The Super Bowl is over, all the guacamole has been eaten, and it’s time to dissect the commercials! A lot of the ads this year were really sappy (Coke, most of the car ads) and/or kind of somber (Nationwide, most of the car ads). It’s always interesting to see the various opinions on the ads. I thought that Budweiser “Lost Puppy” spot was way too sappy, but a lot of people loved it. With much deliberation, here are my picks for best Super Bowl ads:
Microsoft: Braylon O’Neill
A number of the ads went for inspirational messages, but this one stuck out to me because it actually tied into the product. The commercial features 6-year old Braylon, who has been empowered by his advanced prosthetic legs. It’s a cool story, and a nice, humanizing reminder of the positive things that can be achieved through technology. Plus, there’s a shot of Braylon dressed as a Ninja Turtle! In contrast, Toyota’s ad with badass Paralympian Amy Purdy makes her look awesome, but doesn’t have much to do with the Camry.
Snickers: Brady Bunch
This ad takes the classic Brady Bunch scene where Marcia breaks her nose, and recasts Marcia as Danny Trejo (and Steve Buscemi as Jan). The “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign has been airing since 2010, but it’s still funny. Great casting! Great delivery! Don’t mess with Danny Trejo!
Clash of Clans: Revenge
I’m not into gaming and I usually tune out ads for video games, but this one got my attention and made me laugh. It features Liam Neeson dramatically vowing his revenge after losing in the game. Casting a well-known actor imitating his popular action persona gave the commercial more mainstream appeal than the typical gaming ad. Presumably, developer Supercell is hoping the spot will generate more mainstream brand awareness for the game.
T-Mobile: Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler
T-Mobile aired a few ads at the game this year, but this one was my favorite. It features the two comedians talking to each other on the phone in their respective mansions, bragging about and one-upping each other over their T-Mobile Wi-fi phone feature. This spot is quite witty (“you sound great in my hydroponic kale garden”) while managing to effectively demonstrate the advantages of the service.
Loctite Glue: Positive Feelings
I debated a bit on this one. This peppy, 30-second dance party spot is kind of weird and purposefully not very polished. It wasn’t the funniest or the most poignant ad, but it definitely got my attention. I’d never heard of Loctite Glue before, but I have now. The company reportedly spent their entire marketing budget for the year to air this ad, and hopefully it will pay off for them in brand awareness. So kudos for taking chances and doing something different.
Other observations that were scrawled in my notes:
Is yellow really the most popular Skittles color? (Not red?)
That’s a great idea to set The Voice in a post-apocalyptic wasteland! Now I’m just disappointed.
Terminator: Genisys looks terrible and I can’t wait to see it. Arnold, I’ve been waiting for you, too.