Coming in at about $5 Million for one 30-second spot, the Super Bowl provides a platform to large businesses to showcase their advertising talent. Businesses look to draw huge crowds to their sites and stores through small ads that draw all sorts of reactions. The competition this year for best ad will be stiff, so instead we put together a list of ads organized by their most fitting superlative. If you have any disagreements with our choices, or have a list of your own, feel free to reach out to me!
Ad Pertaining Least to Company: PepsiCo: Sobe-Lifewater “Art Makes Life #MoreInspired” (Link)
More than anything, this ad confused me. Is it water? Art? Both? If I drink this water, should I pick up a paintbrush, switch my major, and head to Italy to begin my career as a muralist? The smooth voice of John Legend and vibrant colors can only do so much to make up for the lack of direction.
Immigration seemed to be a hot topic behind the more politically motivated Super Bowl commercials, and extended far beyond the three ads mentioned here. Budweiser — for the first time in recent memory — moved the clydesdales to the background and highlighted their personal immigrant story, while 84 Lumber directly jabbed at 45’s stance on our neighbors to the South in a tear-jerking, mother-daughter odyssey.
Honorable Mention: Air BnB: “#weaccept” (Link)
Too Many Ads: Anything Fox (Link)
As the host network of the largest sporting event in America, it must be hard not get too greedy. Unfortunately, this is exactly what Fox did by promoting any number of average-at-best TV shows on their network, and saturating the commercial breaks. At a point last night, I thought if I saw another commercial for “24 Legacy,” I was going to throw my TV out the window.
Best Car Commercial: Buick: “Not so Pee Wee Football” (Link)
Buick knocked it out of the park with this one. This commercial is truly a gift to the fans chock-full of celebrity cameos, cute kids, and minimal tech-specs to which we are accustomed.
Best Beer Commercial: Busch: “BUSCHHHHH” (Link)
Few commercials have the power to change our everyday vernacular. After this Super Bowl, I do not believe many people will be able to talk about Busch without adding the ending syllables out for an extra 20 seconds.
Honorable Mention: Bud Light: “Ghost Spuds” (Link)
Best Celebrity Cameo: Bai Juice ft. Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake (Link)
Have you ever dreamed that Christopher Walken would stare you in the eyes while menacingly singing N’Sync’s 2000 hit “Bye Bye Bye” accompanied by a silent Justin Timberlake? No? Oh well, Bai delivers.
Honorable Mention: Intel: “Brady Everyday” (Link)
Best Local Ad: McCluskey Chevrolet (Link)
In an ad that only appeared a handful of times, for no more than five seconds at a time, the McCluskey Chevy team out of Cincinnati got their name out there but did little else.
Best Movie/TV Trailer: Hulu | Handmaid’s Tale: “My Name is Offred, and I Intend to Survive” (Link)
Though I’ll admit it has been a few years since I pretended to read the “Handmaid’s Tale” in high school English class, this upcoming dystopian chronicle will certainly be added to my viewing queue.
Strangest Ad: T-Mobile: “Wireless Pain is Fine, If You’re Into That Sort of Thing” (Link)
T-Mobile took a gamble on this ad and took a creative jab at Verizon through a Kristen Schaal representation of a hidden fee and overage charge deviant. This ad left me a bit uncomfortable, but also laughing hysterically.
Cutest Ad: NFL: “Super Bowl Baby Legends, Who’s Next?” (Link)
Babies. Funny outfits. Fake moustaches. Classic song. Enough said.
Most Inspirational Ad: Audi: “Daughter” (Link)
Audi showcases their commitment to equal pay for all through a little girl’s kick-ass victory in a soap box derby. Her father narrates his worries for his daughter’s future, but optimistically shifts his story upon his daughter crossing the finish line ahead of her mainly male competitors.
Funniest Ad: Aflac: “Surgery” (Link)
In what was arguably the hardest superlative to decide, Aflac, with their trademark duck, just barely beat out Snoop and Martha for the top spot (If you have not already, I would highly recommend watching both of these). Aflac managed to get me laughing from the first line, and didn’t let me stop until the commercial was over.
Honorable Mention: T-Mobile: “#BagOfUnlimited” (Link)
Best Ad Overall: Skittles: “Romance” (Link)
Skittles, even without Marshawn Lynch, takes home the top prize (in my book) for the best Super Bowl ad of 2017. Our lovesick, puberty-stricken boy valiantly attempts to awake his beloved Katie by throwing skittles at her open window, but is instead met with a systematic rotation of family, neighbors, police, and what I think was a gopher catching and eating said Skittles from Katie’s room. Romance the rainbow, taste the rainbow indeed.