Converting-the-Cost-of-A-Super-Bowl-Ad Happy Well-Tailored Wednesday! Super Bowl 50 just wrapped up last week and at $5 milli for a 30-second spot, it was one of the most expensive events to advertise during in media history. And while some ads were straight fuego, others tanked…and they tanked hard. I personally didn’t see any ads that were that bad (Remember Nationwide?), though there were some questionable ones that made me want to punch a…pillow. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the hits and misses of this year’s Big Game and the agencies that created them.

The Hits:

  1. T-Mobile Unrestricted Bling (Publicis Seattle)

Why This Rocked: You’re taking one of the hottest songs of 2015 & pairing it with all the frustrations people have with their cell phone carriers = Just the right concoction of goofiness and tongue-in-cheek honesty. Combining that with Drake’s charisma and versatility as an actor (that fake laugh is great) and you have COMEDIC GOLD.

  1. Colgate (Young & Rubicam Peru)

Why This Rocked: Though at a later time of the game (credit to the Media Buyer on that one), the ad had a refreshing, “real” feel to it. It was informative without being in-your-face and it didn’t send you on a guilt trip, which is what a lot of the other PSA-type ads do. Subtle yet substantial. And with a great message.

  1. KIA “Walken Closet” (David & Goliath)

Why This Rocked: The “Celeb helps turns Average Joe into a wild child” theme is a popular one in many commercials, but this one nailed it perfectly. Who doesn’t like Christopher Walken? Talk about having pizzazz!

Honorable Mentions:

Snickers (BBDO)—Another day, another Super Bowl, another hit.

Toyota Prius (Saatchi LA)—Self-deprecating at times, self-confident for the remainder of the time. And just the right amount of charming. Quite similar to the famous Carlton Draught ad, though.

Heinz (David)—How did it take them THIS LONG to make an ad with weiner dogs??


The Misses:

  1. Budweiser & Helen Mirren (Anomaly)

Why This Sucked: An older sophisticated British woman drinking a non-sophisticated beer? And on top of that she’s hurling old-fashioned British insults at me for thinking about driving drunk? I’m sure that will make me reconsider. But in all seriousness, though the crux of the #GiveADamn campaign is really great, the actual ad was flat. Plus using a British actress to represent a traditional American beer seems not only very off-putting but also very off-brand. Cheerio!

  1. TurboTax (Wieden + Kennedy)

Why This Sucked: Yet another ad that tries to sell us something by using a celeb to spoof an ad that’s selling us something. It’s meta and lazy. Yawn!

  1. SoFi (Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-Fer)

Why This Sucked: They’re tried to be great but they’re not. They tried to be cheeky but did not. Overall fail of a commercial.

Dishonorable Mentions

Skittles (DDB Chicago)—These commercials are usually all over the place and this one was at the bottom of the lot. Dream on to next year, Skittles.

Death Wish Coffee (RPA)—It was great that Intuit gave them a shot at the Big Stage through their “Small Business, Big Game” competition, but their ad just didn’t “pop”. Maybe to get their juices flowing, their creative team should’ve drank some more…you guessed it, Death Wish coffee.

Bai (Barton F. Graf) —flat Flat FLAT. And it literally doesn’t make any sense. #KBai

Overall, most of the commercials were pretty good, as usual. It’s amazing to think that despite having an audience of about 111.9 million, marketers may have fumbled with effectively engaging those viewers with their ads. Sure, some ads were touching and some were funny. But how will marketers change the way they connect to audiences? THAT’s what I’m most excited to see in future Super Bowls. Content is still king but I’d wager to say that audiences are less engaged in these ads than they used to be. Instead, I think marketers need to connect with consumers more than just through a witty :30 ad. They need to utilize all forms of media and really hone in on a “360-strategy” instead of just using that term as a buzzword at industry conferences. Esurance tried a social-media-heavy campaign for their SB ad and it garnered 1.5 BILLION impressions, but was it effective in full customer engagement and in sales? I guess we’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.

What were your favorite ads of Super Bowl 50? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!