If you like football, Super Bowl LII was as good of a game as you could ever wish to see. Offensive numbers rolled up like the score on a pinball machine, there were more passes to quarterbacks than punts, and the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots to win their first Super Bowl 41-33.
Of course there was plenty to watch even if you’re not a sportsball fan. The commercials were a focus of attention as always. While politics made its way into several spots, the ads seemed to emphasize unity and uplifting themes more than last year.
Continuing our annual tradition, Access staff weighed in with their picks for best ad of the night.
I really liked the Budweiser ad showing a factory shutting down its production line to can water for areas hit by disaster. While I could go the rest of my career without seeing another commercial that uses the standard song “Stand by Me” for borrowed equity, the spot made you feel good about the company. It made Brandi cry, which was a good sign since she was trying to hoard all her tears for the special episode of “This Is Us,” which followed the game.
Director of Public Relations Jeremy Butterfield and Director of Business Intelligence Rachel Spencer praised the NFL commercial with Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning reprising the finale of “Dirty Dancing.” Baby would have been proud.
Much of the staff chose the Tide ads starring David Harbour, the actor best known for playing Jim Hopper in Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” parodying famous ads to extol the virtues of clean clothes. It was tabbed as a favorite by Creative Director Chris Henson, Art Director Michael Craighead, CEO Tony Pearman, Senior Account Manager Brandi Dawson, and Creative Director Kris Bailey.
Michael said, “Tide definitely took the win. They were all unexpected and hilarious.”
Tony agreed saying, “The series spoofing other famous spots and genres (from Old Spice to prescription meds) was smart and funny and did something lots of other ‘clever’ ads sometimes fail to do — which is make you actually remember the product and its inherent features and benefits.”
Senior Programmer Greg Keene enjoyed the Dodge Ram Vikings commercial, which was an ambitious piece of film-making and parody. The spot was a winner. Dodge Ram was probably also the biggest loser of the big game ads with its ill-advised Martin Luther King Jr. ad.
Senior Account Manager Misty Smith-Klein enjoyed the Doritos Blaze/Mountain Dew Ice spot featuring Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman. It’s hard to go wrong with charismatic stars in a rap battle alongside Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott.
Business Development Executive Bill Houck Jr. called attention to E-Trade’s delightful “This Is Getting Old” commercial.
VP of Creative Services Gary Gilmore gave a nod to Toyota’s “Good Odds.”
All in all, most folks agreed that the commercials didn’t match the intensity of the game, but there were some pleasant surprises, smiles, and reasons for reflection.