Which commercial won Super Bowl LIII?

Discussion
Sources: NFL, Amazon, Hyundai
Feb 04, 2019
George Anderson

The snoozefest otherwise known as Super Bowl LIII is over — thank goodness. Now, it’s time to talk about a part of the game’s broadcast — the commercials — that held somewhat higher entertainment value, even though there were quite a few fumbles along the advertising way, as well.

Adweek weighed in with its five best of the game:

  1. HBO + Bud Light “Joust”: a mashup of the premium channel’s “Game of Thrones” franchise with the beer brand’s “Dilly Dilly” medieval campaign. The spot started with its focus on the beer, but took a quick turn towards dramatic imagery borrowed from “GOT” in the form of Gregor “The  Mountain” Clegane and one of the show’s dragons.
  2. Burger King’s #EatLikeAndy spot featured pop artist Andy Warhol (1928 – 1987) eating a Whopper, which he dipped in ketchup poured on the side. The spot, which was originally shot in 1982 as part of a documentary, may seem a bit off-brand. Adweek argues, however, that the spot is “uneventful, dry … and absolutely impossible to look away from.”
  3. Hulu’s promotional spot for the new season of its Handmade Tale” uses a voice-over from Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” commercial  that starts off with imagery that seems optimistic, but quickly switches to the darkness and violence that marks the show.
  4. Amazon.com’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut” spot shows celebrities and astronauts beta testing new uses for the company’s Alexa voice-activated technology. Harrison Ford and his dog are highlights.
  5. Bud Light’s “Special Delivery” makes use of the “Dilly Dilly” character to make fun of smaller rivals — Miller Light and Coors Light — for using corn syrup in their brews. Bud Light, it proclaims, is brewed without corn syrup.

USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings included the following top 5:

  1. The National Football League’s “The 100-Year Game” commercial contained, arguably, more action than the Patriots and the Rams, which provided among the dullest, if not the actual dullest, Super Bowl I can remember and I’ve watched all of them. (“I’m awake, I’m just resting my eyes.”) Ad Meter score: 7.69
  2. Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut was next, with an Ad Meter score of 7.34.
  3. Microsoft’s uplifting “We All Win commercial features young kids playing games with the aid of the company’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller. Ad Meter score: 7.07.
  4. “The Elevator” spot from Hyundai uses Jason Bateman as an elevator operator who delivers people down to floors that hold the worst experiences of their lives, including a root canal, the middle seat on a long plane flight, a parent’s “talk” with an adolescent about the birds and the bees until avoiding the bottom floor (typical car shopping) by using Hyundai Shopper Assurance for an easy, pleasant way to by their next auto. Ad Meter score: 7.05.
  5. Verizon’s “The Coach Who Wouldn’t Be Here” commercial features the head coach of the Los Angeles Charges who recalls his story about the first responders that helped save his life after being involved in a car accident in 2005. Ad Meter score: 6.95.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which commercial do you think won the Super Bowl 2019 broadcast? How do your favorite commercials from this year, stack up against favorites from previous games?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I first saw Hyundai's 'The Elevator' earlier in the day on Facebook on mute (with subtitles), and it still made me laugh out loud."
"What happened to fun ads that sparked an interest to actually buy the product?"
"I understand not all commercials have me as a target, but it was very hard to determine who some of these commercials were targeting."

Join the Discussion!

25 Comments on "Which commercial won Super Bowl LIII?"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

I did enjoy the Hyundai and Amazon ads in particular, but overall found the commercials (and halftime show) about on par with the game itself. (In other words, can I have four hours of my life back?) The prevalence of robots in this year’s ads reminded me of the “voice activation” gags last year — not much originality on display.

And even though Budweiser products are “superfoods” (brewed with wind power and without corn syrup), I’m still not buying them … or Pepsi products either.

Dr. Stephen Needel
BrainTrust

As a lifelong Pats fan, I’m glad they won but I’m not even getting the t-shirt over this one. Bad game and mediocre commercials. If this year’s batch had been aired in previous years, none of them might even have been mentioned. I did like the 100 years of NFL and Alexa Fails, but neither were great.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

I’m going to vote for the Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” ad. We are in an era where truth-tellers are vilified; it’s important to stand up for facts.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

I was pleasantly surprised to see an ad from the Washington Post. It did deliver a message, especially the tagline.

Phil Masiello
BrainTrust
The most entertaining and memorable commercial was the NFL 100 Year Game. It was certainly a great way and the right setting to let everyone know this is the centennial year. For me, the best commercial to execute a brand message was the Bud Light Special Delivery of Corn Syrup ad. It is difficult to differentiate your brand in the mass market beer environment, but this was certainly a great approach. Corn syrup has been made a villain in so many other food categories so the awareness is very high. It will be interesting to see how MillerCoors reacts to this frontal assault. The Amazon ad was fun and got across the point of integrating Alexa into many other products and platforms. The possibilities are endless and that came across in a light-hearted way. Many of the others I found to be boring and trying too hard to be irreverent with their humor. Humor at the expense of the message or meaning is useless. I probably agree more with the USA Today list than the… Read more »
Paula Rosenblum
BrainTrust

I agree with Dick. The Amazon commercial was good, but overall we had a boring game, a boring halftime show and boring commercials. Bummer — since I am a (gasp) Patriots fan. We won, but we won ugly.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

In my opinion I thought first place went to the Bud Light/Game of Thrones spot. The slogan “Dilly Dilly” and Game of Thrones own so much mindshare with fans that this spot got them involved and paying attention.

Second was Bud Light’s brilliant repositioning strategy of Miller Lite and Coors Light. This was the old genuine red salmon, guaranteed to not turn pink repositioning strategy.

Ed Rosenbaum
BrainTrust

I thought this year’s ads were weak in comparison to past years. The ones I enjoyed most were the Bud Light Special Delivery and NFL 100 Year game. I can’t imagine how they were able to pull off that commercial with all the action involved. Surprising also was it was an ad for the NFL. But, for the most part, I found the ads to be no more impressive than the ones we watch on a normal evening of TV.

As for the half time show, I was disappointed with Adam Levine. Frankly, there was not a good reason for him to take off his shirt and show a body covered in tattoos.

Evan Snively
BrainTrust

I first saw Hyundai’s “The Elevator” earlier in the day on Facebook on mute (with subtitles), and it still made me laugh out loud. So kudos for a simple concept with clever copy and the ability to be spread through social channels.

The NFL commercial certainly was entertaining for those who know the players, the HBO + GOT mashup was as close to last years “Tide Twist” commercials that we got this year, and honestly I was super underwhelmed with the Amazon spots. The concept itself is great, but “Not Everything Makes the Cut” is a pretty ironic name for a campaign that was just so-so.

Min-Jee Hwang
Guest

Bud Light’s corn syrup ad and Verizon’s first responders ad certainly stood out, the former for its message that has already gained the attention of the National Corn Growers Association and the latter for its emotional resonance, but overall the Super Bowl and the commercials were lackluster.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

While it’s always fun to talk about Super Bowl commercials, you know it says something when ALL you want to talk about the next day are the commercials instead of the game itself. My vote goes to the Washington Post ad and the Verizon ad with LA’s head coach. Both ads carried a powerful message that frankly, were more motivating than any of the ads touting products this year, although Amazon’s Alexa ad gets an honorable mention for Harrison Ford’s dog. I’m with Dick Seesel on this point — didn’t motivate me to buy Pepsi or Bud Light!

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

For the football sentimentalists, the National Football League’s “The 100 Year Game” commercial had the right mix of nostalgia and humor. It really served as a self-deprecating vehicle for a league that continues to pull in record profits year after year, but also has a fair amount of damage control with the Colin Kaepernick controversies, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) deflections, and record player contracts. The Super Bowl remains the number one media play for the NFL and is essentially a national holiday in the U.S.

For those who watch and enjoy the NFL, it was nice to connect the stars of the present, Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr, along with showcasing Terry Bradshaw, Jim Brown, Franco Harris, and others. It was just the right amount of magic that makes commercials memorable even when the game, other commercials and even the halftime show was underwhelming. In my humble opinion, none of the other commercials stood out.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust
11 months 17 days ago

Two winners this year:

Microsoft for a sensitive representation of meeting diverse needs – that delivered the only purposeful ad that matched the product.

Washington Post for so many reasons. Certainly, the critical nature of journalism to society. But also, for the face that Jeff Bezos once again endorses the value of traditional media while too many retail execs are letting marketing departments run wild with far less effective online gimmicks.

And one big ironic match: Burger King. Only an art school trained creative would convince themselves they were doing something “big” when they matched the insipid art of Andy Warhol with the insipid food at Burger King. Was it that the collective subconscious among the advertising team told the truth despite themselves?

Michael Decker
BrainTrust
Michael Decker
Vice President, Marketing Strategy
11 months 17 days ago

Bud Light, without a doubt, had the most impact for single-handedly changing every major beer company’s ingredient list and putting the final nail in the corn syrup industry. #blechtocornsyrup

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

My top three are:

  1. Walmart’s Famous Cars. Somebody deserves a medal for getting permission from all those competing movie studios for use of their cars.
  2. Microsoft’s We All Win. Great feels, and I love Owen, the little boy who stars in this and the Microsoft holiday commercial, “He’s gonna do it! You gotta see this!” It’s an important message.
  3. NFL’s 100 Year Game. Watching this commercial was more fun than watching the actual game.

Although it scored high, I was not a fan of Hyundai’s The Elevator. It rambled and the punchline didn’t deliver. At the end we all said, “That was a car commercial?!” I also didn’t like the Burger King Andy Warhol spot. I’m not a fan of using historical footage of deceased people to hawk product – they can’t give consent. And it could have just as easily been a ketchup commercial.

Steve Montgomery
BrainTrust

Like many I have become accustomed to football games where the action came from the team moving down field and scoring rather than three plays and out. The Super Bowl made a great case for the defensive side of the game but it lacked the excitement we have all become accustomed to. The same could be said for the commercials.

I am not sure if we have raised our expectations to a level such that what used to wow us no longer does. Most of the commercials on the game might have been viewed as good to great if they had run any other time. All that being said my vote would be a tie for the NFL 100 Year Game and the Hyundai ads.

Shelley E. Kohan
BrainTrust

The Super Bowl ads were boring, too complicated and were in misalignment with the target market of the halftime show. What happened to fun ads that sparked an interest to actually buy the product? While my two teenage sons were very excited with the halftime show, I found myself explaining half of the commercials to them. If I had to vote, I would pick the Amazon Alexa spiff, at least it made me laugh. Sadly, there are zero products I am searching out today as a results of yesterday’s commercials. I missed Masterlock and Doritos (did I miss these during my nap?).

W. Frank Dell II
BrainTrust

Most disappointing Super Bowl, both game and commercials. Seems to be the year of little creativity. I understand not all commercials have me as a target, but it was very hard to determine who some of these commercials were targeting.

Rich Duprey
Guest
Argh! The moralizing tone of most of these ads was unbearably tedious. I didn’t find their message uplifting; they were ponderous. The Hyundai – Jason Bateman ad was probably the best, though I had seen the first five seconds of it on YouTube numerous times before hitting the “Skip Ad” button. I can also say I had no recollection until reading this article that it was for Hyundai, so was it actually effective? The Amazon ad for products that didn’t make it was much more memorable, and I did like the Bud Light/Game of Thrones mashup. However, Anheuser-Busch touting that Bud Light wasn’t made with corn syrup was exceptionally disingenuous because *numerous” A-B beers ARE made with it, including Bud Ice, Busch, Busch Ice, Busch Light, King Cobra, Natural Ice, and Natural Light. Bud could’ve rolled that big barrel up to its own gates. I also thought John Malkovich’s AFC championship game commercial last year was better than this year’s with Peyton Manning. I’d also point out his opposition to Manning using the gladiator imagery… Read more »
Richard J. George, Ph.D.
BrainTrust

The NFL’s “the 100 Year Game,” Verizon’s “the Coach Who Wouldn’t be Here,” and the Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” Three ads that engaged the viewers, made you think and weren’t simply touting product benefits.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

The Bud Light medieval is starting to grow on me, but the HBO combo, which humorously is kind of close to what Bud is showing, made me laugh out loud. Love it when great brands like HBO can be self-deprecating in such a fun way. They took the prize for me.

David Naumann
BrainTrust
David Naumann
Vice President, Retail Marketing, enVista
11 months 16 days ago

The ad that was the most creative and appealing to me was the ad for the Audi GT concept car. The ad sucked you in to this beautiful electric car with all the bells and whistles and then the driver lurches forward and the ad cuts to the driver choking on a cashew in his office getting the Heimlich from a co-worker. It was a good combination of intriguing, cool car and humor and I remembered it more than the other commercials. And now I want that car!

Liz Adamson
BrainTrust

Overall, I was under impressed with the game, the halftime show and most of the commercials. The ones that did stand out were:

  1. The National Football League’s “The 100-Year Game” – more action that the actual game and my kids were laughing through the whole thing.
  2. Amazon.com’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut” – It was a fun commercial that poked fun at AI and voice assistant technology that went too far.
  3. Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” – A good reminder in our current political climate of how critical good journalism is.
Craig Sundstrom
Guest

Didn’t watch the game, and (so) not gonna watch ~10 YouTube’s to vote, but it gives me the warm fuzzies that enough people apparently still remember when department stores had elevator operators that the Hyundai spot made enough sense to do well. (Indeed, I’m happy that enough people even remember department stores!)

Carlos Arambula
BrainTrust

Two commercials stood out for me because of their strong call to action.

The NFL spot. Football participation is decreasing in High Schools due to the the legitimate concern on brain injuries. However, the moment the football hits the floor in the commercial, it reminds us why we played the sport, the fraternity of the sport and perhaps encourage parents not to deprive young ones from the experience. This has been done before for other sports — think World Cup, but no other sport has “Fumble!” as an immediate call to action.

Pepsi. Coke has become the soda category description in restaurants that customers ask for it instead of asking for a Cola. It’s a real life situation, and next time the viewer is asked “is Pepsi ok?” he will remember the commercial, perhaps become an ambassador for the Pepsi Brand and answer like Little John. I hope this is a campaign and is introduced as a merchandising element in restaurants and even grocery stores.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I first saw Hyundai's 'The Elevator' earlier in the day on Facebook on mute (with subtitles), and it still made me laugh out loud."
"What happened to fun ads that sparked an interest to actually buy the product?"
"I understand not all commercials have me as a target, but it was very hard to determine who some of these commercials were targeting."

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