For the third time in four years, our beloved KC Chiefs were in the Super Bowl so you can bet we were watching. Chris Stapleton’s bluesy take on the “Star Spangled Banner” plus an all-women flyover team set the stage for an incredible show that not only included a close game, but also the best (and worst) commercials. Since 1967, advertisers have been paying up for those coveted spots. Let’s dive into what made our Best/Worst list for Super Bowl LVII commercials. 

Out of the gate, the Dunkin’ commercial with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez was a winner. Lopez’s timing with her line in the last third of the commercial was perfection. Lots of people were talking about this one and for good reason. It’s always endearing when celebrities are in on the joke with us and poking fun at themselves.

Another brand getting lots of postgame buzz and highmarks for creative was Tubi. Of course everyone is talking about the “prank” spot where viewers might have been fooled into thinking somebody at the party just sat on the remote. Yes, very clever. But did you see the first spot with rabbits taking people down a rabbit hole? So smart. Not only that, but the strategy behind it was just as brilliant.

According to Ad Week, the Super Bowl spot was designed to emphasize Tubi’s more niche content. The company deliberately decided to withhold the spot until it aired to build intrigue. “We really felt like this was our first big brand push to get people excited and give them an idea of the Tubi personality and the mindset you have to be in when you’re on our platform versus others, which is just more of an exploratory place,” CMO Nicole Parlapiano said.

Google’s #fixedonpixel commercial was a win for us, too. The theme music from the 2009 movie Up pulled you in,  tugging at the heartstrings, only to twist it into something clever and funny. They did a great job of speaking to their audience’s pain points and clearly showing the value proposition. We also have to point out that in 2022, Google used the same strategy to demonstrate how the Pixel 6 technology took better images of those with darker skin tones. Nicely done, Google. Nicely done.

Door Dash used Sunday night’s game to promote their grocery delivery service that’s been around since 2020. The tagline “we get groceries” was communicated clearly along with highlighting their expertise in selection and bringing you everything you need for a meal. All while being fun and entertaining. Thumbs up.

Along with the aforementioned commercials, others we loved were the Bud Light, Easy to Drink, Easy to Enjoy spot, Farmers Dog “forever,” and Ram EV’s “premature electrification”  – the best double entendre we’ve seen in advertising in a long time!

One trend we noticed over and over was brands spoofing off of old movies and TV shows. In our opinion, these all seemed a little phoned in or like the creative teams hit the easy button. Many of them landed flat and they all felt as if the advertiser wanted to play it safe. The exception was the PopCorners Breaking Bad commercial. Kudos to the creative team for using the characters and show premise in such a way that it seemed plausible with PopCorners.

Maybe it’s the political and social climate right now, but we did not see brands taking big chances. Lots of celebrity cameos that sometimes worked, sometimes didn’t. Take for instance the Remy Martin spot (another commercial inspired by a movie) with Serena Williams. The whole lead up with the “inch by inch” speech and Serena wasn’t played off for the audience at the end with the brand reveal. #fail

E*Trade went with an old strategy that in the past has worked well for them but in 2023 landed them in the worst ad category. Sometimes a campaign has just run its course and this is that time. Please E*Trade, no more baby commercials in 2024.

Overall, we give this year’s Super Bowl ads a C. This might be one of those years where the game truly was the star of the show.