Everyone caught their breath after Lady Gaga’s halftime performance? Great, now it’s time to indulge in the last quarter of Super Bowl perfection – the adverts, because most of us in the UK couldn’t watch them live.
This year saw brands go for the political, the cinematic, the lols and the new (Snickers live streamed an ad and Tide trolled basically everyone watching when a presenter with a stain on his shirt happened to be an advert).
Some were controversial, some were weirdly twisted and had nothing to do with the brands they were paid by, but some were brilliant. These are them:
This is a strong contender for the best ad of the night. Melissa McCarthy is enlisted to help save the planet through a number of different activist routes to the sounds of I Need a Hero. Obviously, it’s lol-worthy. But it also makes total sense (rarer than you think in American advertising), given that it’s for Kia’s new environmentally friendly whip.
We have no idea what buying a car has to do with chasing your dreams, but the message is a nice one. Add in nine celebrities, including Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon, talking through their embarrassing high school photos (literally) and you’re onto a winning minute. Steve Carell’s bit is a particular highlight.
Febreze not only made toilet humour actually funny, they opened our eyes to a problem that comes with watching a five-hour long sports spectacle. In epic slow motion, they ask America if their toilet is ready, for it will be the busiest room at the party come halftime.
AirBnB have been staunch critics of Trump’s immigration policies, but they made it known to the world during the Super Bowl. The company hadn’t originally planned to advertise during the event, but when a spot became available they used it to send a very clear and simple message – they accept everyone.
It’s A 10 Hair Care
We had no idea who this brand was, but they took Donald Trump apart in 30 seconds, while managing to sell their brand. They get into it straight away with an acknowledgement that America’s in for at least four years of awful hair, and the rest of the ad is just as brilliant as it celebrates diversity, and the weird and wonderful.
The car brand takes on the issue of the gender pay gap in a touching narrative of a father hoping he won’t have to tell his daughter that men are valued more than her. As he questions whether we will progress far enough that he won’t have to, Audi announces that they are committed to equal pay for equal work to a swelling soundtrack.
Justin Bieber, ‘Celebration Expert’, takes us through the history of the celebration, from the primitive high-five to the limitless moves we see after a touchdown. Because T-Mobile doesn’t have limits, get it? Honestly, they need to get in touch with Danny Welbeck.
This guy is so far from Barry Scott, we’re on another planet. Weirdly sexual? Yes. Amazing advert? Also yes.
If Kia was a contender for best ad, Squarespace was the winner. Somehow (read: A LOT of money), they managed to get John Malkovich to play himself trying to get his head around someone else having his name as a website domain. He needs it because he’s launching a clothing line (which, by the way, is a real thing). Cue references to Being John Malkovich, perfectly timed swearing and this follow-up ad:
Avocados From Mexico
Well, they get points for one of the clearest brand names out there. Avocados from Mexico put out a genuinely funny ad for avocados, which is a success in itself. Chock full of gags from an unprofessional secret society as they spill their secrets, they accidentally reveal why their avos are so good. Enjoy them while you can, USA.
Trump supporters called this liberal propaganda, Budweiser called it their founder’s story. The ad seems like a cinematic endorsement for immigration and given that pretty much everyone in 1800’s America was an immigrant, it’s hardly a wild assumption. However, Budweiser’s VP said it was aimed at this generation’s entrepreneurial spirits. Whoever it’s aimed at, it’s a beautiful watch.