My head hurts. I’m groggy. I can’t remember my roman numerals.
Not from an overabundance of chicken wings, chili and absurdly hoppy IPA beer. I’m still drunk from the onslaught of brand messaging, emotional manipulation, product hawking, slow motion footage, celebrity endorsements and goats only Super Bowl advertising can bring. And it’s not a good hangover, either. This year’s commercials were more like a night of well tequila, not top-shelf whiskey.
Here are my ramblings, in no particular order:
Who passed around the “let’s be serious, depressing and profound this year” memo? Please don’t show me dead kids, Nationwide. Ever. You killed my ad buzz in the second quarter. The Microsoft stories were probably poignant, touching and a celebration of the human spirit, but they were lost on me as I dipped chips into spicy salsa. I would watch them at Sundance, though I’m still not sure what they have to do with Word and Excel. Carnival Corporation faked me out with their JFK-narrated ode to salt water. I thought for sure it was the logical extension of the Dodge Ram “Farmer” spot. Regardless, I now know to wax poetic, rather than slather on sunscreen and drink frozen cocktails, when I cruise with them.
Loved “Lie-am” Neeson channeling his well-known intensity for Clash of the Clans. An unexpected gift after seeing their entertaining animated spots heavily over the past month.
Self-deprecating Lindsay Lohan and Bryan Cranston as “sorta” moms and pharmacists for Esurance were cute. And entertaining. And I remembered the commercials were for Esurance.
I think Doritos crashed the Super Bowl once too often and officially jumped the shark this year. It’s time to pay for their ads again.
Twitter loved Nissan’s Maxima spot with a racecar driving Dad making time for his son whenever possible. It was beautifully shot and told an authentic story. Harry Chapin’s sad track about a father who puts work above a relationship with his son (who, in turn, grows up to be just like him) seemed an odd choice, though.
Even though Always’ “Like a Girl” campaign was just a reedit, the insight is strong, timely and powerful. It authentically connected in a way McDonald’s “Pay with Lovin” did not.
Big ups to Snickers. It’s no easy task to continue to innovate within a campaign. Ax-wielding Danny Trejo as the Brady Bunch’s Marcia was brilliant casting. “An eye for an eye. That’s what dad always says.” Hah.
My favorite spot of the night was from Loctite. It broke the unwanted gravity and made me laugh outright. Brave move spending $4.5MM to show a hilarious hodgepodge of front-fanny-pack-wearing dancers use glue. Plus it could save your marriage.
And yes. Toenail fungus will always have a special place in my heart at the Super Bowl.