So Punny Super Bowl Commercial

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If you didn’t know what Bai Antioxidant Infusion Drinks were prior to the 2017 Super Bowl, I’m sure you quickly found out once you saw Christopher Walken recite the famous line from NSYNC’s popular song “Bye Bye Bye.” Walken then looks over to Justin Timberlake and they look at each other for a few seconds and then look back over at the camera where the Bai drink is sitting on a table and the song “Bye Bye Bye” blasts out in a effort to make a “punny” joke.



This Super Bowl ad was marketing genius combining a catchy pun, nostalgia, and two admired celebrities all in one advertisement. The Bai brand partnered with well-known and admired celebrities Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken to promote their brand. This was a smart choice because most people know both of celebrities. Also, the brand’s target demographic is Millennials and Generation Z. So, choosing Timberlake to do this advertisement was the best idea…especially since they featured his old boy band’s song. Because most Millennials and Generation Z people can relate to this song since it was during their childhood/teenage years.

They also risked having a few seconds of no talking when Timberlake and Walken look at each other. Super Bowl commercials are already so expensive just for a 30 second ad…so you want to use your time wisely within the commercial. However, in this case I think they made a good decision in incorporating the pause because Timberlake has an odd look on his face as if he is thinking about the “punny” joke Walken just made.

What do you think? Do you think they promoted their brand well? What could have they done better?

That’s it for now…


-Emily Holt


29 thoughts on “So Punny Super Bowl Commercial

  1. I laugh every time I see this commercial. I think they promoted their brand well and used their time in the ad wisely. I feel the pause in the ad was an effective way to get the message and joke across, but I do feel like the ad didn’t show enough of the actual product and why people should buy it.

  2. I definitely think this commercial was great for this brand. I mean who doesn’t love puns and NSYNC’s song “Bye Bye Bye”? This was definitely a genius ad to promote the brand and it for sure caught my attention. I agree with the comment above, they could have showed their product a little bit longer than they did.

  3. I love this commercial! I think the use of words (or lack thereof) creates a “straight and to the point” vibe for the commercial. The nature of the pun and the way it is presented here is what makes it funny. I think it’s a well executed ad.

  4. I had actually not seen this commercial ad before, but I know of bai and have had a few in the past. I thought this commercial was done really well and created a suspenseful but comedic atmosphere. I think the pause although slightly risky considering their time frame did a good job communicating the message and the pun that was set out for people watching to get and relate with. They maybe could have added a little bit more of the drinks benefits but overall I think it was well done.

  5. This commercial always makes me laugh when I watch it. I think that the brand did a great job at marketing their commercial because the song is pretty well known and the people that this is going to appeal to are the 90’s babies that grew up with this song.

  6. This commercial utilized celebrity power in an extremely clever way! Merging Timberlake’s “Bye Bye Bye” song was the icing on the cake to promote the drink brand. I also find it fascinating how the target audience was Millennials and Generation Z and the use of these specific celebrities are directed right at those groups.This is a really great example of how celebrity power can make a huge difference in advertisements.

    • I definitely agree that the commercial successfully utilized celebrity power. Justin Timberlake being the halftime performer added extra flare to the ad and its power, especially with the use of the NSYNC song choice… if other Super Bowl viewers of the mentioned generations were like me when I saw his performance, I’m sure there were definitely some disappointed viewers when they heard him perform some old classics like “Sexy Back” but didn’t perform any NSYNC. It kinda felt like a tragedy, but Bai using it in their ad helped to heal that wound just a little.

  7. This commercial is one of my absolute favorites, I mean who doesn’t love “Bye Bye Bye.” I think this was an incredibly smart branding move for Bai water, it’s memorable and very punny. They took popular celebrities, a beloved song, and used silence to their advantage. I actually think the silence was a smart move, in such a sound filled few hours during the Super Bowl a moment of silence catches the viewers off guard, but ends it on a funny note to pull you back in with the song.

  8. I think this commercial was spot on. Justin Timberlake’s “bye, bye, bye” was one of the most popular songs when our generation was younger and it definitely appeals to Millennials and Generation X. I agree with the above comments with that they could have showed their product slightly more, but sometimes the humor of a commercial makes the branding more than a photo of a product.

  9. This ad does a great way of catching the viewers attention with an actor, in all seriousness, delivering the lines to a pop song of the 2000s. Immediately the lyrics are known to the targeted audience. The camera then pulls out to reveal the perfect choice of the group from *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, easily recognizable by most–if not all–Millennials and Generation Z. This commercial does a great job of combining a catchy pun and classic humor with celebrity endorsement in order to promote their brand’s name.

  10. I think Bai did a great job creating a commercial that it’s audience would remember! They brought light to company that might not be as well known as others by using clever puns and popular celebrities. In today’s market, the outlandish commercials are the ones that grab the most attention, and they definitely did that with this one. Now, after seeing that commercial multiple times, all I can think about when I hear that song is the drink they were promoting!

  11. I love the use of the pun in this commercial because it gets the audience’s attention and makes their brand seem fun. This commercial took advantage of celebrity power in a good and funny way. They used their time wisely in order to get their product out as well as their brand known. By using NSYNC’s song “Bye Bye Bye” they are able to seem relatable to the generation they are trying to reach. I do agree with the above post that the product should be shown more in the commercial instead in the last bit of the ad.

  12. I love this commercial! I remember so many people asking me if I had seen “that funny Bai commercial” after the Super Bowl. “Bye Bye Bye” was a great move, because just about everyone I know has heard of that song. I think nostalgia plays a major role in successful ads such as this one too, because it can cause the audience to think of memories associated with something, or the times they have heard a song such as this one. I also like that they used Justin Timberlake who appeals to the younger target audience, and Christopher Walken for the older audience.

  13. I loved this commercial so much. Both of the celebrities, Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken were a good comedic contrast to include in the commercial. Like mentioned above, I agree that this commercial did a great job of knowing their target audience. Using two very easily, recognizable faces on a brand of juice that isn’t as commonly recognizable to some people worked in their favor. Most commercials that use celebrity endorsement end up looking cheesy in my opinion, but the at first subtle, then not so subtle insert of the N’Sync lyric hit the commercial sweet spot. I also enjoyed this in particular because this commercial helped me realize I have been pronouncing the brand’s name wrong all these years. This commercial would have been perfect for this year’s super bowl with JT as the halftime show!

  14. This is still my favorite commercial of all time solely due to its phenomenal simplicity. In the comedy entertainment industry, it seems to me that cheap puns and absurdism yield the loudest reaction from younger consumers. Superbowl LII featured Danny Devito as a “Human M&M” running around NYC asking people to eat him, Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage rapping famous hip-hop songs in a battle theme, and David Harbour infiltrating every 30 second spot to claim it as an ad for Tide which puts him in strange situations throughout the game. This trend of scripting prolific renowned entertainers like Justin and Christopher as funny and childish characters has drawn consumers ten-fold in the past few super bowls. I LOVE commercials like this one.

  15. I love this commercial so much! I think that the company did a great job at getting peoples’ attention by using well-known celebrities as well as using the popular throwback “Bye Bye Bye”. I also agree with Kayla Overton’s comment about having more screen-time with the actual product for viewers to see.

  16. This was a pretty cool commercial in my opinion! I always see Bai in stores along with all the other drinks & just kind of pay it no mind. I think I’m going to give it a try now just for the sake that they put so much time/effort into their 30 second super bowl ad haha.

  17. Such a good commercial! The use of the two celeberties were briliant in this case at it appealed to two genereation of people, the younger generation and the older as well. Repeating the word of the brand by using an old song by justin timberlake himself brought back a lot of memories for a lot of people im sure. At the same time as it emphasised the word “bai” which is the name of the brand. A fun and very memorable commercial.

  18. this is, in my opinion, a well thought of “punny” commercial. I, however, HATE it! hahah. I don’t know but for some reason it annoys me and I am not a huge fan of Justin Timberlake or bai drinks! I agree with another comment posted a little earlier that it gets the point across but doesn’t really tell much about the product. definitely gets Justin good publicity though which also says something about the point they are trying to make with it. overall for sure a good commercial and one a lot, if not everyone can relate to, because lets face it, who doesn’t know who Justin Timberlake is?!

  19. This commercial combines word play with a little bit of good millennials humor, as it appeals to the 90’s while adding a little old school character in there to create a bridge between the two. Brand recognition plays a huge part in this, merging ‘Bai’ and Justin Timberlake’s classic NSYNC song to formulate a connection between the now college age students and the product to target a specific audience.

  20. I love it when commercials use comedy to advertise their products! I enjoy the pun that they used as well as the celebrities. The song choice was good because it was a hit in the early 2000’s and can still be recognized today. I feel that the product placement could have been a little better. Thankfully, they showed the product at the end and described a little about what it was otherwise I would have been super confused.

  21. Having a celebrity in commercials, especially commercials with a “healthier product” in my opinion is always an excellent approach. My only question is why those two celebrities? Most of Generation Z wouldn’t have grown up listening to N’SYNC, and probably couldn’t name one movie Christopher Walken was in. If Bai’s goal truly was to target Millennials and Generation Z, celebrities that both could recognize immediately and have some sort of pre-emotional attachment to such as, Justin Bieber & Ansel Elgort. I personally, grew up listening to N’SYNC, so I think that the commercial was hilarious and a clever way to expose their product and make it memorable to the audience, but I can’t help but think if it had that same influence on Generation Z.

  22. I think that this commercial is genius as well. I believe that the stars that they incorporated were very well chosen. Especially coming from someone who was watching the commercials, I felt that that this commercial was very funny and well put together. It even included almost an element of surprise when the audience realized that Timberlake was there as well. Something I have never thought about was the fact that super bowl commercials are so expensive, why incorporate a long pause to take up time? This is a very important question. However I agree with you, that the pause was definitely necessary in order to get the idea across that the company is trying to include. I enjoyed reading this post, it was extremely relevant and fun to read. It even brought something to my attention I have never thought about before!

  23. This was my first time watching this commercial and I couldn’t help but laugh! One of my personal issues with Bai, was simply how to actually pronounce the drink’s name. I agree with Emily and say this commercial brought some recognition to the brand that appeals to all audiences!

  24. I think this advertisement was effective in trying to make Bai’s brand well known. I honestly haven’t even thought about this brand before until seeing this ad. I do agree with some of the other repliers that it really doesn’t talk at all about the product itself but I think the goal was just to get people to know about the brand. Because they used Justin Timberlake in the ad they were very effective in drawing attention to their company.

  25. I thought this commercial was carried out extremely well. They used relevant people that are very well known to advertise a drink that not many people know how to pronounce the name of. The Bai company probably realized this, and made this commercial. This probably resulted in people buying more drinks, now that they know how to pronounce the name of the drink! The commercial made perfect sense and seemed to well thought out. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  26. I hadn’t heard of Bai before now and didn’t watch the Super Bowl, so this is my first exposure to the brand. I always think a pun is a good choice when it comes to raising brand awareness and creating advertising, because even if it happens to be cheesy, it’s memorable. (It’s the same reason that, when people ask how to pronounce my last name, I answer, “Crucial–as in it’s crucial you remember how to pronounce my last name.” It’s dorky as heck, but folks always remember how to say it after that!)

    Associating the brand and pun with a song was even more effective, because now every time I hear “Bye Bye Bye,” I’ll be thinking Bai-Bai-Bai, even if it’s just in passing. It’s like lowkey brainwashing. It’s like what Godin says in tonight’s reading about forming memories and associations with brands: whatever memory or association we, as viewers, might have with NSYNC or the song “Bye Bye Bye” can now be applied to Bai. Bai is betting that, for the most part, the audience has positive, nostalgic, compelling associations and memories formed with the song.

  27. I just watched this commercial for the first time and I think it’s great! “Bye bye bye” by NSYNC was one of my favorite songs when I was a little girl so it was definitely nostalgic. I think they endorsed the Bai brand well and used their time in the ad sensibly. The pause in the ad was an effective way to get the message across and without it, the joke would have seemed rushed and not as funny. Sometimes silence can communicate a message stronger than words with the use of correct body language and eye contact. This was a great commercial!

  28. I think this commercial was great! What a clever idea! I think they promoted the brand well as well as incorporated humor. This was a great way to utilize 30 seconds to its full potential, even with using less words. Sometimes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with words, so I appreciate how this commercial lets the audience soak in the punny-ness. Smart thinking!

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