Super Bowl

Hidden gems amidst fray in Super Bowl ads

Carnival Cruise, Skittles, and Budweiser, among others, show off best advertisements this year

This past Sunday, one of the largest television events of the year, Super Bowl XLIX, saw the Seattle Seahawks lose in dramatic fashion to the New England Patriots. However, for almost half of us who tuned in for the game, it didn’t make too much of a difference. Many of the viewers that Sunday night had came for what played during a break in the action. The commercials.

This year’s Super Bowl advertisements cost a whopping $4 million for a mere 30-second spot while the longer 60-second ones went for $8 million a pop. That cost, after including a cool million, doesn’t seem too profitable for potential advertisers. But the Super Bowl isn’t just another TV show on the list. With a crowd of people who are there to judge your ad on the quality, basically a guarantee of viewership, these ads are worth the big bucks.

The companies who dropped the cash needed for these spots definitely made them count this year. As usual, some were silly, others downright bad, and many just in between. But there were a select few ads that caught my eye. So, I decided to make a list of the best Super Bowl commercials of 2015. Here are the nominees, in no particular order:

1. Doritos – “Middle Seat”

Doritos came out strong this year with a submission from their Doritos Crash, the Super Bowl contest. “Middle Seat” follows an airline passenger in the aisle seat of a plane who employs various disgusting and unsightly tactics to reserve the middle seat for someone he wants to sit with. A comedic twist ensues, and it was clever enough to earn a spot on the list.

2. Carnival Cruise – “Come Back to the Sea”

If there was an award for the most beautiful ad, this one would definitely win, hands down. From the cinematic shots, the sweeping views, and John F. Kennedy’s speech, everything about this ad is simply inspiring. While I may not be heading out on a cruise ship around the world anytime soon, this ad made me feel a need to head back to the rolling deep blue waves of the ocean. This commercial was absolutely the most gorgeous one of them all this year.

3. Skittles – “Marshawn Lynch Press Conference”

I’m putting this one in here because it features a star of one of the Super Bowl teams. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is famous for not speaking with media. But in this commercial, Skittles gave him a giant bowl of Skittles and sat him down to answer some questions. Lynch had me laughing. Hard. Sometimes he’s coming up with his at times strange answers on the fly while others he seems to be reading off a screen, and they’re even funnier. When paired with him popping Skittles into his mouth, this ad earned an easy ‘A’ in my book.

4. Always – “#LIKEAGIRL”

When this commercial first came out as a 3-minute mini-documentary-esque ad, I definitely felt as though the message the ad was trying to spread was strong. This cut-down version of the ad still carries the same strong message. The ad asks participants to “run like a girl” and “throw like a girl,” and the adults and a young boy in the commercial proceed to fake run and throw limply. When the young girls are asked to do the same, they pretend to run and throw with more power than the previous participants. While the ad may be criticized, I think that the ad has a great message and is uplifting.

5. Budweiser – “Lost Dog”

Some of you may have been going through this list just to make sure this one makes it. This year, Budweiser stayed with their tried-and-true “puppy plus Clydesdale” ad and has knocked it out of the park, yet again. Widely considered the best Super Bowl ad this year, it was nice. That’s all I can really say. Cute dog. Brave horse. Great. And while it was a well-made ad, it didn’t exactly wow me. Nevertheless, Budweiser kept the commercial to their usual high standards. Nicely done.

Conclusion

The downtime during Super Bowl XLIX had chuckles, smiles and heartwarming commercials to offer this year’s massive audience. This year’s round of ads had some nice surprises and some definite not-as-funny-as-they-thought-it-would-bes. This year’s pickings were decent with a few gems, but overall, the commercials were well done. We’ll just have to wait until next year to see which companies decide to spend quite a bit on a just a few seconds of footage. Hopefully, a few more companies up their game and give us another round of crowd favorites.

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