rp Reacts: Advertising MVPs in Super Bowl LVII

Our team's take on the ads during this year's big game.

The Kansas City Chiefs claimed victory and Rihanna defied gravity. But they weren’t the only ones in the spotlight during the big game. With viewership estimations reaching over 100 million this year, Super Bowl ads were a huge opportunity for companies to capture the attention of the nation. And with a $7 million investment for a 30 second spot, stakes are at an all time high to get that ROI. 

Here are our thoughts on which advertisers were MVPs (and which might have better luck next season):

Storytelling as a Touchdown Tactic

Crowdstrike and other B2B brands nailed it. Frankly, anyone who is skeptical about brand building being a key growth driver for B2B brands is stuck in the stone age at this point. Those companies just got in front of millions of prospects all at once which will fuel their mid and lower funnel for years to come.
- Madeline Condron, Sr. Account Director

The Farmer’s Dog literally made me hug my dogs this morning and consider switching their food—”nothing matters more than more years together” just stuck with me.
- Samara Anderson, VP of Sales and Marketing

From a storytelling aspect, I definitely paid attention to the Amazon dog spot. The surprise ending was cute (and I was very relieved).
- Lauren Holt, Account Director

I scientifically polled the room, and “the ones with the dogs” were the winners of the night.
- Matt Reed, Creative Technologist

One brand that really stood out to me overall was Sam Adams (they owned social leading up to and during the game). Their Super Bowl spot only ran regionally, but the creative was strong, the ad was entertaining and kept on brand with the "Your Cousin from Boston" campaign that has been running the past couple of years.
- Matt Weber, Associate Director of Content Production

That McDonald's ad was cute and inoffensive. Most of us are nostalgic for McDonald’s in some way or another, and that one gave me some warm and tasty fuzzies.
- Spencer Watson, Senior Graphic Designer

Celebs Features Were a Fumble

Google promoting their camera phone was funny without the celebrity. Having Amy Schumer in it took me out of it. If they really wanted a celebrity, it would have been funnier using a real romance gone bad (like Megan Fox and MGK). Google also recently did layoffs, interesting that they would choose to pay a celebrity vs. keeping employees.
- Katie Delaune, Copy and Content Writer

The fastest way to ruin an otherwise good ad is to throw in a tired celebrity or meme. That Pixel 7 ad was dope, but having Amy Schumer plopped in really took the wind out of it. And I audibly groaned when “What Does the Fox Say?” came up in the recurring Diddy Uber One jingle spot. Really jumped on that train at the height of its popularity.
- Spencer Watson, Senior Graphic Designer

I also felt like the celebrity reliant ones were bad. If you're going to rely on a celebrity, why are you using Ben Stiller to sell me Pepsi Zero Sugar? And Ant Man in a Heineken commercial was also weird, even if it was for their non-alcoholic product.
- Mario McDonald, Staff Accountant

There were a few good ads that really leveraged storytelling (Farmer's Dog, Amazon, Jeep), but the rest seemed to follow the same recipe of relying on celebrities to bring the entertainment and, with the exception of one or two (Dunkin Donuts, Crown Royal), they all fell flat for me.
- Matt Weber, Associate Director of Content Production

Sassy take: when will we stop throwing celebs into ads just for the sake of it? I thought the Google Pixel Magic Eraser spot was pretty good and then found myself doing a little eye roll when they threw Amy Schumer and Giannis Antetokounmpo into it.
- Jesse Spear, Marketing Manager

Our Take on Tubi

Tubi 🏆
- Ryan Dunlap, Creative Director

The Tubi ad started fights at our party—people were screaming and yelling who sat on the remote!! It was distracting enough that I don't think we even watched the ad at all.
- Samara Anderson, VP of Sales and Marketing

Tubi won in my book—reminded me of the coinbase ad from last year. So simple, so memorable. And it was a bit of a risky move, because for the ad to work, it was assumed that viewers were using a streaming service vs. cable.
- Jesse Spear, Senior Marketing Manager

The Tubi one was ICONIC.
- Riley Collins, Studio Director / Senior Producer

The Tubi one literally made me double take, if they were looking for reactions I think they really delivered. Played into the all known feeling of f*ing up the watching experience and I liked it after the initial anxiety went away!
- Meredith Queen, Senior Sales Manager

It was Rabbit Holes from Tubi for me. Simple premise of an everyday phrase that already existed in the world combined with brilliantly entertaining execution.
- Drew Beamer, Associate Creative Director

Other All Stars

I think Bud Light really played into a pop culture moment with Miles Teller and his dancing (since Top Gun has been all over TikTok), and including his non famous wife made it more relatable to me. It was my mom’s favorite and she didn't even know who Miles Teller was, so I think if you knew you knew and if you didn't, you still enjoyed a somewhat wholesome and easy to digest commercial.
- Meredith Queen, Senior Sales Manager

Booking.com did a good job conveying their key message which was - we're more than just hotels. In fact, Booking.com has more homes on their platform in the US than AirBnB. And that song is now stuck in my head forever and ever. Somewhere....anywhere....

Also, there were a lot of car ads touting EVs, but what was new this year was that the ads made it clear that EVs are for everyone. I think it represents a turning point for car companies who are starting to proactively change perceptions of EVs.
- Madeline Condron, Senior Account Director

Premature Electrification from Dodge absolutely sent me. And the Miller Lite vs Coors Lite that was ultimately a Blue Moon commercial was also fun and creative.
- Allison Mendoza, Project Manager

A Few More Flags

Ads were weak this year, in my opinion.
- Ryon Nishimori, Senior Art Director

There was a fashion app one that kept playing that I thought really missed the mark. I had never heard of it, they never say anything except that it’s a shopping app, and “shop like a billionaire” can either mean that stuff is so cheap and I can buy so much that I feel like I have endless money, or that I’m shopping luxury goods? Overall confusing and didn’t communicate well.
- Allison Mendoza, Project Manager

Most of the EV commercials were cool, not mind blowing, though.
- Spencer Watson, Senior Graphic Designer

Michelob had the QR code to unlock early access to the golf documentary on netflix - we scanned the code AND IT DID NOT WORK! and later on when it did work, we had to go through so many hoops of data entry that we just gave up.
- Madeline Condron, Senior Account Director

Overall, I thought the ads this year were really weak. The Super Bowl historically has been a time to see the best creative ads/ideas of the year and this year was anything but.
- Matt Weber, Associate Director of Content Production

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