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The Year the Ads Eclipsed the Game

Dig into our top picks for the Super Bowl ads this year!


As an avid football fan, Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite holidays! Yes, I said it…holiday. Afterall, we shop, cook, throw parties and sit glued to the television.  Brands spend the equivalent of the GDP of a small country to hold your attention.

According to Deadline, this year, the big game had the worst viewership in 10 years. But companies still spent an average of $5MM dollars for each ad spot. That’s an insane money grab for both the NFL and the broadcasting network.

So where did that money go this year? I’ve broken down my top picks into the usual buckets.

Nostalgia

Walmart 

The most memorable cars from all the movies and television shows we loved? Score one for Walmart!  Pop culture references always make me feel good. It was fun to watch people yell out the movies the vehicles were from. Not to mention, I love their pickup service, which is actually really good.

Budweiser

Seeing the Clydesdales was the best, and they’re possibly the most iconic brand characters ever. Couple that with Bob Dylan and what do you get? Katie crying on the couch wondering why her parents never got her that dalmatian.

Humor

Procter & Gamble Colgate

So relatable! Close talkers, like the one portrayed by Luke Wilson definitely need good toothpaste, #appropriate.  Does anyone remember that Seinfeld episode? Hilarious.

Amazon Alexa

Who doesn’t love Alexa? This device has taken over the world (and another Super Bowl ad). Not only is the commercial funny, it stirs the imagination about all the potential Alexa uses. If I’m honest, I’d probably love to have some of the misses that were shown in this video. Stars were used very well here -- not too flashy and totally made sense.

Heartfelt

Toyota

Meet Toni Harris. She is one of the first women to receive a scholarship to play college football…as a free safety.  I liked this ad specifically for its heartfelt and feminist tones. Go Toni! And go Toyota Rav 4! Neither fell prey to assumptions in their development.

Message. Received.

Coca Cola

Went the diversity route this year with no star power, just a pure, honest message that everyone drinks coke…like EVERYONE. And at the end of the day, we all drop our cans and bottles in the recycling bin like everyone else…hopefully.

The Winner

NFL 100 Gala

This ad falls under all three categories. It was the game we actually wanted to watch! You can say what you want about the NFL and their tactics -- agree or disagree with their policies -- they know their consumer. For the past few years they’ve done an awesome job speaking to them. They recognize that it’s about emotion, family and tradition for us. This latest entry had all of that and more, but unfortunately, it had to end, and back to the “Super Bowl” reality we returned.

 

Honorable Mentions

Stella Artois – The Usual

Devour Foods – Food Porn

Planters – Crunch Time

Hyundai – The Elevator

Verizon – First Responders

 

Want to watch all the ads? Here's a link for you.  Let us know what your favorites were! Until next year!

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