I look forward to watching the Super Bowl commercials as much as I do the game, if not more. This year’s viewing did not disappoint. There were a lot of creative, big budget commercials to keep me transfixed on TV between the plays.
According to USA Today, there were a total of 64 Super Bowl ads. NBC did not disclose how many commercials actually aired, but confirmed the ads went for up to $7 million for each spot. Some of these ads only aired in certain markets.
After pouring through all of these Super Bowl commercials, here are my absolute top 10 favorites:
1. BIC EZ Reach – “Pass It”
The unexpected pairing of Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart playfully exchanging Mary Jane innuendos made this Bic EZ Reach lighter commercial a winner. This creative execution was clearly born out of market research that juxtaposed two of the company’s target markets: middle-aged women and stoners. Though this commercial received a lot of buzz the week before the game, it was not listed in the game-day results. Perhaps the company didn’t want to risk offending its audiences in states where marijuana isn’t legal.
1. Sam Adams – “Your Cousin from Boston (Dynamics)”
The Boston Beer commercial featured another smart duo, off-duty security members partying with Boston Dynamics’ robots. It had the feel of an SNL skit with heavy Boston accents. It playfully showed off Sam Adams’ beers while demonstrating “the smahtest” guys in the room were machines, entertaining and looking out for the security crew. This one didn’t play in every market. I may be biased, since I’m from Boston, but this is my top pick.
2. Cutwater Spirits – “Here’s to the Lazy Ones”
This Cutwater Spirits spot rebelled against all those motivational, go-getter messages people are bombarded with every day. Instead, it celebrated the ingenuity of the lazy ones who find easier ways to get things done. “Because the ones who make the most of their time are ahead of their time.” That is, after all, their audience. People who buy pre-made cocktails from a can.
3. Liquid Death – “Big Game Commercial with Kids Hydrating at a Party”
Liquid Death did an amazing job of garnering some brand awareness with this Super Bowl commercial. Edgy (sort of) headbanger music, gothic packaging, and a sinister-sounding name looked like the last thing that partying tweens and a pregnant mother should be consuming. Until we see the last line, “Don’t be scared. It’s just water,” followed by #deathtoplastic.
4. NFL Super Bowl LVI Commercial – “Bring Down the House”
This 2-minute spot from the NFL brought sibling rivalry and video game stars to life with legendary sportscasters describing the play-by-play. It’s an entertaining story arc that shows what can happen when Mom and Dad are away and imaginations run wild.
5. Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage – “Dream House with Anna Kendrick”
Rocket Homes and Rocket Mortgage nailed the challenges for today’s home buyers by turning them into Barbie’s nemeses – Better-Offer Betty, Cash-Offer Carl, House-Flipper Skipper. Anna Kendrick and a sweet cast of kids made for an entertaining spot that touched on home buyers’ pain points.
6. Verizon – “Goodbye Cable”
Kudos to Verizon for bringing back Jim Carrey as “The Cable Guy” to humorously act out his frustration of being replaced by a small wireless 5G box. The cinematic feel and dialogue between the Verizon customer explaining its features to “The Cable Guy” make this spot a joy to watch.
7. Budweiser – “A Clydesdale’s Journey”
Prepare for goosebumps, if you haven’t seen this Budweiser spot yet. Witness a horse get injured and, under the watchful eyes of a concerned dog and their owners, slowly recover. That last line, “In the home of the brave. Down never means out.” A pitch-perfect message as we pivot from these challenging times.
8. Salesforce – “The New Frontier”
Despite seeing this spot about a hundred times during the Olympics, this is still one of my favorite spots. Here’s why.
9. Hologic – “First-Ever National Advertising Campaign with Mary J. Blige”
One of the most common reasons why women don’t get mammograms is because they think they’re too busy. Hologic dispelled this myth by showing how singer, songwriter and actress Mary J. Blige fits her annual mammogram in between shoots, recordings, and workouts. Guys aren’t the only ones watching football. This commercial is a great reminder for women to schedule their mammograms. Major props for the strong tagline “The Science of Sure,” too.
10. Carvana – “Oversharing Mom”
Carvana showed how easy it is to buy their cars with this cheerful, oversharing mom. This ad provides a punchy pace with quick takes to her raving about the virtues of Carvana’s helpful representative “Susan” to a dozen different people.
I wish I could give every writer, art director, creative director, casting director, producer, director, actor, video editor, and client who worked on these spots a high-five. I’m sure they went into overtime getting these spots done.