Super Bowl Ad Superlatives - THINK DIGITAL » Digital Marketing for Business

Super Bowl Ad Superlatives

What were the funniest, weirdest, and wildest Super Bowl ads this year?

On Sunday, February 5, 2017, more than 110 million people gathered at houses, apartments, and dorm rooms all over the world to watch the Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots. While the game did have a historic overtime conclusion, the main motivation for many in watching the game is not for the football, but for the commercials. And in a world where Netflix and other premium ad-free streaming services seem to be taking over, companies put forward their best efforts for this prime advertising opportunity. Believe it or not, many companies pay over $5 million for only 30-seconds worth of airtime. So the content they create is bound to be top notch, right? That’s what we are here to decide as we present the 2017 Super Bowl Ad Superlatives.

The Beer Commercial That Almost Had Us Thinking It Wasn’t a Beer Commercial: Michelob ULTRA

Beer commercials are a staple in Super Bowl advertising, and for a long time people generally knew the beer companies to advertise using sports or humor. Michelob ULTRA took a different route this year, and had people wondering what their ad even was for the first 45 seconds of their 60-second spot. In the end, they obviously were trying to venture out and claim Michelob as the beer for healthy, fit people. It was different, and many might argue ineffective, but if Michelob ULTRA sticks with it, it could be the start of a new category of beer branding.

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The Most Unexpected M. Night Shyamalan Plot Twist Ending: Wix.com

Wix brought two big stars together for this incredibly action-packed commercial, but the ending came out of nowhere. *SPOILER ALERT* The whole entire restaurant explodes and the chef opens up a food truck? That is so unexpectedly normal after witnessing The Transporter and Wonder Woman flawlessly destroy a horde of dangerous men. It’s incredibly likely that M. Night Shayamalan, known for plot twists like The Sixth Sense, was on the creative team for this advertisement. Check out the minute-long version:

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Most Likely To Inspire the Plot of National Treasure 3: Wendy’s

Wendy’s makes their Super Bowl debut with a spot highlighting their never-frozen beef, with a call at the end to check out a wild www.othr-guyz.com. But if you think harder about the content of the commercial, it might bring back memories of a month ago when Wendy’s roasted a Twitter user who was arguing about the same exact topic: frozen/non-frozen beef.

How convenient for Wendy’s. A month before their Super Bowl ad premiere, they had a viral tweet covering the same subject matter and gaining attention from news sources like CNN, Forbes, and USA Today. Not to point fingers and say that it was all a big set up . . . but, what if it was all a big set up? It is understandable that Wendy’s would want to have a big impact for their first go at a Super Bowl ad. And paying a random Twitter user to get roasted is not a far stretch from companies that have paid Twitter users to simply tweet about their products. But that’s enough speculation for now, the rest of the conspiracy theory can be left to Nicolas Cage and the National Treasure crew.

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The “I Never Saw the Original So The Sequel Didn’t Make Sense”: Bud Light

Bud Light brought back their 1980s mascot, Spuds Mackenzie, for their 2017 Big Game ad, and in a world where every film is now a sequel or a remake, it makes a lot of sense. Many people had not heard of Spuds Mackenzie though, which hindered how effective the ad was. Luckily, Bud Light packed this commercial with comical acting and clever punchlines so every viewer was able to enjoy it.

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I Didn’t Expect To Like It But I Really, Really Did: Buick

Buick brought your classic Super Bowl commercial. It features kids playing little league football, which is a textbook strategy for Super Bowl commercials. Immediately when the coach says “Cam Newton” everyone in the world knew that Cam Newton would appear and he would destroy the children in their football game. That’s exactly what happened. And it was hilarious! It was so predictable and classic, but somehow still was able to make the world laugh. This commercial will be one of the most remembered.

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Can’t Tell If It’s an Advertisement or the Next Academy Award Winning Film: Budweiser

Budweiser’s advertisement was visually stunning and had an intriguing storyline that touched on a hot political topic, immigration. That sounds like the formula for every Oscar nominated movie. The ad ended showing the initial meeting of Anheuser and Busch which resulted in many of the most popular beers today. The ending of the spot could have been more emphasized, but the Academy Awards honor confusing endings like Inception and Interstellar, so maybe this ad will fit right in.

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Best Movie/Television Trailer: Stranger Things

In today’s world, people watch the trailers they want to watch on YouTube or Facebook. It’s easy to wonder if movie/television promos can really be effective in the Super Bowl anymore. All of the trailers earlier in the game (Logan, The Fate of the Furios, etc.) left me feeling no different, but Stranger Things flipped that feeling upside down. Netflix didn’t announce their Super Bowl appearance until days prior. Virtually nobody expected such an exciting announcement from one of Netflix’s most talked about shows of 2016. Every second of this commercial was jam-packed. It is incredibly effective in the way that it makes fans of the show excited for it’s return, and how it convinces non-fans that they are missing out on something huge.

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Best Pun: KFC

Puns. Some people love them. Others don’t. But there’s always a few to look forward to. While often incredibly cheesy, KFC was able to lay down a great pun. Watch for yourself to see why “tenders” might be the best part of this generally forgettable Super Bowl ad:

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Pushing the Boundaries, and It Worked: 84 Lumber

The storyline of this ad is almost as intricate as the storyline within the ad. 84 Lumber’s original cut was deemed too controversial. They ended up just showing the set-up of the plot, and leaving viewers with a call to action to visit Journey84.com to find the conclusion. Immediately after the ad aired, the website’s servers were understandably overloaded. Once it calmed down, viewers were able to see a surprising turn in the storyline. 84Lumber was risky and ventured deep into the political conversation, and it worked incredibly well for them. People are praising them for still finding a way to communicate their message of acceptance despite the initial rejection they experienced.

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Pushing the Boundaries, and It Didn’t Work: T-Mobile

Comedian Kristen Schaal joined T-Mobile’s star-studded commercial cast for a few spots parodying Fifty Shades of Grey. There is some humor in the concept behind the spots, but many viewers were left feeling uncomfortable with the spots themselves. Most companies learned from GoDaddy.com that uncomfortable commercials are generally disliked, but apparently T-Mobile just wanted to see for themselves.

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Simple But Sweet: Bai

Bai created the commercial that brought many their first genuine laugh of the game. Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake starred in a favorite of the Super Bowl 51 ads. So simple, you just need to check it out for yourself:

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Best Use of Alliteration: Febreze

Febreze’s 30-second spot was met with mixed reviews, and won’t be remembered as one of the best. But their extended cut online deserves a mention for the incredible alliteration. Every high school English teacher will be showcasing this one in class on Monday, guaranteed. Whatever copywriter wrote, “red-blooded, bladder bulgin’ American” deserves a promotion. Check out the extended cut here:

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Last But Not Least: Hyundai

Potentially one of the best Super Bowl commercials was technically not even during game time. After the thrilling overtime game concluded, Hyundai showed this ad that they created during the Big Game. Bringing the Super Bowl live to America’s troops overseas and letting some of them watch with their families was an incredible original idea that paid off big for Hyundai.

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