Super Bowl 50: Top 3 Ads and Key Takeaways

09 Feb Super Bowl 50: Top 3 Ads and Key Takeaways

(Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Ezra Shaw)

The Super Bowl has become a cultural tradition, attracting 100 million plus viewers. The chance for that kind of exposure has driven brands to pay a huge sum of cash for commercial spots during the big game. According to CBS, Super Bowl ads reached a record high of $5 million per 30-second slot. And that is just for the time slot – the cost of actually creating the ad, and the campaign that backs it, is exponentially higher.

Typically, the campaigns have a huge impact, especially with increasing millennial viewership on cross-channel devices. Social media has become an equally important (and more cost effective way, for that matter) for brands to increase awareness during the game and after the game. In fact, a statistic from Adobe states that people talk about ads on social media on average for about 25 days after the game. So, brands take on the challenge of creating an ad that is a perfect blend of emotions while being unique enough to stand out and be discussed for weeks – a risk that could lead to destruction or reward.

Thankfully, we saw some winners this year. And so, without further ado, I will give you my own rating of the top 3 best super bowl ads.

  1. Shock Top | “Unfiltered Talk” with T.J. Miller

This ad deserved the number 3 best ad spot for several reasons. One, T.J. Miller is hilarious. T.J. and Wedge blasted each other with insults back and forth for 30 seconds during the big game. It was witty, but what was even better was the campaign that surrounded it. Shock Top created an additional 60-second video, which was an awesome bonus, and a 5-minute video of T.J. and the orange wedge doing an ad review of their own. It is hysterical.

  1. Hyundai | “First Date” with Kevin Hart

Hyundai’s “First Date” won first place in USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad meter, and there is no arguing that it was one of the best commercials on Sunday night. The ad features a dad, Kevin Hart, who offers his keys to his daughter’s date. Little did he know, the new Hyundai Genesis features a tracking service for the car owners, which allowed Hart to show up at spots during the date and keep tabs on his daughter. Hyundai did a brilliant job at creating a relatable and funny advertisement that truly showcased the new technology.

  1. Mountain Dew Kickstart | “Puppy Monkey Baby”

Puppy. Monkey. Baby. Where do I start? I’ve actually seen this ad at the bottom of a lot of ad ratings. But, in spirit of the commercial, I’m going to be different and place it at the very top. The ad concept is somewhat simple, but brilliant. The brand compared two instances where three beloved things are combined – Mountain Dew, juice, and caffeine, and a puppy, monkey, and baby – except the latter came out like Dr. Frankenstein’s creation: downright disturbing and a bit misunderstood. But Mountain Dew, which hasn’t ran a Super Bowl ad since 2000, did a heck of a job creating buzz with this one. The ad is the visual equivalent to the saying “so bad that it’s good.” Coming in at a whopping 4.2 million twitter mentions during the Super Bowl, Mountain Dew’s Puppy Monkey Baby ad dominated (or just scared) its competitors away with a nowhere near close runner-up of 1.69 million mentions of Dorito.

With that, congratulations to ‘The Sheriff’, Peyton Manning, and the Denver Broncos on the big win. And potentially a happy retirement to Manning as well, which I hear is now being paid for by Budweiser. Cam, you’ll have your chance, too, so don’t pout in too many press conferences – just keep giving away game balls and looking like a superhero. Also, great job to Beyoncé for the outstanding halftime show – and whoever else performed in the background.

Brandan Lickey
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