In what’s become something of a tradition around here, we live-tweeted out profiles of many of the startups and tech companies whose ads appeared in the Super Bowl last night. The Super Bowl continues to be the biggest night of the year not just for football, but for advertising. Even with all the hand-wringing about cord cutters and the rise of streaming media, Super Bowl ads still reach millions of viewers and take on a life of their own on YouTube and in posts like this.
Here’s our rundown of the startups who left it all out on the field last night, advertising-wise:
“The Internet Wants You”
This year, old faithful GoDaddy started things off. The firm has become more acquisitive of late.
Unicorn Airbnb, valued at $29B and backed by Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Ashton Kutcher, and many others, unveiled this message of openness and unity, featuring a diverse array of faces from around the world.
“Bai, Bai, Bai.”
Bai brands, acquired in November 2016 at a valuation of $1.7B, called in the big guns for their ad: Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken, giving a performance only he could pull off.
“Just how far…?”
MacNeil Auto, a private company that makes floor mats and accessories, was back for another year with a show-stopping Super Bowl ad showcasing their stain-blocking floor mats. The company holds patents for things like a “helically stackable container” and a “modular floor tile system with expansion joint.”
An angry John Malkovich, clearly tired of other people being him, should have used Squarespace to set up “JohnMalkovich.com” before someone else beat him to it. The site-design company’s investors include Index Ventures, Accel, and General Atlantic.
84 Lumber Company
“The Journey Begins”
The USA’s largest building materials retailer, with $2.5B in revenue, got in on the big show with this evocative, timely spot.
“Big Game First Spot with Jason Statham & Gal Gadot”
Now-public Wix also highlighted their website building service in their star-packed, punch-filled, explosion-tastic ad.
“What a Year”
One of the highest-valued fintech unicorns, SoFi bet big on an overtime ad and ended up making a repeat showing. Well played.
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