The Patriots didn’t make it to the Super Bowl this year, which was unfortunate to say the least and had us all feeling a little “meh” going into the big game. But on the bright side, it made for a less stressful Sunday night and allowed us all to really concentrate on the true importance of the Super Bowl — the advertisements. There were the clunkers and those forgettable ones and some that almost made our cut, but after some debate, we narrowed it down to our best six Super Bowl commercials. These are the ads that creatively caught our attention and ultimately, did their job.
Hulu, “Tom Brady’s Big Announcement”
Speaking of the Patriots . . . we had to include the commercial featuring Tom Brady. Last week, Tom broke the internet by Instagramming a black and white picture of himself leaving Gillette Stadium, which set the world on fire with speculation he’s leaving New England. Come SB54, we got a commercial that seemed to be setting up his big announcement of what he’ll do this off-season. Just as we held our collective breath, in came Hulu and successfully trolled the entire world with a quick TV spot. To cap it all off, at the end of the commercial Tom mentioned, “I’m not going anywhere” and we still don’t know if that means he’s staying or just announcing he’s returning to play in the NFL again! Hulu capitalized on one of the biggest free agency decisions since LeBron heading to Miami, and they absolutely stuck the landing in generating an insane amount of buzz and social engagement (Twitter was on fire as soon as the commercial aired). The Patriots weren’t in the Super Bowl, but Tom Brady still won.
Some may say they could’ve done without this tear-jerking spot, but any Super Bowl commercial that invokes a strong emotional response has to be in our top six. Google used creative storytelling featuring their product to show a man sharing memories about his wife, leaving much of the storyline open to interpretation. Even though this ad may not be for everyone, there clearly is a consumer who will be hit by their heart strings being tugged.
Hyundai, “Smaht Pahk”
This spot from Hyundai highlighted their new smart parking car in a simple and fun way featuring Boston accents and lots of Boston references, so of course it had to make the list of best Super Bowl commercials. In the ad, Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch and David “Big Papi” Ortiz reacted to the wicked smart —sorry, smaht — new feature. The only change they could have made to make the portrayal of New England more accurate was having Chris Evans drink a Dunks coffee instead of a brandless one (cobranding opportunity, perhaps?).
Budweiser, “Typical Americans”
With craft beer being a rapidly increasing trend in the market, Budweiser had the opportunity to bring consumers back to their roots — and they did just that. By highlighting they’re a no-frills, traditional beer — a beer that just feels American — it allowed them to equate the same message in the people who drink their beer and all the little, day-to-day moments that make up so many Americans’ lives. The spot spoke to their long-lasting consumer base in an inspiring, but authentic way.
Rocket Mortgage, “Comfortable with Jason Momoa”
Like the name reveals, in this commercial, Jason Momoa got quite comfortable. To show how comfortable you should be at home, Momoa showed how his home is the place he can truly be himself, complete with revealing his scrawny body and bald head. The product connection isn’t clear, but it was still a comedic spot people are sure to remember.
Cheetos, “Can’t Touch This”
Cheetos did a phenomenal job tapping into the human insight that we are currently living in an efficiency-driven, multitasking world where consumers are trying to optimize every minute. Cheetos positioned itself as the perfect antidote to this, because having “Cheetos fingers” forces you to take a timeout. It was super relatable, and with the “Can’t Touch This” tie-in, it was sure to appeal to their target market.