Let’s be honest: This year’s Super Bowl was overwhelmingly boring. The New England Patriots beat Lost Angeles Rams 13-3, in a low scoring game that had the energy and excitement of an August preseason game. Because of that, the commercials really became the main event – which is what brings me here today. Here are the most memorable Super Bowl TV ads, for better or worse.
● Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance
This commercial easily took the number-one spot. It was clever, funny, and on target. Featuring Jason Bateman as an elevator operator, this ad compares the pains of car shopping to root canals, jury duty, and “the talk” – with each situation having their own floor. When a couple gets to the car shopping floor, it’s a depressing dealership – and they tell the operator that they used Hyundai’s Shopper Assurance, which brings them up to a much nicer floor.
● Bud Light/Game of Thrones
If you’re going to drop money on a Super Bowl ad, you might as well go all out. And that’s exactly what Bud Light did for this commercial – partnering with Game of Thrones, one of the most-watched shows on television. While it starts out as any Bud Light commercial – it has a twist ending that made a lot of GoT fans excited for April (the final season premier).
● NFL 100
This was a fun commercial featuring dozens of NFL stars, both current and retired, which was a smart move in reaching different audiences. After a decorative football falls off of a cake at an NFL black tie event, a pick-up game ensues where servers are knocked over, tables are broken, and we can assume a few bones are, too.
● Mint Mobile
As for grossest Super Bowl ad, this one takes the carrot cake. It compares your current phone bill to chunky milk (with some lovely visuals) – as both of them just aren’t right. However, in the end, it made me associate Mint Mobile with chunky milk. And if saving money on my phone bill is going to cost me peace of mind, I’ll spend a little extra each month.
● Burger King - #EATLIKEANDY
What this commercial lacked in milk chunks it made up for in confusion. It’s 45 seconds of Andy Warhol unwrapping a burger and struggling with a glass ketchup bottle, following with a hashtag #EATLIKEANDY. According to a few sources, his diet actually contained a lot of sugar. Nobody should eat like Andy.
● Michelob Ultra - Robot
Worried that the robots are coming for your jobs and to physically outmatch you in every sport? Well, at least they can never drink your beer – at least that’s what Anheuser-Busch was trying to convey in this unoriginal, boring commercial.
● Michelob Ultra ASMR
Anheuser-Busch shelling out millions for a spot didn’t surprise me – it was the fact that they spent that money on an autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR)-themed ad. If you’re unfamiliar, ASMR is a fairly recent YouTube trend. Its videos feature quiet sounds, like whispers, that illicit a tingling sensation/relaxation in the listener.
This spot features the amplified sounds of Zoe Kravitz’s whispers, her fingernails clicking against a glass bottle, and the fizzling bubbles of a freshly poured beer. However, because ASMR is such a niche trend, I feel like the ad went over many viewers heads – leading them to wonder why Zoe Kravitz was whispering in the woods.
My first thought when I saw this ad was “that looks like the Bumble icon” – followed by “oh wow, that was the Bumble icon.” I clearly know more about dating apps’ icons than their ad budgets. I was surprised that Bumble, a fairly recent company, had the money for a Super Bowl spot – much less one with Serena Williams.
Simply, the commercial was brilliant. It features a monologue from Williams saying she’d never be where she was had she not made the first move – a smart concept for a dating app where women have to initiate conversation with matches. I was even more impressed when I found out that this commercial was written and executed in just six weeks.
Overall, I thought a ton of brands hit the mark this year, while others left a lot to be desired (kinda like the game).
Now we want to know your thoughts – winners, losers, and surprises. Let’s start a convo here: @QuattroPhilly.