Our Top Super Bowl Ad Winners and Losers

By Zachary Clark, Account Coordinator

From 12 seconds in, it was clear that the Denver Broncos weren’t going to have navy blue and orange confetti raining down on them at the end of 60 minutes. And from a few minutes in, it was clear that this year’s Super Bowl sponsors were having the same luck as Peyton Manning. Nevertheless, there were some bright spots in an otherwise disappointing night of Super Bowl commercials.

First, our top 5 winners:

#5 -- Coca Cola (It’s Beautiful)

In a recent surge of truck companies going for the “America” route, it was refreshing to see Coca Cola go for diversity. This ad was a brilliant understanding that the United States is a huge mix of different races and cultures. Since Coke is a company marketing to virtually everyone, using an ad that encompasses every market they’re trying to reach was a huge success for them. They are also one of few companies to nationally embrace and symbolize America’s ever-growing diversity.

#4 -- T-Mobile  (No Contract, No Worries)

What better way to express that your mobile company doesn’t have contracts than with an athlete that doesn’t have a contract himself? T-Mobile signed on the perfect celebrity endorser for their Super Bowl spots since Tim Tebow is synonymous with football, NFL, and people in general. He stepped up his acting game and the ads were perfectly scripted to made comedic light of the trend T-Mobile is currently on.

#3 -- Microsoft (Empowering)

More often than not it’s Apple that we see utilizing the true power of storytelling, but this time around it was Microsoft. With this beautiful script, and the use of the computer-generated voiceover from a former NFL player, Microsoft hit the nail on the head. The ad was an eye-opener showing how far advances in technology have truly come and the good it has brought our society. We’re all suckers for a great story and Microsoft delivered one.

#2 -- Budweiser (Puppy Love)

There were horses. There were puppies. There was a horse and a puppy playing together. If that isn’t one of the cutest thing you’ve ever seen then you probably don’t have a heart. Budweiser continued their trend of using cuteness and heart-warming, American stories about their Clydesdales to promote their brand. The best part about these spots? They’re working, and working extremely well for them.

#1 -- Esurance (#EsuranceSave30)

In a plot twist, Esurance bought the first ad after the Super Bowl and leveraged the power of Social Media (and a $1.5 million giveaway) to promote their brand. This spot, and campaign as a whole, are ingenious and perfectly innovative for the technology age. The hashtag “#EsuranceSave30” began to immediately trend and continues to today. Now, every tech-savvy socialite (most of which is Esurance’s target demographic) will know who the company is thanks to this brilliant campaign.

Honorable Mentions 

Chrysler -- America’s Import

Wonderful Pistachios -- Stephen Colbert

Cheerios -- Gracie

Hyundai -- Dad’s 6th sense


Our Top 5 Losers:

#5 -- Squarespace (A Better Web Awaits)

How weird is too weird? Just ask Squarespace. Although the intent of showing various internet stereotypes was there, the execution wasn’t. The ad was a little too scary to look at and at the end of the day, didn’t show the Squarespace product in a favorable fashion.

#4 -- H & M (Campaign Film)

David Beckham is at a photo shoot. Obvious. David Beckham loses his shirt. Completely obvious. David Beckham becomes naked. Insanely obvious. H & M continues a campaign they had previously started using the soccer superstar and showed how creative they aren’t with this ad.

#3 -- GoDaddy (Bodybuilders & Puppet Masters)

The hype was there for GoDaddy. “We’re having a woman quit her job on live tv…we’re going away from our usual raunchiness.” But, they forgot about the execution. The ideas were there, and they were good ideas, but for a company built off of their unusual advertising style, they really failed on these ones.

#2 -- Dannon Oikos (The Spill)

At the beginning of the spot: “Yes! Full House is getting back together!” By the end of the commercial: “Wait? What is the cast of Full House doing?” The ad was funny for about 10 seconds and then just got weird afterward. Dannon dropped the ball, or should we say yogurt, on this one.

#1 -- Sonos (Faceoff)

The conversation at Sonos probably went like this: “Hey, we’re spending $4 million for a spot during the Super Bowl.” “Oh, awesome! Let’s run the same ad we’ve been running.” If you’re going to spend $4 million on the media, you might as well pony up for the production costs of a new commercial with it. Putting out the same ad could be worse than putting out a bad one. Do better, Sonos.


Thanks for reading our thoughts on this year’s Super Bowl! You can check out all of these ads via AdWeek (http://sb.adweek.com/) and rank them yourselves!

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