February 10, 2016

Ad guy/salesman/former politician tells the truth about the Super Bowl ads.

You didn’t ask, but here it comes anyway. The best three and worst three of the Super Bowl commercials from Sunday’s game. Is it just opinion? Perhaps. But can you trust an ad guy/salesman/former politician when he says something? Of course you can.

The Winners:

Kia, Walken Closet

Celebrity done right.

No fewer than 40 celebs could be found in Super Bowl ads last night, and most of them felt forced into place. But a brilliantly executed monolog by Christopher Walken makes us want to buy a car that is akin to the “world’s most exciting pair of socks.” In the mass-marketed world of midsized sedans, it is refreshingly humble, humorous and perfectly aligned with the Kia brand.

Jeep, Portraits

Tops down. Thumbs up.

Car brands did well all night, and while most chose to focus on marketable features of the car, Jeep chose to dramatize what it “feels” like to be a Jeep owner—and brilliantly tied it to the brand’s 75-year history.

Heinz, Wiener Stampede

Simply funny. Simply good.

A lot of ads effectively used humor. But this one not only got points for a chuckle here and an “awwww” moment there, but also for simply getting across a simple message: Hot dogs and Heinz go together.

The worst:

SoFi.com, Great Loans for Great People

I’m still confused.

Am I great? Am I not great? What is the product and should I even care? If you’re going to spend $5 million on a product launch, it’s not a good idea to make people work too hard to figure out that product.

LG, Man from the Future

Missed opportunity.

A confusing storyline tied to no clear understanding of product benefit—or product for that matter. Wastes a great talent like Liam Neeson. And a $5 million opportunity for a great product launch.

SunTrust, Hold Your Breath

Never got air.

Who wants to think about financial stress during the Super Bowl? Nobody. At no point does the commercial turn the corner in a more hopeful, optimistic manner. In fact, the ominous ticking of the clock continues ominously throughout the entire spot. The OnUp.com website has no tie to the brand—or the commercial—and that doesn’t help either.



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  • Zak44

    The Jeep spot reminded me that one of the things I never got to do during my time in the Army was to drive a Jeep. (Only those with military driver’s licenses could get behind the wheel of any vehicle, and if your job didn’t involve driving, you didn’t get a military license.)