It is that time again! Last weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX managed to break the preceding year’s viewership record, drawing 114.5 million viewers vs. last year’s 112.2 million. This year’s Super Bowl was one for the ages, even if my favorite team lost in heartbreaking fashion. That also meant that more people were still glued to their TV as the game wore on and the brands that spent money for advertising late in the game got what they paid for – attention.
As we have done in the past (2014 & 2013), here is my Super Bowl ad review from a panel of one. One important caveat for this year’s countdown – there are two countdowns here. Welcoming a newborn to the family in mid 2014 leads to a complete bias for the sappy ‘Dad’ commercials. So I’m ranking those separately. They would be at or near the top of the regular countdown. Aside from the Seahawks pulling on heart strings, the ads in the “second countdown” below also led to me needing to call my own timeouts. Good grief.
The overall countdown:
#5 – Jeep’s “Beautiful Lands”
Jeep selected a great song for the background and did enough on the branding on the back half of the ad itself. What I particularly liked is that they showed a domestic side for the first 30 seconds but then seemed to suggest their global footprint through the rest of the ad.
#4 – Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”
Excellent follow-up from Budweiser on past Super Bowl ads. The Clydesdales are essentially Budweiser branded and at this point, I’m starting to think this puppy is too. Budweiser also chose to use “I’m gonna be (500 miles” which was probably stuck in at least 1 million people’s heads after the ad aired. I actually thought this was performed by FUN but Budweiser’s YouTube page gives credit to Sleeping At Last.
#3 – Carnival’s “Come Back To The Sea”
To be perfectly honest, I’m still not sure what it is about this commercial that I really like, other than the fact that it was simply enjoyable. You knew it was for a cruise line pretty quickly but the branding for Carnival isn’t that great at all. The voiceover and the visual of the ad were both powerful though.
#2 – Doritos’ “Middle Seat”
This one made me laugh out loud, probably due to first hand experiences and wanting to pull similar stunts off to avoid having someone sitting next to me on a plane. The branding of Doritos was OK, as they show the bag in the middle and then again at the end of the ad. As always though, Doritos went with a humor angle and this one simply worked for me.
#1 – Avocados from Mexico’s “#FirstDraftEver”
Simply phenomenal. Catered perfectly to the Super Bowl and a draft theme. There were multiple one-liners in here that are/were hysterical. The dodo bird fainting, the polar bear going “Beach, Beach!”, just a really well done ad from a humor angle. The branding was weak for 45 seconds but it finished up nicely and included a hashtag to boot.
Now, here are the three ‘Dad’-driven ads that made their own list. As if the Super Bowl itself wasn’t tough enough to watch, these advertisers had to throw this in the mix this year? Come on!
#3 – Microsoft’s “Braylon O’Neill”
To the ~300 people that gave this a thumbs down on YouTube – have mercy on your soul. Occasionally, people are the worst.
#2 – Dove’s “#RealStrength”
Yep … this was equivalent to two quick jabs to the face and got me. I don’t care that there wasn’t an ounce of branding until 47 seconds into the ad. Throw in the hashtag for some social media tracking and I include this in my “winner” column.
#1 – Nissan’s “With Dad”
… And there it is, the right cross to the jaw and I’m out. “Cats in the Cradle” in the background a mirage of images and snippets of the kid growing up … done. Nice use of another hashtag as well here, going with #WithDad.
Time to go watch the Doritos and Avocados From Mexico ads again.
There were two ads that went for the quick one-liner in comedy and failed miserably. Weight Watchers starting off their commercial with “You wanna get baked?” was disgusting. CURE Auto Insurance also failed miserably in trying to make noise with the NFL’s “DeflateGate”. Both came off as crude … and lame.
What were your favorite or least favorite ads from Super Bowl Sunday? Let me know in the Comments section below.