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Staff Picks: 5 Favorite 2015 Super Bowl Ads

February 02, 2015

Some people watch the Super Bowl for the football. Others watch for the halftime show. And then there are those of us who tune in for the advertisements. (Hey, we’re marketers. That’s just how we roll!) We asked our ARS blog contributors to watch the Super Bowl ads from a consumer’s perspective and then choose a favorite. Check out what our Rocketeers had to say about their favorite Super Bowl commercials below:

 

Alex’s Pick: TurboTax’s “Boston Tea Party”

Honestly, I thought anything with a puppy or kitten would automatically win out as my favorite Super Bowl commercial of the night. But it turns out the real MVP for me came from TurboTax, with a funny, yet bizarre period piece. This spot starts out with the (very dramatized) events of the Boston Tea Party, with colonials rebelling and fighting redcoat British soldiers. Suddenly, the course of history is halted and rerouted by the British offering free tax preparation. Immediately everything is hunky-dory. I actually laughed out loud at the colonial woman removing her bayonet from a redcoat with just a simple shrug, wave and apology, as well as seeing Washington reverse his infamous crossing of the Delaware. This ad didn’t need to focus on inside jokes or current fads, but weaved together its own humorous version of history with the exact product it’s promoting. There’s no question about the message of free tax prep, or how easy it makes life once you’ve got it. Honorable Mentions go to: Avocados from Mexico, seeing Lindsay Lohan behind the wheel in an Esurance commercial, and the super awkward Loctite Glue, which got me googling just who the company was.

 

Emily’s Pick: Always’ “#LikeAGirl”

The only ad to get a cheer from our Super Bowl party, “#LikeAGirl” has to be my favorite, mostly for its unexpected placement among a sea of ads targeted to men (dads in particular this year, it seemed). It brought to mind last year’s Little League World Series starring pitcher Mo’ne Davis. Why should throwing like a girl still be considered an insult when girls display talent like that every day?

 

Jason’s Pick: Loctite Glue’s “Positive Feelings”

There were a number of really good ads this year. From Fiat’s Viagra-themed commercial to that hilarious avocado ad, agencies brought their A game to the Super Bowl this year. But if I must pick a favorite, I’d have to say it’s Loctite’s. Maybe it was the beer or the chicken wings or some combination of the two, but when the Loctite commercial aired, I was mesmerized. I immediately wanted to see it again. That’s not something that we usually expect from advertisements. Apparently Loctite hadn’t gotten the memo that the theme for this year’s commercials was dark and depressing. And thank goodness for that! The ad was fun and cheerful, and they even worked in a few product shots. And it finally put to rest the question of what Urkel is up to these days.

 

Leah’s Pick: Coca-Cola’s “#MakeItHappy”

If the video that “Like a Girl” was based on hadn’t been circulating for months now, my favorite ad of the night would have been from Always. But since I’d already laughed, cried and tweeted about it, I figured I should pick one that was new to me. So my favorite ad of the night was from Coca-Cola. No surprise there. This time they took on cyberbullying, which could have gone wrong in so many ways. People are mean, yes, especially when they’re anonymous. But the world can be a little nicer with Coca-Cola. Essentially, Coke turns hostile statements like, “No one likes U,” into compliments like, “There’s no one like U.” It’s a simple idea, but so brilliantly executed. As a consumer, it made me smile. As a marketer, I was proud of Coca-Cola for taking on something serious such as cyberbullying, and instead of using scare tactics (cough … Nationwide), the company addressed it in a meaningful, heartfelt way. YOU ROCKED IT, COCA-COLA!

 

Marie’s Pick: Bud Light’s “#UpForWhatever”

Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” commercial scored some major points with me this weekend. But really, when you bring a classic arcade title like Pac-Man to life, it’s guaranteed to be a touchdown. The setup plays out like a favorite joke: a regular Joe walks into a bar and the bartender asks him, “If I gave you a Bud Light, would you be up for whatever?” He answers yes, and the rest of the night turns into an epic adventure straight from the ’80s. What I loved most about the ad was the way it went beyond the scope of demographics (even if millennials were its main target). Instead, it focused on telling a larger-than-life story that people want to share. According to spokesperson Nick Kelly, “It’s really just finding people at drinking events, and if they’re drinking Bud Light, rewarding them with awesome experiences.” It’s a strategy that’s simple in theory, but difficult in execution. As creative problem-solvers, asking “How do we get people to tell our story?” is less impactful than asking “What is it about our story that’s worth telling?”