OK, the Broncos won but what about the ads? Who won? Who lost? It’s time to review the best and the worst of the 62 in-game ads that ran during Super Bowl 50.
I started out thinking I was going to do a simple Top 5/ Worst 5 list. Going through all these films, I quickly realized something peculiar about this year’s Super Bowl that made me change the way I was going to do this review.
So many ads had celebrities, it became a category on its own. The good ones, the bad ones, the really bad ones, the embarrassing ones, the forgettable ones, all made me realize that the age old formula has probably become just that: an old formula.
Maybe it’s the looming economic crisis, terrorism, or crazy American elections that makes advertisers fall back on the middle of the road. It’s never been more obvious that not taking a stand, ticking boxes or following formulas is the worst medicine.
In some cases, companies hired celebrities who were really cool in previous ads but used them so poorly the result turned out to be lame and forced. Take Liam Neeson for LG this year, compared to last year’s Clash of Clans. Even more sad was Kia’s Christopher Walken closet (Modern Family anyone?) for Kia this year when he was so awesome for last year’s Made From Cool.
We also have celebrities making parodies of themselves. Jeff Goldblum’s Apartments.com. And can anyone tell me what Lil Wayne was doing in this? We also have Sir Anthony Hopkins, making fun of the fact that he is now an official sell out for TurboTax.
In other cases, like T-Mobile, their agency managed to make an ad that looks like a joke on the brand and its marketing team. It’s not funny. At all! Since Drake is so loved, I really think this is the worst one of Super Bowl 2016. It’s not just wallpaper, it makes you dislike T-Mobile even more.
Then we have celebrity wallpapers (I’ve decided to be nice)… Skittles’s Steven Tyler; Amazon’s Alec Baldwin “supported” by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, Grammy award-winning rapper Missy Elliot, and actor Jason Schwartzman was still pretty lame; T.J Millers commercial for Shock Top was ok, he was actually funnier in his review of the Super Bowl commercials; Ryan Reynold’s RyanVille for I forgot which car; Snicker’s Willem Dafoe and Marilyn; Bud’s foul-mouthed Helen Mirren; Arnold Schwarzenegger (Mobile Strike)? and Hyundai’s Kevin Hart, Taco Bell’s … yawn!
Add a few more celebrities and you sink even lower.
In Mini we count no less than 6 celebrities. A lot for such a small car. A lot of money for such a bad ad. Tennis great Serena Williams, soccer player Abby Wambach, hip-hop star T-Pain, major-league pitcher Randy Johnson, skateboard legend Tony Hawk, and actor Harvey Keitel manage the feat of making this ad for Mini completely forgettable. Even Serena on her own is so boring she looks like she’s going to fall into a coma while talking.
I guess you get the point. Enough celebrity bashing, here’s my Top 3:
Special mention for Super Bowl Babies Choir (yes, another celebrity in here, Seal). I have a problem with this ad from the NFL as they seem fine with wife-beating players but I love the 2015’s babies. There’s also Jeep 75th, easy but well suited for the Super Bowl. Colgate #EveryDropCounts well done but ridiculous coming from a company where fraction of its profit could go a long way in solving the problem. Also well shot Nintendo20 Train On, and not for everyone but this Doritos made me laugh.
And then, because I’m sticking to being nice today, let’s talk about those who despite their effort got lost in wallpaper-land. Peta, Campbell soup, Coke’s brother and Hulk/Ant-man, Buick convertible, RocketMortgage, Prius, all the Butterfinger ads, Bai, KFC, McDonald’s, Paypal, and another 30 or so advertisers… and yes, some of these also had celebrities, like T-Mobile‘s Steve Harvey, and Buick’s Odell Beckham Jr.
All in all, the celebrities came out as the big winners, the advertisers as the big losers, and the viewers ended up with not much to enjoy. The good news is that they’ve probably already forgotten most of these ads.