Super Bowl Ads – Makes and Misses – What Commercials Did You Love or Not Love?

By: Dennis Schiraldi

Did you have a favorite Super Bowl Commercial?

There’s a big difference between my favorite and what I think vs. what’s super effective in driving results. The best analogy that I can provide to you is that I’ve produced in excess of 60 webinars in my marketing career. These are planned events, with a live presenter, walking through a presentation on a concept, idea, product, generally thought leadership in nature. Educating the participant.

DOYO Live will likely have a webinar series starting in the next month or so. Typically the people I work with on a very large Fortune 500 companies will ask at the end, “what did you think?” At this point my answer is always the same. I’ve produced, promoted and executed webinars that attracted 200 registrations, which resulted in 1-win for the company.

I’ve also done webinars where we had 25-people register for the event and managed to convert 10 customers. You tell me which was more effective.

My favorite commercial on Sunday Night was Squarespace, which featured John Malkovich. I thought it was genius, the lighting and imagery fit Squarespace’s brand. However the call to action was simple and measurable. They basically played to the emotion of fear that if you didn’t go and check your domain you should, because someone else might claim it.

In case you missed it…check it out. And not to mention 3M+ views on YouTube!

Being John Malkovich and Squarespace – Best of the Night

The 30-second spot is at 3M+ views on YouTube!

1-Minute spot is at 4M views on YouTube!

So needless to say being a big fan of digital marketing, I love what Squarespace is doing with the ease of use of their web templates and to have some sophistication behind their web properties, plus the call to action. Seems that the amount of mileage they are getting online after the fact is pretty darn good. Over 7-million view on YouTube, and also it’s performing well on Facebook. The only pushback I’ve heard is who is John Malkovich, he’s not been relevant to a younger audience in quite sometime now.


Bai Bai Bai


Another big winner of the night goes to show you that saying less is more. Very creative, great use of two very cool individuals in Christopher Walken and Justin “Suite and Tie” Timeberlake. Nice job integrating the product into and old school jingle of sorts. Seems very memorable, even though JT doesn’t say one word. Bai, Bai, Bai is getting a ton of good press and over 2.5M views on YouTube, which means it’s performing well on search and on social.


Melissa McCarthy or Kia – Who’s the Big Winner?

10M+ view on YouTube is just insane. This commercial was extremely well received, even by me. I thought Melissa McCarthy won the night, besides Tom Brady, she ruled! McCarthy is on fire. Coming off here SNL performance and playing herself in a physical comedy role in this commercial. My only issue with it, even with all the positive press. I didn’t think it had much to do with Kia as much as Melissa McCarthy. A few years back her and Justin Bateman made an amazing movie. Very physical comedy about a cross country road trip. It was epic, I think that would have provided better inspiration and served Kia better than chopping down a tree or putting the world’s top comic in a whaling boat to represent your car in a commercial.


Love It or Hate It – No Place at the Super Bowl or Not – Budweiser Crushes It


Look I’ve heard it all…The Super Bowl is no place for taking a political stance, blah, blah and more blah. 27M views on YouTube. For the record I teach at Youngstown State University. The 50-kids I have in my social media marketing course are a built in test kitchen and give me a focus group that not many marketing consultants have access to daily. In review of our Super Bowl 51 commercials about 10%, often less were able to remember any commercials from the day prior, let alone brand. 90% were able to tell you this was the Budweiser commercial.

Not only that tastefully done, I thought it was more patriotic than political. If it was in-fact a shot at the current, polarizing political climate, I thought it was done in a classy way. Budweiser is an iconic American brand, owned now by a foreign, international conglomerate, know as AB InBev. 

When you look at marketing, I think of great story telling. Everything done in this commercial captures that essence, not to mention they take a stand. Yes, I know, #boycottbudweiser started trending. One would also consider the fact that the same buyer persona that elected our new president, is the same buyer persona that would drink Anheuser Busch products. But you would like to believe they knew that it was already not an American owned company. Big deal I think it’ll be a short lived boycott.

The Best of the Rest

84 Lumber, a second generation owned female business recognized just how much critical mass would be at the world’s largest sporting event. Launched a controversial commercial that’s still being talked about and crashed a website. I thought it was interesting, a well told story, obviously trying to make a point and memorable. More aggressive than the Bud commercial and was good, not great but good.

Pepsi also had a big night, while their commercials were just average and the launch of their new smart water was not fully understood as to where it stands in the Pepsi portfolio. Lady Gaga’s halftime performance generated 5M Tweets in 20-minutes that’s just ridiculous. Since the halftime was sponsored by Pepsi, there’s a ton of goodwill this event generated. While most felt she did not take a political stance, I thought she was very political. Starting off seeing Arlo Guthrie’s anthem for political protest, This Land is Your Land…” was written in 1944 in protest of our government. It’s just that so much time has since passed that we forget. Secondly the songs selected. Remember, Born This Way, by Lady Gaga is the anthem for all those that need to express who they truly are…There’s been hits since. Applause would have been just as up-beat and more relevant than the top-10 song that was originally released in 2011.

We’d love to hear what you think about the Super Bowl Commercials?



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