Super Squares? Check!
With all the necessities in place, my wife, my son and I sat down for what was truly going to be an epic television viewing experience. Our family gathered to witness the spectacle that takes place on the first Sunday of every February with the Super Bowl set to kick-off from Tampa Florida. From beginning to end, it was never really in doubt that the age-less Tom Brady and his running mate Rob Gronkowski would lead the Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title. For millions of Americans, this event holds a steady place in our hearts and when it’s a letdown, as Super Bowl LV was, it leaves us no choice. We are forced to turn our focus to the other reason we tuned in, and no, I’m not referring to the frightening Broadway revival of the movie “US” that we witnessed at halftime, but the commercials.
Companies spend millions of dollars rolling out new ad campaigns to the consuming public. With no pun intended, it’s literally the Super Bowl of advertising. There have been Super Bowl ads that have become part of pop culture lore like the 1980 Mean Joe Greene Coca Cola commercial, or the 1993 McDonald's Jordan vs. Bird game of HORSE or the most successful advertising campaign in super bowl history, the 1995 rollout of the Budweiser Frogs. Corporations pour endless amounts of money into these adds hoping to garner the same kind of recognition and notoriety as the infamous GEICO Caveman spots. With all the hopes and advertising dollars for the upcoming year invested in 30-second increments. Advertising departments wait for the coveted best and worst lists to come out. Here are some of the grades we’ve given to some of the most popular commercials from this year’s event.
The commercial game started out pretty fiercely with the M&M commercial. The M&M ad-team gets what a commercial should be. Funny, creative, straight to the point and topical. From mansplaining to gender reveals they really did a great job. They helped their case for the top spot by bringing in one of the most popular faces on TV, Dan Levy, son of Eugene Levy and creator of Schitt’s Creek to finish it off. I only saw it once, but I wished I’d seen it a few times, it left a solid impression. B+
Doordash went and struck a chord with a slightly older crowd when they incorporated Sesame Street and Daveed Diggs into their “Neighborhood” theme. I enjoyed the commercial that featured some Big Bird and a little bit of gonzo flying around. In a world and environment dominated by CGI, it was a great spot that resonated with both younger and older. A
The Cheetos commercial starring Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher was an immediate favorite all over social media. I still have no idea what happened except there were Cheeto fingerprints all over walls and the second most popular guy named Shaggy was dressed in a purple smoking jacket. I was informed that it was a good commercial. To me, it was hard to get. C
The biggest flop for me was the Doritos 3D spot with a flat Mathew McConaughey. McConaughey appears to be flat and two dimensional, he gets sucked up by a Roomba, then almost flies out of his convertible all before being ridiculed by Jimmy Kimmel. Walking down the street McConaughey slides into a Doritos vending machine, opens a bag and the same thing occurred to him that happens to everyone who eats Doritos, they feel instantly bloated. I don’t know the message they were trying to convey, but bloating your star actor after eating your product, may not be a wise decision. D
If there was a worst commercial, then that means there was also a best. I really enjoyed the Rocket Mortgage “certainty is better” campaign. Tracy Morgan showed us why it’s better to be certain, than pretty sure. It’s better to be certain to have a parachute instead of a backpack and lunchbox. The Rocket Mortgage advertising team deserves top honors for the best commercial campaign this Super Bowl season. A+
Now I’d be doing the commercials a complete injustice by not mentioning what happened to be the most talked-about commercial. The Alexa spot, starring Michael B Jordan. The spot was definitely a perfect commercial to bring the fourth-quarter home. If any women had lost interest by then, they were quickly reeled back in when Alexa was asked to dim the lights and Jordan shed his shirt to cover the lamp. According to my wife A+++
Each year we see commercials come and go, some last forever while some fade quickly from the airwaves. Which commercial will be this year's “Dilly, Dilly?” No one can really say for certain, but if past trends hold true, there will be at least one that sticks with us for years to come.
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