Don’t Call it a Comeback
Pepsi is generally thought of as the less cute sister to coke, and after 2017’s devastating fail featuring Kendall Jenner (never forget) they needed to show out. This year’s ad was built on an incredible insight. “Coke” is synonymous with “soda.” So when people use it in that sense, waiters need to clarify, “Is Pepsi okay?” They really didn’t need to feature the big-name celebrities that they did, however, having them made the spot even better. They choose figures that people love. No one hates Steve Carell or Cardi B. Plus, their unique and charismatic personalities were able to shine. So, yes, Pepsi is okay.
Getting Too Ambitious
Avocados From Mexico usually does great Super Bowl work but not this year. This spot didn’t and still doesn’t make any sense. People are competing in a dog show, but there are still dogs there? And they’re competing for a bunch of dishes made with guacamole? Avocados From Mexico fell into the trap of thinking something is funny, without thinking about whether the idea worked strategically for the brand. Though they did get a good take of Kristen Chenowith saying, “They’re healthy, delicious on everything, and always in season,” so they accomplished at least that much.
Can you Hand me a Tissue?
Why is this commercial making me tear up right now? It’s because a brand put together an inspirational story that actually made sense for them. With the technology that Microsoft is developing all kids can enjoy being kids. When kids have the proper tools to play, they’re all equal. That message is only reinforced with the simple end line “When everybody plays, we all win.”
Best Celebrity Endorsement
Perfect casting, writing, and editing wins Hyundai the humor vote this year. Jason Bateman proved to be an exceptional elevator operator. Also, I’ve never heard anything that resembles hell more accurately than an enthusiastic beetloaf offering. Each floor represented a horrible experience, working its way down to the sad, empty car lot with an unnecessary DJ that’s all too familiar when buying a car. Wait wait wait, not with Hyundai, Jason Bateman says.
We Love a Strong CTA
They really did a whole song? Cool. Before the commercial was over, I downloaded the app because I want to live a day in the life a baller. Expensify tapped into a great insight: hip-hop artists are always extravagant with their music video productions, and they buy all this crazy stuff that must be impossible to keep track of. It was entertaining, it was relevant for businessfolk always on the run, you know, like 2Chainz. Plus, to make life a little bit easier all you need is your phone. You weren’t born to do expenses, but you were born to snap some pics.
The Worst Flop
Wait, what just happened? What did I just watch? I get it was a performance art thing but who dips their burger in Ketchup!? Please call us, we have so many questions!
All Chuckles, No Big Laugh
Taking cues from the now classic “Hamm and Bublé” SNL skit, Bubly’s spot worms into your brain and repeats the brand name over. and. over. and. over. again. We’d be annoyed if it were done for any other company, but this hyperbolic premise paired with the charming Michael Bublé got a couple of chuckles out of us. And in a way, the strategy worked. Now that we know they exist, we’d be more willing to cheat on La Croix if a Bubly came our way.
Change is a Good Thing
Anticipation was building up for Jeff “The Dude” Bridges days before the big game, with teasers being dropped in the week leading up to it. A cult favorite who loves his White Russians coupled with another great character defined by their drink preference, Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw and her Cosmopolitans. These two willing to “Change for Good” not only highlighted the great taste of Stella, but also the great work they do. Stella tapped into our love for nostalgia and made two icons relevant nearly twenty years after their heydays! Cheers.
It’s hard to find fault in the highly underrated effort for Google’s translation technology. Google’s brilliant product demonstration becomes an unflinching look at the nature and power of language, from the helpful to the hurtful. There is no borrowed story you should feel good about, just a heartwarming end reveal of the 3 most translated phrases every day on the platform. Uplifting, powerful and 100% on-product. Also, thanks, Google for making me want to book an impulse vacation, now that I know I can speak French.
Oh Yeah, We’re Watching Football
Winner of USA Today’s AdMeter, this 2-minute spectacle of all-time football greats dismantling an event hall is packed with inside references and plenty of action. The spot was fun and energetic, though it played over a game that was everything but. After a season that was jam-packed with political divisiveness and conversations about safety concerns, this was what everyone needed.
For next year, Tide, please come back. We miss you.