What a Super Bowl. Heck yes I am referring to the game itself which was outstanding (Flacco?!?) but, as always, the talking points don’t stop there. The evening will be remembered for Beyonce’s knock-out-take-no-prisoners-don’t-need-Jay-Z halftime performance, the 34 minute momentum shifting power outage that launched a million hilarious tweets, and, of course, the commercials.
This year definitely had its share of surprising duds, I expected more Coca-Cola and M&Ms, as well as a few controversial ones, like GoDaddy.com for being too gross, Calvin Klein for being too sexy or Volkswagen for being racist (Nah mon!) but the good outweighed the bad.
I apologize for not having room for ads like the clever Mercedes devil spot, the over-the-top Oreo whisper fight or the witty Samsung (Lebron James overload!) ad but the top 5 is top 5. So, in descending order, here are MY top 5 commercials from last night:
5. Budweiser ‘Brotherhood’
My first reaction was quite simply that Budweiser had done it again. Through the agency Anomaly, the beer company managed to tug at heart strings while telling a beautiful story that stays true to the brand. Wonderful. A tweet I read last night said it best, “Budweiser told the ‘War Horse’ story better in way less time.’
This hilarious spot is top 5 worthy primarily for the subtly of the key message: Best Buy is back, or at least is trying to be. Through the relatable/loveable/hugable Poehler, Best Buy managed to tell a quick, information loaded story of a ‘nightmare from hell’ customer while finding a way to be both funny and memorable. I hope it pays off in sales for the flailing store but this was at least a step in the right direction.
3. Taco Bell ‘Viva Young’
Deutsch agency straight up delivered for Taco Bell. For a brand that has a younger target audience, and I assume a hispanic one given the ‘Viva Mas’ finale, the image of old-timers living it up to the YOLOesque ‘We Are Young’ anthem was brilliant. The commercial grabbed my attention instantly and it never let it go. Best of all, it made me, at 28, want to be those wrinkled daredevils, at whatever their ages are. Sheer brilliance, sheer fun.
2. Doritos ‘Goat 4 Sale’
As always, Doritos owns the Super Bowl through their
lazy brilliant crowd-sourced Super Bowl commercial entry. Once again, the standout here was simplicity of the story that was told. Sure I can’t relate to owning a goat or pounding that many bags of Doritos but it was ridiculously believable and, more importantly, completely unforgettable. It will be hard not to mimic the goat scream, and buy a bag of Doritos, next time I’m at Whole Foods.
1. Chrysler ‘Farmer’
And finally, this instant gem from The Richards Group. The commercial wasn’t funny, it didn’t have any big stars, it barely showed the product being sold and yet it was the clear winner of the night. Through a series of beautiful photographs, and an iconic voiceover, Chrysler laid out the core identity of the brand in such artistic fashion that I’m sure that ‘farmer’ would be the new “it” major at any university, if it existed. ‘So God Made a Farmer’ is a truly powerful ad was at all times captivating, interesting and beautiful. Wow, just wow.
Ultimately, all 5 of these commercials knocked it out of the park but ironically, the biggest winner of the night wasn’t a commercial – it was a tweet. Oreo delivered an effective, impressively quick ad as a response to the Super Dome power outage – in live time! Incredible. Ladies and gentleman, we have officially entered the digital age and Oreo, oh yes Oreo, is at the forefront. Maybe the Mayans were right….