The Best (and Worst) Super Bowl 52 Ads

Now that we’ve all cleaned the buffalo chicken dip from our shirts (#TideAd), enveloped our entire home with Febreze (#BleepDontStink), and rode off into the sunset in our brand new Lexus LS 500 (#BlackPanther), we can look back and reflect on the advertising industry’s best of show.

But first, this year it seems particularly necessary to point out a few ads that fell flat. Before we get to the good stuff, here are our least favorite Super Bowl LII ads.

Our Least Favorites:

Dodge – Built To Serve

Throwing together a bunch of feel-good, people-helping-people video clips, mixing in your product every once in a while, and playing an inspiring speech out of context does not always equal a good Super Bowl ad.

Bud Light – Dilly Dilly Bud Knight

Hey Bud Light, we are over the whole “Dilly, Dilly” thing.

Diet Coke Twisted Mango – Groove

This one just missed the mark. Is it supposed to be funny? Or maybe it’s supposed to be cool. Either way, it doesn’t make me want a Diet Coke Twisted Mango.

Phew, hopefully you made it this far! Now let’s go through some of our favorites. We will start with some 3-star ads, 4-star ads, 5-star ads, then conclude with our favorite overall Super Bowl 52 ad!

3 Stars:

Amazon – Alexa Loses Her Voice

Netflix – The Cloverfield Paradox

4 Stars:

Tourism Australia – Dundee

NFL – Touchdown Celebrations to Come

Toyota – Good Odds

5 Stars:

Jeep – Jeep Jurassic

Budweiser – Stand By You

M&Ms – Danny DeVito, Human

Our Favorite Super Bowl 52 Ad:

Tide  – It’s a Tide Ad

Here it is! Our favorite ad is actually a series of ads that were funny, meta, and kept you wondering whether every commercial was just another ad for Tide. They really hit the mark with a whole series of ads spread out throughout the big game that poked fun at other Super Bowl ads.

The Best Ads in (and around) Super Bowl 51

This year’s Super Bowl was full of funny, innovative, political, and emotional ads from a lot of the usual advertisers, but also some new players. Below are some of this year’s best ads from the big game, but first let’s look at some of the noteworthy buzz from around the Super Bowl’s ads.

84 Lumber was one of the new players to the Super Bowl Advertising game. Fox, the network that aired Super Bowl 51, deemed 84 Lumber’s ad too political for the Super Bowl and would not air the full version during the game. 84 Lumber held back on releasing the full, controversial video on YouTube until halftime, but released “The Journey Begins,” well before the game. The video went viral, in part due to its controversial nature, and garnered 1.1 millions views before the game on Sunday. Within 24 hours of the game, the full video, “The Entire Journey,” pulled in well over 3 million views.

Alfa Romeo, the Italian luxury and race car maker, made quite the introduction as well. With three Super Bowl spots, the company certainly got people thinking twice about which sports car manufacturers are available.

Although Tostitos and Uber didn’t see any air time during the game, those two brands came together and took a different approach to advertising for the big game. Tostitos released a limited-edition bag that can tell when you’ve been drinking and offered $10 off an Uber ride home from your Super Bowl party. Anyone can get behind the stand against drinking and driving, and this was a great way to let people know that Tostitos and Uber are on your side.

Now let’s dive right into some of our favorites ads from Super Bowl 51!

Three Stars:

Snickers – Live Commercial

First, you may have heard the big news about the first ever live Super Bowl ad that Snickers ran during the big game. Well, technically they weren’t the first. Only Schlitz beer can take credit for that, thanks to a 1981 live blind beer tasting during Super Bowl XV. The Snickers ad, starring Adam driver, was funny and stayed true to an already-existing and recognizable ad campaign. Here’s the ad:

Here are some other three-star winners:

Buick – Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr

Alfa Romeo – Riding Dragons, or any of their Superbowl ads

What is the best (albeit expensive) way to to get into the American market? Three Superbowl spots.

T-Mobile – #BagofUnlimited

This one was genuinely funny (in our humble opinion), but falls short due to the classic “I loved that ad, but can’t even remember what company it was an advertisement for.”

Wendy’s – Cold Storage

We liked the website Wendy’s created for it’s “competitor.”

 

Kia Nero – Hero’s Journey

 

Four Stars:

Coca-Cola – It’s Beautiful

Just the kind of feel-good message that America needs right now and have come to expect and love from Coca-Cola.

 

GoDaddy – The Internet Wants You

 

Audi – Daughter

 

AT&T – Mailman

This one hits close to home. I think we have all been surprised by an unexpected price increase.

 

Netflix – Stranger Things 2

I legitimately thought this one was an ad for Eggo waffles from the start. But it was just Stranger Things doing what Stranger Things does best: millenials nostagia.

 

A Cure For Wellness – Take the Cure

This one gets 4 stars for its creepiness alone.

 

King’s Hawaiian – False Cabinet

 

Amazon Echo – Any of the three ads that appeared during Super Bowl 51

 

Mr. Clean – Cleaner of Your Dreams

 

Bud Light – Ghost Spuds

 

AMC – The Walking Dead Returns

 

Five Stars:

Airbnb – We Accept

 

Wonderful Pistacios – Ernie Gets Physical

 

Bai – Christopher Walken & Justin Timberlake

This one is funny, teaches us the correct way to pronounce “Bai,” and you actually remember what company the ad is for!

 

Tide – Terry Bradshaw

This one was innovative in that the start of the ad was tied (see what I did there?) right into the live broadcast before going to the commercial segment.

 

National Geographic – Genius

Right after Lady Gaga’s halftime show, we got to see Einstein playing “Bad Romance” on the Violin in an awesome commercial! This was a great way to tie “Genius” to the halftime show, and a great way to introduce a new series.

 

Our Favorite Super Bowl 51 Ad:

Budweiser – Born the Hard Way

Emotional, historical, and beautifully produced, this ad will fire up the entrepreneurial spirit in anyone. It also ties the message directly to the company. Great job, Anheuser-Busch, for informing us all of how your company came to be, and the struggle you fought along the way.

Finished, Not Perfect

Jake Parker has a great message:

“Finished, Not Perfect.”

Now, we strive for Perfect, but setting the bar too high may lead to a few problems down the line, and being realistic is better than being lucky.

The Breakdown

Mr. Parker’s words of wisdom first appear to be just for illustrators or artists, but this way of thinking can be applied to pretty much any project. Every project (yes, every project) can be broken down into three elements:

  1. Time
    Projects take time, and with time comes management, planning, milestones, and goals. Great things come from investing time and effort.
  2. Money
    Projects cost money (even non-profit projects, because everyone needs to eat), and where there is money, there is a budget, and where there is a budget, there needs to be a cost effective return on the deliverable.
  3. Final Deliverable
    No matter how many concepts, proofs, roughs, or iterations you have, the final deliverable is really the only thing that matters. In more recent times, this idea has become skewed (thankfully) with the process of being Agile.

Henrik Kniberg goes into further detail with Agile & Lean development. It’s a process of building, trying, fixing, and upgrading.

Finished, not perfect.

We just needed a way to get from point A to point B.

The Wrap Up

While we don’t live in a world like the movie In Time, Finished, Not Perfect is a great way to learn from your mistakes, perfect a skill, finalize a project, and GET. THINGS. DONE.

Contact us today to start your own project.

Theodore Levitt on What People Want

People don’t want quarter-inch drills.
They want quarter-inch holes.

The Best Super Bowl 50 Ads

The pizza and wings have been eaten, Peyton Manning hugged his family and drank his Budweiser, and Chris Martin walked away unscathed from a fierce dance off. Now the only things to talk about are the commercials from this year’s big game. Although this was a toned-down year for the ad industry’s best of show, we combed through all the weird, heartwarming, hilarious, resonating, or just plain boring to bring you the best Super Bowl ads from 2016!

Here are the runner ups (our winners are found at the bottom):

Bud Light

The Bud Light Party Featuring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan

 

Squarespace

Real Talk with Key and Peele

 

Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans

What We Were Thinking

 

Hyundai Elantra

Ryanville Featuring Ryan Reynolds

 

Heinz

Wiener Stampede

 

Budweiser

#NotBackingDown

 

UnitedHealthcare

Delivery

 

T-Mobile

Restricted Bling

 

Subaru

Dog Tested

 

Hyundai Genesis

First Date featuring Kevin Hart

 

And the winner for most unique ad goes to:

Taco Bell

Quesalupa featuring Cleveland’s Norton Furniture


There was a lot of talk about a Puppymonkeybaby, but there was a disconnect between the commercial and the product. That’s why the award for most unique ad goes to Taco Bell, which showcased local “celebrities” from all across the country. If you want a few additional laughs, check out some of the other Quesalupa ads from across the country.

 

And the winner for Funniest ad goes to:

T-Mobile

Drop The Balls featuring Steve Harvey

Two hilarious T-Mobile ads. Take that, Verizon. Also, what a great way to play off of a huge mistake Steve Harvey made only a few weeks ago.

 

And the winner for most emotional ad goes to:

Colgate

Please Turn Off The Faucet.


This PSA-style Colgate commercial had everyone thinking about their water use. I, for one, will be thinking about how long the faucet is running for some time to come, and I know I’m not the only one. An ad that can make that kind of impact deserves this award.

 

And the winner for best overall ad goes to:

Jeep

Portraits


This ad is a reminder of just how much the Jeep brand has been through. “From the beaches of Normandy to the far reaches of the Earth.” It tugs at the military heartstrings, reminds Jurassic Park fans of a terrifyingly exciting T-Rex chase (“Must go faster!“), and even brings in B.B. King, Marilyn Monroe, and Aretha Franklin. It is a modest look at everything Jeep has accomplished, and it includes something to which anyone can relate.

Google – A Year in Search 2015

From the landing page of this year’s top Google search results, we are brought back to 2015’s big events. These stats tell a lot: People all over the world love the Oscars; The world searched more times for “The Dress” than the European Migrant Crisis, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and the discover of water on Mars (by the way, The Dress is blue and black); Adele is back in full force; and Lamar Odom, Caitlyn Jenner, and Ronda Rousey were huge in 2015. Hoverboards, Cecil, Mad Men, Chewbacca, and Shia LaBeouf also made the cut in this year’s emotional, encouraging, and hopeful video:

Annual Fezziwig Holiday Party

It’s that time of year again when friends and family get together to celebrate the holidays! We would like to extend our invitation out to all of our clients, family, and friends. Some hors d’ouerves and drinks will be provided, but you can bring along a dish if you would like. Or, more importantly, bring a friend and some good conversation!

Steve Jobs on Design

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Thomas Jefferson on Luck and Hard Work

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.