Which ads came out on top this year? Read on to find out which Super Bowl LI commercials caught our team's attention!
I loved the Budweiser commercial Born the Hard Way. I think it is an important reminder of the contribution to our country by immigrants and the hardships they faced. Any other year we may have believed it was apolitical but it still sends a strong message: Budweiser, an important All-American staple, would not be here if not for hard working immigrants. It also anchors the beer with German heritage which is generally viewed favorably. ~ Mikhail Kozorovitskiy
Overall, SB commercials have become a jumping the shark contest. Everyone trying too hard to get attention, too hard to jerk a tear or get a laugh, going waaaaay out of their way to make a point that often does not connect back to the product. I know Melissa McCarthy’s commercial for Kia’s was a fan favorite, but it was probably the worst example. If not, Sprint faked a dad’s death to get out of a contract and Ford went so far as to double everything.
Hyundai made a big score with a spot that was filmed and editing during the game, but the message never made back to Hyundai except in their tagline Better Drives Us. I understand that – now – brands need to believe in something and build an ethos around it, but I still think they need to promote SOME benefit of their product. It was a powerful statement, but it probably would have been more appropriate for the technology company that made that VR experience possible.
T-Moble assaulted the audience, throwing every idea they had into the mix. They started weak. Did Bieber take fashion and move cues from the Six Flags guy?
Then they tried Snoop Dog and Martha. Finally, they settled on a series featuring Kristen Schaal that were spoofs of 50 Shades of Grey. The unorthodox casting of Schaal made them funny. They were well-acted and the comic timing was excellent. But I can also see how these could be uncomfortable for mixed audiences.
Overall, this year did not really offer anything that was a breakthrough or a catchphrase that would be would be quotable around the office. So. Finally. Here’s one that didn’t try too hard and fell back on an old-time fan favorite: babies.
What’s not to love? It’s on strategy and it makes everyone smile. Let’s lighten up, folks. So you don’t need a helicopter or an explosion or a weak gag or a heavy message to make an impression. Babies work every time. ~ Mark Jamroz
I thought this year’s SB commercial were really below average. Most of them were not good and really left me wondering, “What did I just watch?”. The commercial that stood out to me the most featured one of my favorite Auburn football players, Cam Newton. What I loved about this commercial was Buick playing off their concept “If that’s a Buick then [blank]” to show customers that driving a Buick doesn’t mean you can’t be “cool” and “stylish”. They are trying to change customers’ ideas and thoughts about Buick by targeting an entirely new demographic. Great job, Buick! ~ Seth Baird
Hyundai successfully delivered a live commercial for the Super Bowl LI. I thought the delivery of their commercial was powerful and touching. The commercial featured a US military base in Zagan, Poland and through 3D camera technology, Hyundai was able to connect soldiers to their families back home. By connecting their brand to real world examples, Hyundai was able to prove that not only in the auto industry but in life, the pursuit of “better drives us.” ~ Erin Mosher
Alfa Romeo probably isn’t a car many Americans have seen in person and judging by the commercial, they went the way of introduction. “Dear Predictable” acknowledges the monotony in luxury sedans and talks far beyond just the beauty of the car. Giulia is the name of the car and seems to be pretty powerful (and still beautiful) judging by the commercial. ~ Brandon Green
If the commercial has just about nothing to do with the product or service, it’s probably a funny ad. This is the moment at your super bowl party where everyone collectively gets quiet because they don’t know what to expect. Avocados From Mexico each year has some strange video like 2015’s “first draft ever”, where each country is drafting animals and plants… Kind of boring, yet weird enough to keep me interested. 2016 displayed “Avos in Space” where aliens toured an intergalactic museum of the human race and made fun of how dumb we are for our excessive use of emojis to “the white and gold dress that caused a civil war”. 2017’s commercial nearly reaching two minutes set the #AVOS bar as a secret society full of nimrod’s resembling your favorite step-brothers from 2008 try to remain secretive. Some things can’t be kept a secret, like fresh avocados year round! ~ Joe Ford
The ad that made me laugh the most? Kia - hands down. But the one that really caught my attention (and may have had me shedding a few tears) was the one ad that didn’t air during the game at all. My favorite commercial of the night was actually the one that I saw scrolling my Facebook feed after I angrily turned off the game during the Patriot’s celebration (#RiseUP!). The Hyundai Commercial was not only incredibly sappy, but it was recorded and edited during the game, which gets mad props in my book. The use of a fancy 360-degree camera allowed soldiers stationed in Poland to watch the Super Bowl with their families without physically having to be there. Also, can we talk about how they didn’t show a single car during the commercial? Well played, Hyundai! ~ Rebecca Terrell
Buick does not shed away from the fact they want a “younger” customer base. In their latest Super Bowl commercial, Buick set up a scene that would be relatable to younger families by displaying a few parents at their child’s pee wee football game. What really grabbed my attention was not Cam Newton (War Eagle) or Miranda Kerr, but the vehicles shown. I actually couldn’t believe my eyes when a red convertible flashed across the screen. You have to give them credit, Buick has stayed true to their “Can’t believe that’s a Buick” messaging. I like that and think they can begin getting more popular. Hey, I fell right into Buick’s trap and asked myself, “How in the world could that be a Buick?”. ~ Alex Kistler
Bud Light: Ghost Spuds.
The weird but kinda works award goes to Budweiser for its ad featuring the ghost of its former Bud Light mascot, the party dog Spuds MacKenzie, voiced by actor Carl Weathers. At first, it's odd to be reminded that the dog which actually played the original Spuds in late 1980s ads is no longer with us. But watching the "ghost" lead a schlubby guy to realize the value of friendship through beer is kinda entertaining – and pretty much the spirit of a lot of Super Bowl revelry. Plus, you can't dislike an ad with Spuds MacKenzie. It was time Anheuser-Busch brought back the lovable pooch to tout beer. ~ Tyler Davis
Which Super Bowl commercial was your favorite?