Super Bowl Sunday is the greatest celebration of American football all year. Outside of the game, it features a bevy of celebrity appearances, the often-divisive halftime show, and the widely anticipated and scrutinized Super Bowl commercials. Every year these ads have become more and more novelty during the broadcast with some even claiming they only watch to see these ads.
This year, we saw some of the same types of commercials seen every year, featuring beer, cars, and dogs, but 2019 also brought with it a handful of ads featuring new topics like robots from Michelob Ultra’s physically superior robot to Pringle’s use of an Alexa knockoff, conveying its sadness of not being able to express emotions.
To ease the culling through the clutter, this list will exempt ads for TV shows and movies. Here are some of Super Bowl 53’s best and worst ads:
Super Bowl 53’s BEST Ads
To celebrate the NFL’s 100th year, the league stole the show during their own game with an ad showing current young stars like Odell Beckham Jr. and Baker Mayfield and legends from the past like Barry Sanders and Jerry Rice throwing around a football. For fans of the game young and old, this ad was sure to excite.
Pepsi – More Than Okay
Playing on the instances in life when a server asks, “if Pepsi is okay?” after being asked if they have Coke, Steve Carrell tries to explain how Pepsi is, in fact, more than okay. Failing to truly convince, he turns to Lil Jon whose catchphrase is just him yelling “Okay”. Eventually, Cardi B walks in holding a gem-studded Pepsi can and yells her version of okay in “Okurr.” Overall, this ad with its use of celebrity cameos hammered home their point of Pepsi being more than okay in a fun way.
Verizon – “The Coach Who Wouldn’t Be Here”
While many commercials aired focus on humor to grab the viewers’ attention, there are many ads that tend to play on the viewers’ emotions instead. This was evident in Verizon’s commercial highlighting first responders answering calls in emergencies. Verizon asked Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to speak to first responders. Lynn was involved in a severe accident with a drunk driver that almost took his life. What he didn’t know is that Verizon also had the first responders who helped save him that day surprise him. You’d be hard-pressed not to shed a tear yourself.
Bud Light – Game of Thrones Crossover
I know that we said we wouldn’t include ads that focused on television shows, but this ad sticks out due to the fact that it is a partnership between two separate brands. Bud Light’s medieval-themed campaign is highlighted here when their beloved Bud Knight is killed off, in the way many Game of Thrones characters are, and eventually, a dragon comes and burns everything. This felt less like a Bud Light commercial and more a commercial for the last season of Game of Thrones, but it was still fun to see this crossover happen.
Stella Artois – Change Up the Usual
In a strange string of events, Stella Artois brings back two iconic characters in Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw and Jeff Bridge’s Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski. As they walk into a restaurant, they are both asked if they want their usual signature drinks, a Cosmopolitan and a White Russian respectively. However, they both opt for a Stella Artois, changing up from their usual.
Super Bowl 53’s WORST Ads
T-Mobile – Texts
Even though it is obvious what T-Mobile was trying to do with their string of ads throughout the Super Bowl, many viewers don’t want to read more texts on screen. Most popular commercials, in general, are filled with visual cues, however, T-Mobile put out several ads focusing on text conversations. This was the worst strategy in a day full of excitement.
Burger King – Andy Warhol
Burger King managed to break up the constant flow of loud, flashy, and exciting commercials with their use of old footage of Andy Warhol, one of pop art’s greatest influences, eating a Whopper. However, it can be said that many younger generations may not know who Warhol is, plus the footage of him eating feels awkward. The footage is interesting, but it felt out of place and lazy on a day full of innovation.
ADT – Property Brothers
ADT failed to make much of an impact at all. Refusing to change up their marketing from their typical commercials, this ad felt like any other ad. Adding the Property Brothers to recite a standard and uninspired tagline didn’t help matters at all.
TurboTax – RoboChild
Furthering TurboTax’s campaign about their CPA’s being real people, TurboTax added a robot child, inspired by the robot Sophia, to their Super Bowl ad. Playing off the fact that this robot child wants to be a CPA, they inform her she can’t because she isn’t human. She then begins to get upset, and instead of crying, she begins laughing. Instead of being humorous, it’s more unnerving.
While we can see how Mint Mobile was trying to explain how their affordable mobile family plan is in fact right while chunky-style milk isn’t right, it falls flat with little payoff for betting on such a gross premise. The bit of the commercial that will likely be remembered is the chunky milk rather than Mint Mobile’s actual cheap family plan.
Turkish Airlines – The Journey
Turkish Airlines hired acclaimed film director Ridley Scott to direct a six-minute short film to celebrate 85 years of Turkish Airlines. However, instead of showing that commercial, they aired a teaser for this short film, encouraging you to search for it online. No one is questioning the talents and reputation of Ridley Scott, but also no one is going to stop watching the Super Bowl to go online to watch a short film about Turkish Airlines. We can say that it was beautifully shot though.
While the Super Bowl is often seen as a time to get together with friends and family, not every individual watching the game has a team to root for. Some watching don’t care about football. However, the game day broadcast is sure to contain something for everyone. These commercials help keep those entertained who have no interest in the game. Regardless of the varying success of theses ad, we can all laugh and enjoy them together. Now that we have gone through and picked out the best and worst of the Super Bowl’s ads, it is time for Tech Critic to help your business plan and execute your digital ad campaigns. Contact us to get started!