It’s Super Bowl Sunday and without the Packers playing, I’m ONLY interested in the commercials. Here are six favorites plus the award for most cringeworthy.
My litmus test for what makes a great commercial is pretty simple but my standards are high.
Commercials have to be memorable, engaging, persuasive and eminently deserving of the Super Bowl platform. To do that, they have to deliver on #1 and #2 below while absolutely steering clear of #3.
- Blaze a fresh trail creatively. Sometimes this means putting a new spin on an old brand that lets us see it with new eyes. While I’ve been a Walmart customer for a long time, the Walmart spot signals the brand is making major strides in becoming more contemporary and is a leader when it comes to retail. Absolutely stellar and fun with strong, highly relevant messaging.
- Show me a breakthrough innovation, e.g., Hyundai’s Remote Smart Parking Assist technology. I don’t have a car and don’t plan to get one but this ad is going to have me talking (and plenty of others as well). Equally important, with all the car companies advertising on the Super Bowl, this spot is memorable as coming from Hyundai. No confusion as to whether it’s Kia or Audi or GM that’s offering remote smart parking.
- Avoid being heavy handed or emotionally manipulative. I detest treacly, sentimental, pandering commercials. I don’t know why that fake feel-good stuff is such a turnoff but it makes me cringe. And certain brands just can’t help themselves from going there. every. single. time (talking to you Budweiser).
I also want to add that I recognize that the majority of the Super Bowl commercials are not intended for my 65+ cohort. However, I’m weighing in because my age group is the fastest growing and we buy everything from cars to candy to beverages (adult and otherwise).
Here then are the top commercials from this year’s super bowl.
1. WALMART – the winner.
Kudos to Publicis Groupe’s Department W.
Scroll down for more.
2. Hyundai Sonata with remote smart-parking
In a close tie for #1 with Walmart.
Agency: INNOCEAN USA.
3. reese’s take 5
First time advertising on Super Bowl.
Agency: McGarryBowen, directed by Harold Einstein
And I will definitely be on the lookout for Take 5! Looks yummy.
4. Squarespace: Winona Goes Home
Winona Ryder Builds a website for her hometown, Winona, Minnesota. YES!
I’m not sure which of these inhouse-created spots will be running on the Super Bowl but if it’s this one, I LOVE IT.
Squarespace has been on a tear lately. Doing phenomenal marketing. And everyone I know is using Squarespace for their websites now.
5. Pepsi zero sugar/ paint it black
Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
This is so cool. Love the visuals, love the music, and love those women. Unfortunately, it’s not going to persuade me to drink Pepsi. If I were to strictly adhere to my rules, it shouldn’t be included but I LOVE it so.
6. Frito Lay doritos Cool Ranch Old Town Road Remix with Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott
Also created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners. And while I LOVE this commercial, as with Pepsi, I will assuredly not be buying Doritos anytime soon. 😜 Here’s wishing these two commercials were for something I was even vaguely interested in.
Award for mOST CRINGEWORTHY goes to: Typical Americans/ Budweiser
And RUNNERS UP in the cringe category:
Michelob 6 packs: So ridiculous. If you buy a 6-pack, organic farmers will sprout up all over the country.
Olay Make Space for Women: Horrible stereotypes, e.g., she’s lost the keys, she’s worried about what to eat.
It will be interesting to see these commercials in the context of the game versus scrolling through them on YouTube as I’m writing this.
I’ve often found commercials resonate differently while watching the game, especially when in boisterous company. Based on that kind of scenario, I imagine the big crowd pleaser will be Post Malone’s Budweiser Seltzer spot.
We will see who America voted for when it comes to best commercial on Monday when all the Top 10 lists come out.
In the meanwhile, enjoy the game!!