Super Bowl Ads: Hits and Misses

At every Super Bowl, there are winners and losers, and we’re not just talking about the football players. Brands are also competing, not for a trophy, but for viewers’ attention. Each year there are over 111.3 million viewers tune in, making Super Bowl Sunday an epic opportunity to advertise your brand to the public.

1. Tide: “It’s a Tide Ad”

Tide and David Harbour had everyone fooled. The pair teamed up to poke fun at every stereotypical Super Bowl commercial in every product market. Not only did the ad convey the brand’s core message, that your clothing will be spotless if you use Tide, but it also had viewers wondering if each subsequent commercial was actually going to be a Tide ad rather than what it seemed to be.

2. Amazon: “Alexa Lost Her Voice”

Often times, brands get so caught up in making people laugh or showing off their celebrity ambassadors that they forget to show the audience the product, service or brand they are advertising. Amazon managed to do both of those things but still keep the commercial focused on the product and that’s why this ad worked so well. Bringing in relevant celebrities to voice Alexa and make us chuckle is the perfect combination for a Super Bowl commercial.

3. Doritos/Mountain Dew: “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

Both Doritos and Mountain Dew are known for their funny, eye-catching and sometimes absurd Super Bowl ads. This epic lip sync battle between two superstars, Peter Drinklage and Morgan Freeman, with cameo appearances from the artist who sing the featured songs, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, showcases the opposing flavors of the sister brands’ new products while entertaining the audience.

4. Fabreze: “Bleep Don’t Stink”

Febreze takes one of it’s products obvious uses and puts a humorous spin on it. Although the product wasn’t actually mentioned, this commercial worked because the innuendo was clear. Dave’s “bleep don’t stink”, but yours does, buy Febreze.

5. E-Trade: “Old People Working”

This commercial is creative, funny and clearly delivers the call to action: open a retirement account. While this ad is really targeting a much younger audience than the ad portrays, having the elderly people be the subject of the commercial drives the point home while using a more humorous take on the advertising scare tactic.

Not every commercial can be a winner. There will always be Super Bowl ads that just miss the mark. Here are a few of the ads that didn’t perform as well as they could have:

1. Coca Cola: “Diet Coke Twisted Mango Groove”


This was cringe-worthy. The awkward dancing spokes girl made the viewers feel almost embarrassed for her and did not convey any real message about the brand or product, making this commercial a flop.

2. Bud Light: “The Bud Knight

Bud Light has been pushing the “Dilly Dilly!” ad campaign successfully since 2017. Although the medieval-inspired ads have been a consumer favorite for quite some time, Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad under the same concept did not do well. The ad felt tired and didn’t add anything new to the “Dilly Dilly” story that the brand has been telling.

3. Groupon: “Who Wouldn’t”

Although Tiffany Haddish is always fun to watch, this Groupon comercial wasn’t. The purpose of the advertisement was apparent and but the humor and story line that went along with it felt forced.

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