Ads of the Week: Super Bowl Special

Yesterday, the Super Bowl XLIX took place. And while the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks slugged it out on the field, some of America’s biggest brands went to war in the ad breaks. Here is CR’s pick of the ten best ads of the night…

Yesterday, the Super Bowl XLIX took place. And while the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks slugged it out on the field, some of America’s biggest brands went to war in the ad breaks. Here is CR’s pick of the ten best ads of the night…

The Super Bowl is a rare example of an old-fashioned captive audience for advertisers – for once, brands know that viewers will be glued to their screens in their millions and as such they (supposedly) produce their very best spots for them to enjoy alongside the game. The cost to run a Super Bowl ad is $4.5 million for a 30 second spot, but with an audience of around 110 million, this is deemed a worthwhile exchange.

What were the big themes this year, you ask? As usual, there was a mix of earnestness and humour. In the former category, there were no less than three ads celebrating dads (for Toyota, Nissan, Dove). None of those have made our list as so many ads on the same theme seemed to cancel each other out. There was also a lost puppy (Budweiser), that will no doubt score the hits online but is such obvious emotional button-pushing, I cannot bring myself to include it here. Nor can I see the link between Toyota and Paralympian Amy Purdy’s inspirational story so that too falls short. And I’ve left out Nationwide‘s brutal spot about death in childhood, simply because it is such a mood killer (though will probably linger in the mind of parents). Similarly, this subtle spot addressing domestic abuse by NoMore.Org (and given a free slot by the NFL) has an important message though may run the risk of getting lost in all the jollity.

So what have we picked? Well, maybe it’s because I’m British, but most of the spots I’ve chosen tend towards the humorous. What can I say? The schmaltz doesn’t work for me. But feel free to abuse my choices in the comments box below. Let’s get started:


We open with the latest iteration of Snickers’ ‘you’re not you’ campaign, which this time sees The Brady Bunch reworked in amusing style. Agency: BBDO New York.



This spot for the BMW i3 makes a clever comparison between our dumbfounded early responses to the internet with present day reactions to electric cars. A smart way of talking about new technologies without being boring or preachy. Agency: KBS.



A very silly ad for Loctite that bizarrely kind of works. Agency: Fallon.



T-Mobile had two spots in the game. One, starring Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler, has funny moments (primarily the ‘sorry, it’s a boy’ line), but let’s face it, it’s the Kardashian one above that everyone is going to search out online. Agency: Publicis, Seattle.



You will probably have seen the longer version of this Always ad online but the fact that it will likely have reached vast new audiences on TV makes it a worthwhile addition to this list. Agency: Leo Burnett.



Fiat has taken a simply bizarre approach here, but one that is hard to forget. Agency: Richards Group.



There’s something reminiscent of Lurpak’s advertising in this spot for Weight Watchers, but here the intense close-ups of food being prepared are intended to highlight our addiction to snacking and hopefully help us stop. It’s clever stuff though possibly a little too nuanced, particularly in its similarity to food porn ads. Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland.



Coke this year addresses online haters (the subject matter of a recent adidas ad too). And the answer to the endless waves of abuse we see online? Everyone should drink Coke, of course. Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland.



Ever wondered how to make advertising avocados fun? This spot, for the brand Avocados From Mexico makes a good fist of it. Agency: GSD&M.



Liam Neeson gives an amusing performance in this spot for mobile game Clash of the Clans, which rounds off our list of this year’s picks of the Super Bowl. Agency: Barton F Graf.

What have we missed? Tell us below (but please, don’t go on about the puppy).

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