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My Ultimate Breakdown of Super Bowl LIV Ads

When television began with just a few channels, everyone watched the same programs, and advertisers could easily reach a mass audience. Now, with thousands of channels and streaming services, television has evolved to be personalized and niche, resulting in a very fractured audience. 

However, each year, America comes together to watch the Super Bowl; because of this, companies have a large, captive audience for one night. At $5.6 million for a 30 second spot, the ads better be good! Here’s a look at some of the best and worst of Super Bowl LIV!

The first four ads are the best, in no particular order; the last four ads are the worst (also in no particular order!)

 

  1. 1.  T-Mobile

    The message of this ad was clear, unlike many Super Bowl ads that tried to cram in too much information: T-Mobile works everywhere. The spot also uses the actor’s real mom, which adds sincerity to the message. This ad is funny, cute, and to-the-point.

  2. 2. Google

    In a celebrity-filled string of ads, Google stood out by using a regular person who is the grandfather of a Google employee. They historically do a great job at creating emotional ads without becoming cheesy. In addition, memory loss is a universal concern. Cue the tears…

  3. 3. Hyundai

    Hyundai did a lot of things right with this spot, starting with their chosen celebrities, all of whom are generally well liked. It was clear what they were trying to promote, plus the smart park feature is super cool. The only thing they could have done better would be to mention the company more, because the influx of car ads in the Super Bowl may cause people to not remember the brand.

  4. 4. Cheetos

    This was a simple but effective ad by Cheetos. They used a song that’s well known throughout multiple generations, and it fit perfectly with the product. They also leveraged the universal experience of having Cheeto dust stuck to your fingers, making the ad widely relatable.

  5. 5. Audi

    The song choice for this ad makes no sense, because it was popular more than five years ago, and it’s unclear how the song connects with the car. It also doesn’t highlight which aspect of the car that Audi is trying to promote. All around a thumbs down.

  6. 6. Bud Light Seltzer

    There are so many things wrong with this product and this ad. The cans look like White Claw, and they should have come up with a new name for the product instead of using Bud Light. Instead, they have to take time in the ad to explain that there is no Bud Light in the product. In addition, the ad hurts Bud Light’s equity by showing people that they should consider Bud Light Seltzer instead. The ad clearly targets Bud Light fans, however, seltzer has a different target audience.

  7. 7. Heinz

    This ad could have been good, but the execution didn’t work. It was made to be watched multiple times, but realistically, people aren’t going to spend a lot of time rewatching it, so it just came across as crowded and confusing. They should have used much simpler stories if they wanted to stick with four screens, or they could have chosen only one of the storylines to show.

  8. 8. Olay

    The biggest issue with this as is at the end when the woman says “What does this button do?”, and ejects them into space. It makes the women look clueless, reinforcing stereotypes about women in science. The only plus side here is the Girls Who Code initiative.

This year, the Super Bowl ad trends centered around celebrity spokespeople and song-based ads. In the past, many companies chose to take a social or political stance, but most brands stayed away from that this year. We’ll see what next year brings!

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