Insights / advertising

Super Bowl Commercial Wrap Up: Gross. Funny. Heartwarming.

When I say I actually look forward to the Super Bowl spots, I’m not kidding. Like many of you, I enjoy the big game for all of the other reasons ““ punishing myself with copious amounts of food, beverage-du-jour, getting together with friends and family and the commercials. I almost forgot the game itself. Yes, a good football game always entertains me.

This year’s Super Bowl was certainly a nail-biting event, right up to the last minute, no matter who you were cheerleading for from the couch. So in between frequent visits to the kitchen to help myself to seconds, thirds, and fourths, I scurried about quickly as to not miss a single ad.

It’s only fitting that an agency that creates TV commercials from time to time offers its opinion. What was my take on this year’s spots? Here goes”¦

Overall, there were certainly some memorable ads. Will any of this year’s spots end up in the hall-of-fame along with the Mean Joe Greene ad or Apple’s 1984? Doubtful. In an era where attention is so limited and we have more media than ever competing for our attention, I think the Super Bowl ad is an entirely different animal when compared to five or ten years ago. Brands today want conversation and engagement. certainly took the cake for me in terms of starting the conversation. Seeing Beauty and “the Geek” lip locked and hearing their slobbering, wet kiss was enough to lose my appetite. Thank God I didn’t lose it. There were lots more wings to consume.

The Coca-Cola “Coke Chase“ spot just lost me. A race throughout the dessert as to who gets to the bottle of Coke first didn’t appeal to me. I thought their attempt at getting people involved to vote at was clever, but was it really that engaging? They also aired the acceptance speech of the winning team after the Super Bowl, but by that point my food coma was in full effect and it didn’t matter. I was tuned out.

go daddy

Apart from the laughs of the Dorito’s “Goat“, Taco Bell’s “Viva Young“ and Tide’s “Miracle Stain“ spot, there were plenty of powerful, feel good spots that reached for our softer side. There was the cute story of the bond between the trainer and the Clydesdale for Budweiser, the “Whole Again” spot from Jeep honoring our men and women of the military and the Ram “Farmer” spot talking to our inner farmer.

The E-Trade baby has got to go. It’s losing its allure and is just old. I find nothing funny about a talking baby offering investment advice. Budweiser didn’t cut it for me either this year. Their series of Voodoo-inspired spots and Black Label product was just mediocre. I expected more from a brand that’s made me laugh before with the “Wazzzzup” and Budweiser frogs spots.

Enough from me. Here’s the postgame ad show from some of the Mason team:


Mayya Medved, Assistant Brand Manager:

“I think this year’s Super Bowl had some of the best commercials I’ve seen. My two favorites were the Doritos “Fashionista Daddy“ and the Taco Bell “Viva Young.” Both were really sweet, funny and demonstrated brand values. The only commercials I really disliked were the Coke Chase and the Go Daddy “Perfect Match“ which was just plain GROSS!”

Danielle Geer, Media Planner:

“The Budweiser “Brotherhood“ ““ I have such a soft spot for animals. Jeep “Whole again“ ““ it was really touching and a great tribute to our troops. Calvin Klein ““ I don’t think an explanation is necessary for this one”¦ haha, and the security camera ad from Coke.”

Neil Johnson, Interactive Creative Director:

“The Axe Deodorant lifeguard, Doritos goat and Hyundai “Team Hit“. They were the only ones that universally were laughed at by our group.  The women with us also liked the Busch horse commercial, mostly because of the awwww cute factor.”


Stephen Hayes, President:

Dodge Ram ““ Haunting voice over from Paul Harvey archive combined with really powerful, mostly still images in a 2 minute format was very compelling. Audi RS Prom Night ““ Beautiful fast car and a 17 year our boy delivers horsepower injected courage. What more do you need?!?”

Richard Gamer, Creative Director:

“My favorite was the Coke Security Camera spot, because it did the most to enhance the brand. That to me is still the best thing any commercial can do. The Budweiser Clydesdale spot was pretty good for that reason too (though maybe a bit too sappy). A horse who hasn’t seen his owner in three years picking him out from a crowd of hundreds? Really?”


There you have it. Words from some of the Mason team. I also should have mentioned that we produced a spot that ran locally here in Connecticut for a client of ours. The “Closer to Free Flash Mob“ aired twice during the pre-game show and then debuted in the third quarter. Maybe we’re all a little biased when it comes to this, but this was without question our favorite spot. If you haven’t seen it, check it out ““ here’s the sixty second version.