The Super Bowl had several surprises in store for its audience this year. Perhaps it was the close game, or the stellar Beyonce/Destiny’s Child performance, or maybe even the unfortunate 34-minute blackout, but it was definitely the commercials that truly pushed the envelope: from unruly seniors to a tacky kiss, here are your favorite (and least favorite) picks: (as chosen by the Medill IMC program)
1. Tide “Miracle Stain”
The top award goes to Tide for the spot that reminds us “no stains are sacred”. This hilarious commercial tells the story of a 49ers fan that gets a stain in his jersey—that happens to look exactly like Joe Montana! The man becomes famous—that is, until the wife gets a hold of the jersey and washes it with Tide (she then whispers “Go Ravens!”)
2. Taco Bell “Viva Young”
Taco Bell stepped away from the Chihuahua dog and went a little more grown-up—a bit too grown up actually. It all starts in a retirement home where a handful of grandmas and grandpas are going to sleep, or so we think. Apparently they are ready to cause a ruckus and party all night, ending with some late-night Taco Bell. To top it all off, the song “We Are Young” plays in the background—in Spanish!
3. Budweiser “Brotherhood”
This touching ad brought back the beloved Budweiser Clydesdales. The story was simple: a trainer raises the horse until it is ready to be sold, and two years later they reunite in a Chicago parade. The mellow Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide” alongside the emotive reunion of horse and trainer brought tears to many.
1. GoDaddy.com “Perfect Match”
While GoDaddy.com is known for outrageous commercials, nothing could have prepared viewers for this one. Danica Patrick explains how the web hosting service is both good-looking and smart, and then personifies them with a gorgeous model and an overweight nerd, who then proceed to kiss for an awkwardly long time. Offensive—very much so.
2. Ram Trucks “Farmer”
This ad glorified Americana, farmers, and trucks. While on paper it seems like a good idea, Ram was not very creative with the overall execution. The ad was a little too long, and it showed motionless photographs and voiced the repeating slogan “God made a Farmer”. Minimal entertainment value and a bit boring.
3. Toyota “I Wish with Kaley Cuoco”
Kaley Cuoco as a genie granting wishes. Yeah, we didn’t get it either.
Overall, the Super Bowl continues to be a cultural phenomenon. Certain companies and their respective agencies did a wonderful job understanding their target customers, while others failed to entertain and keep the attention of the audience. We are already looking forward to next years Super Bowl, where we will see if the brands with the lowest ratings will learn from this year’s mistakes.