Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

11 Feb Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Over the past week, I’ve sat back and listened to all the buzz and commentary about this year’s Super Bowl commercials. So, I’m finally taking the time to weigh in on whether or not companies really took advantage of their $4 million, 30-second opportunity to make Americans love their brands. And first, I’d like to personally thank those companies who kept their ads a secret until the big day, companies like Chrysler, Oreo, and Tide. Although, those who revealed their ads early may have been taking advantage of the chance for additional viewings (Last year, Super Bowl ads released early were watched 600 percent more times — with 9.1 million average views — than ones released after the game, according to, to me, it killed the excitement.  It’s like “Black Friday” which is now actually the entire month of November.  Nothing is exclusive anymore – but that’s an entirely different post.

I will say, that I was really hoping this year’s commercials would impress me more than last year’s, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Just like last year, there were a few standouts that were memorable advertisements, but nothing amazing. Or again, maybe some fell flat for me because I had seen them splashed all over social media for voting (Doritos’ crash the Super Bowl campaign). So, without further ado, here are my favorites:

  1. Of course, the Budweiser Clydesdale Ad: Not only was it my favorite, but it also was USA Today’s official winner according to their 25-year anniversary Ad Meter. However, based on an unofficial study of no more than 15 people that I randomly talked to throughout the last week, this one seemed to be more popular with the ladies. But, how couldn’t it be? It was like a one-minute episode of the veterinarian version of Grey’s Anatomy. In my book, and obviously many others’, this was a job well done, Anheuser-Busch. Kudos.



Geico: “Happier Than Dikembe Mutombo”: Lets all be honest, there’s just something really funny about people swatting at things. I think this commercial was way under-rated by the media. OK, so maybe the “super young generation” didn’t know who Dikembe Mutombo was at first viewing, but they should all be able to look him up on their iPads before the commercial was even over. Either way, I thought this was hilarious.


Dodge Ram “God Made a Farmer”: So, maybe I was a sucker for the sentimental ads this year, but it was mostly because the “funny” ads just weren’t really that funny. That said, this was the perfect ad to play during the Super Bowl, in my opinion. What goes better with All-American football than the All-American farmer? And, those were some powerful images with a moving script. 

Of course, there were also the ads I just didn’t get at all.  Here they are and here’s why: 

  1. Go Daddy “Perfect Match”: I really did not enjoy watching this commercial.  It grossed me out. I haven’t even been able to watch it a second time because I remember exactly how uncomfortable I felt the first time I watched it. That said, in the same, super unofficial survey I took of my random friends and co-workers, the men seemed to not be as turned off by this ad. I have my own speculation for why that may be, but I’m not sure this is the best outlet for my theory. Despite the fact that I will never, ever watch this commercial again voluntarily, everyone is talking about it…still. So, in this case, I’ll agree with a recent Huffington Post article, which stated “When it comes to Super Bowl ads, it may be better to offend than to merely flop.”
  2. Bud Light “Lucky Chair”: “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work,” is right.  And, this just didn’t work, which made it weird. But, at least Anheuser-Busch had a hit with the Clydesdale Ad to make up for it.
  3. Beck’s Sapphire “No Diggity”: Really? You spent millions and this was the best you could come up with? I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get the fish or the song or the fish singing the song. And, I definitely didn’t feel enticed to try the product or really even think about it further, other than for the sake of this post. Epic fail.


I’m sure everyone had different opinions and surely may not agree with mine regarding this year’s Super Bowl commercials, but I’d love to hear them. Feel free to agree, disagree or simply let me know what your favorites were and why. Here’s to hoping next year’s ads really “wow” us!


Kate Nesbitt
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