously shown frowning at her appearance, jumping into the pool to join her friends, shedding her insecurities.
The commercial may be brief, but it takes us on an emotional journey, leaving us with hope.
Pfizer’s gameday commercial was an unexpected delight and has been making the rounds among the healthcare marketing community on LinkedIn today.
Set to Queen’s irresistible anthem “Don't Stop Me Now,” it’s a celebration of 175 years of Pfizer and generations of brilliant scientists changing the world of medicine.
A cast of relevant paintings, sculptures, textbooks, etc. come alive to “sing” along to Queen, including a charming bust of Hippocrates and a photo of Einstein.
By broadening its celebration beyond itself, Pfizer masterfully deflects attention and avoids heavy-handed self-promotion while still successfully patting itself on the back for millions of viewers.
The raucous display quiets and settles into a touching look at a child being released from the hospital, doctors and nurses cheering her on. In its resolution, Pfizer’s “Let’s Outdo Cancer” campaign is brought to viewers' attention.
This year’s healthcare Super Bowl commercials ran with humor, emotional depth, or both, all routes seeing success.