Sunday’s Super Bowl was the most-watched in the event’s history, with 114.5 million U.S. viewers and topping out at 120 million during the crazy ending that saw the Patriots beat the Seahawks 28-24.
Does that mean advertisers who ponied up $4.5 million for a 30-second spot got their money’s worth? As always with the Super Bowl, there were winners and losers in the advertising world as well. And clearly Nationwide’s depressing Make Safe Happen ad was the big loser; this might have been the first time a Super Bowl advertiser has had to release a statement defending its commercial.
There were plenty of winners, though. We polled our TMG experts on what ads resonated best with them from Sunday’s big game.
The “No More” anti-domestic violence ad. No puppies, celebrities or explosions. Startling in its simplicity. Best ad I’ve seen in years.
—Duane Bombard, Vice President | Creative Director
I loved the Budweiser commercial with the puppy. Just a good-feeling commercial!
—Lisa Braun, Senior Accountant
My favorite would be the Mountain Dew Kickstart ad. There were a lot of serious ads this year, and the Mountain Dew one was funny. I watched it wondering what the ad was about; it wasn’t obvious and I liked that. Just showed you something funny.
—Sarah DiPofi, Public Relations Coordinator
I was pretty blown away by the Always Like a Girl ad. In a year when some advertisers fell flat trying to be too serious, Always nailed it with this thought-provoking, entertaining, inspiring commercial. Their #LikeAGirl hashtag has generated tremendous social media engagement and user-generated content as well — exactly the purpose they intended.
—John Jiloty, Social Media Manager
The Fiat/Viagra commercial. Absolutely perfect for an Italian car maker!
—Sharon Linstedt, Senior Public Relations Counselor
Fiat X commercial, no explanation needed
—Chase Martin, Operations Coordinator
The star of the game might very well be the stadium itself. With a structure by Architect Peter Eisenman and pretty much everything else by the best design firm on the planet (Pentagram), it’s kinda hard to argue.
—Greg Meadows, Vice President | Creative Director
My definite favorite was #SettleIt for Skittles. I laughed right out loud at the muscle-bound right arms of all the small-town inhabitants — especially the baby — as they arm-wrestled for the last yellow Skittles. In this context, humor is always a safe bet. Despite my disdain for how Marshawn Lynch handles press conferences, there was also nice product placement in the game itself as Lynch popped some Skittles pregame.
—Kelli Putney, Senior Vice President | Brand Strategist
My favorite spot was the Dove Men+Care Real Strength spot. I typically favor one of the funnier ads but this one really moved me and captured the emotions of being a parent, specifically a dad. Plus I like their products.
—Dick Shaner Jr., Senior Vice President | Public Relations
The Dove Men+Care TV spot really resonated with me (and brought a tear to my eye!). I think the brand did a great job of staying true to their “Real Beauty” position while introducing their product to the male demographic. The reality is they were probably targeting the female in the household who most likely would be purchasing the product for her significant other and I’m a sucker for a TV spot that shows a dad with his kids. Mission accomplished, Dove!
—Lisa Strock, Senior Vice President | Client Services