Super Bowl 2018 Advertising: Only Two Winners


Why do companies feel they can lecture us on civics or politics or any other do-gooder issue? This is NOT the way to connect with most of us.

If it’s not perfectly clear, I absolutely loathe that kind of messaging – whether it’s from brands or celebrities. Brands need my permission to have that conversation with me and none of the Super Bowl brands do.

It’s also a key reason I no longer watch awards shows.

  • And looks like more people agree with me based on declining Grammy viewership (down 24% this year).
  • Although NFL ratings have been down by double digits during 2017, viewership for Sunday’s game was down only 3% and actually increased in the 4th Q (not surprising, such a great game).

So you know where this is going: my take on those atrocious Super Bowl commercials. What a waste of money.

From my perspective only two commercials hit their mark by being both entertaining and leaving a positive impression of their brands.

#1:  The NFL “dirty dancing” commercial with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. was tops. It made me consider the NFL in a better light. I saw the players and the organization as more than head-bashing goons. Created by Grey NYC.



#2: Alexa Loses Her Voice.  This was my runner up.  Entertaining with news about the product – did not leave me guessing what product it could potentially be for. Apparently created by a team of millennials at London agency, Lucky Generals. The commercial made me think about new ways to use my Alexa. And I especially loved seeing Bezos in the ad – his skeptical face was priceless.

My two favorite commercials also came in at #1 and #2 on the USA Today poll (with the brands flipped, Amazon landed at #1).

So again, the people have spoken:

  • They want LESS politics and sappiness.
  • They want agencies to stick to informing us about their products in an entertaining way.

Read on below for a roundup of “TOPS IN CRINGE” or the worst offenders when it comes to maudlin, sappiness vs. entertainment and product news.


Besides the NFL and Amazon ads which stuck to product and entertainment, nothing else was worth the ad spend.

These ads are the most cringe-worthy.

P&G ads – particularly absurd and only meaningful to a handful of advertising folk e.g. the Tide commercials and all the P&G commercials that played off Old Spice. They’re getting high praise for being “meta.” Is that what the Tide user is looking for in their detergent? I don’t think so.


Mass Mutual’s Acts of Kindness


T-Mobile – diverse babies


Bud Light


Ram Trucks (MLK aside, brands plugging in to disasters to promote their products are generally going to be perceived as taking advantage of people’s miseries)


Stella Artois and Budweiser water commercials


Hyundai’s Hope Detector  – meet cancer survivors while going through TSA security?



Best game in a long while and the absolute worst advertising.

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