Another Super Bowl has come and gone. Those who aren’t into the game (and let’s be honest, for us Clevelanders, we never will be unless the Browns are playing) are usually into the long-awaited commercials. What did you think of this year’s “ad bowl?” We share some of our favorite and least favorites, below!
Dave Simon: I had a tough time choosing a favorite commercial during Superbowl 50; not because there were so many commercials of quality, but because there were so very few. They were for the most part weird and creepy, or just unmemorable. The worst crop I can remember since I realized there was such a thing as a “Superbowl commercial.” So, the bar was set pretty low, but for what it’s worth, the one that I thought cleared that bar was the Jeep commercial titled “Portraits.” Elegantly understated, with evocative black and white photos, this one pulled me in as no other commercial did.
Dave Rosenberg: I miss the good old days of Super Bowl TV advertising; these certainly were not overly memorable. My favorites: I loved the spot for Jeep that used simple black and white photos of historic Americana and occasionally sprinkled in a shot of any older jeep. Thought it was emotional and really tied the company into the fabric of America, which I’m sure was their intent. Plus it was such a clean and simple idea. The Doritos spot with the ultrasound because most of the time I find humorous commercials don’t do a good job of connecting well with the product and therefore you struggle to remember who the spot was for, but not with Doritos, they usually do this very well. This one ultrasound spot was hilarious and yet tied in well with Doritos. I also likes the Skittles commercial with Steven Tyler’s face. I probably never will eat a Skittles now and NOT think of his face.
There were many spots that were so forgettable that I am struggling to coming up with the worst. I know that Toyota made a huge spend with its Prius Getaway campaign but I have no idea what that really stands for. Maybe that Prius car are cool, not sure I’m buying this one.
Marisa: I thought all the ads were terrible. The ones that I thought were extra terrible included the one with the dog driving the car (I think it was a Subaru ad) and some weird Mountain Dew ad with a fuzzy monkey baby.
Connie: I got a kick out of the “Beige Socks” commercial for KIA probably because I am a fan of Christopher Walken and the analogy is pretty darn good. I am throwing away all my beige socks and replacing them with polka dotted ones.
Kara: I also loved the message of the Jeep “Portraits” commercial. It showed how Jeep’s brand has evolved over time. The imagery made this commercial incredibly powerful!
Rachel: Best was Doritos – “Ultrasound.” Unlike a lot of people in the office, I actually had a lot of favorites! One that sticks out is the Doritos ultrasound commercial. Because, well, I’m 9 months pregnant and this hits just a little too close to home. I can totally see my husband eating snacks in the ultrasound and/or delivery room.
Worst was “Puppy Monkey Baby” – Mountain Dew. So weird. So disturbing. I felt so uncomfortable after watching it!
Nellie: T-Mobile’s way of using Steve Harvey to announce some more inaccurate information was on point, clever, and ballsy (just like the name of the spot)! In terms of pure entertainment, the “NFL Super Bowl Babies” ad will win every time. It’s just too long for TV.
The worst one for me was the Apartments.com spot with Jeff Goldblum, Lil’ Wayne, and “George Washington”. It made zero sense and if I were hunting for an apartment, that scenario would seem like a total nightmare for me.
Austin: My favorite Super Bowl commercial was the Norton Furniture/Taco bell ad. This campaign was unbelievably innovative. For a global brand to research crazy local commercials and piggy-back off them is so awesome.
Melissa: Maybe it was that the game was a little boring, or maybe the wine dulled my senses, but there weren’t really any standouts for me this year. I liked a few and didn’t like a few, but overall felt kind of meh. I think Taco Bell’s strategy of partnering with local advertisers in a few markets was interesting. I’d love to see how well it performs for them, but the idea was unique for sure. I liked the Hyundai “First Date” spot with Kevin Hart, the Doritos “Ultrasound” spot, and Amazon Echo because I love Alec Baldwin and I actually came away from it wanting to know more about the product, which is the whole point. My favorite overall, well-executed, integrated campaign was MINI USA: “Defy Labels.” I thought the message was great, the concept was great, and the social component leading up to the game was well done. And I came away from it with a new appreciation for MINIs.
The “Puppy Monkey Baby” and the “Avocados from Space” spots top my list of bad spots, but it seems like I’m in the minority there, so maybe I’m missing something?
Joe: My favorite ads were Budweiser’s “Not Backing Down” because…America!; Jeep, because I enjoyed the nostalgic take on Jeep’s roll in history. Also…America!; and Mini Cooper. The message they were sending was perfect for this day and age. They were pushing the message of acceptance and individuality. It;s a clever campaign that I think will speak to a lot of people. Bravo Mini!