Superb Owl

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.