In our own version of the two-minute drill, Reuben Rinkers give their quick thoughts on which ads scored big and which ads fell short during the Super Bowl. The consensus among our crew was that there was no consensus. What we picked as our favorites was all over the board. And a quick search of different online reactions suggests that we are not the only ones.
Here’s what our folks had to say about the spots they liked and a few they liked not so much. Full disclosure: This is not a comprehensive evaluation of the entire slate of ads. We tried to watch them as they aired during the game. So, many of us missed a few spots here and there to refill on buffalo wings, let in/out the dogs, change a baby’s diaper — you get the idea. Here goes:
Boni: “I had lots that I liked, but the Lay’s Stay Golden spot is probably my favorite. It’s obvious what the product is, there are funny scenarios throughout, and the end is unexpected… My least favorite was the Nissan Thrill Driver spot. It was cool as far as graphics, but if there was a point to the story (other than buy Nissan), I missed it. It was over the top just for the sake of being over the top.”
Cassidy: “Although I’m not in on the crypto craze, the Crypto.com spot where LeBron visits his younger self on the cusp of fame was my favorite. I thought this was the perfect amount of nostalgia for the audience, and I loved taking a look inside the mind of teenage James – the floor-to-ceiling posters, the youthful optimism about his career, Dre playing in the background, etc. This spot had me feeling inspired, even though I don’t do crypto… or watch sports…”
Clint: “My favorite was the Zeus and Hera spot for BMW’s electric car. I loved Zeus as ‘the cranky old retiree in Palm Springs’ and Hera as the patient wife. Pet Peggy was a clever touch along with the “Electric Avenue” carpool karaoke… My least favorite was the one with the floating QR code (Coinbase). I had no interest in pulling out my phone and engaging with the ad. I know — I’m a cranky old man.”
Eric: “My fave was a toss up between the Rocket Mortgage ad with Anna Kendrick and the Uber Eats ad. In the end, the comedic quality and simplicity of the Uber Eats spot wins out. It’s hard to miss with Jennifer Coolidge… Least favorite? Coinbase’s 60 seconds of QR code torture. ‘Well, you scanned it didn’t you?’ Yeah. And the lame promo landing page it took me too was a huge let down. So that’s the impression I’m left with — let down. The ad guy part of me, though, would love to see the number of visits versus the number of entries. It probably generated something for them, but the part of me that remembers sitting through Halloween III (from back in 1982), was a little creeped out.”
Grace: “We’re kind of a Toyota family, but my favorite was Toyota’s Keeping Up With the Joneses spot… My least favorite was the Bud Light Seltzer spot with Guy Fieri… I’m not a big fan of ‘boy humor,’ but my husband loved it.”
Ian: “My early favorite was the Uber Eats’ commercial, which was laugh-out-loud funny. But the runaway winner for me was Google’s Pixel 6 spot. It spoke to Black audiences about a problem they know, but camera phone manufacturers choose to ignore (poor reproduction of Black skin tones). It was empathetic and inclusive, without being self-congratulatory. It was a winner on several levels.”
JG: “I liked the NFL computer-animated Bringing Down the House spot with the kids and NFL ‘video game’ players (past and present). It was attention getting and really well executed. It wasn’t impossible to figure out (like many Super Bowl ads) and it was just plain fun – which is a good representation of the sport and a reminder that it is a game after all, especially since the spot involved kids… The ad I thought was off was the Taco Bell clown spot with Doja Cat (didn’t recognize…I’m old). Who could understand anything about what was going on during the ad or what it meant? The only tie to Taco Bell was a sauce packet.”
Keith: “I loved both of the Toyota commercials — the Joneses and Brothers. But the Skechers ad with Willie Nelson — you gotta love Willie! And anything that features Morgan Freeman (Turkish Airlines) is always a winner.”
Michelle: “It was too hard to choose but I’d say Amazon Alexa’s Mind Reader spot. It was funny and entertaining. I like how it plays off the insight of that feeling when tech seemingly reads your mind. I thought Colin Jost and Scarlett Johansson helped play up the comedic aspect… I didn’t like the Taco Bell spot. It just seemed random and didn’t tie back to the brand or product as well as it could have to make it more memorable.”
As you can tell, opinions vary, even among ad folks. But what about you? What spots hit you in the feels, made you laugh, or made you cringe? Share your picks on social media and keep the conversation going.
Need a link to view the spots? Try this one.