Fierce Competition: Ushnota’s Top 10 Super Bowl LII Ads

Ushnota Paul, February 11, 2018

The competition between brands during the Super Bowl season is fierce. Ushnota Paul lists down her favourites...

The Philadelphia Eagles won against the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL)! The madness in USA during the Super Bowl season is like no other. The competitiveness doesn’t stay restricted on-field during this season. It’s palpable even between agencies and brands – in fact, it’s so strong that a price of a 30-second spot during Super Bowl LII on February 4 topped $5 million. While there were many commercials that tried to fight and get noticed during Super Bowl, here are the top 10 that I feel were better than the rest (they’re not rated according to ranks). Check them out…

1) PepsiCo “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

PepsiCo has outdone themselves with a killer back-to-back 30-second spots for two of its brands – Doritos and Mountain Dew. Put icons like Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman in a lip-sync battle and nothing can go wrong. It’s the battle of ice and fire, and Game of Thrones fan or not, everyone sure lapped it up.

2) Amazon: “Alexa Loses Her Voice”

Agency: Lucky Generals

Made by the UK agency Lucky Generals, Amazon’s latest “Alexa Loses Her Voice” Super Bowl commercial, is a total riot. It shows Amazon’s Alexa, an intelligent personal assistant, losing her voice and being unable to follow commands. Guest stars like Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B and Sir Anthony Hopkins step up instead and answer on behalf of Alexa. The results are all kinds of hilarious.

3) NFL: “Touchdown Celebrations To Come”

Agency: Grey Group

Amidst all the social commentary and humanitarianism commercials, NFL made everyone giggle out loud with their new “Touchdown Celebrations to Come” commercial. New York Giants players Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. recreated the iconic “Time of My Life” dance from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing – on the football field! They even successfully attempted the famous scene where Patrick Swayze lifts up Jennifer Grey. Made by The Grey Group, this commercial had all the materials to be a total winner.

4) Michelob Ultra: “The Perfect Fit ft. Chris Pratt”

Agency: FCB Chicago

Oh My God. It has Chris Pratt! Yes, this is Pratt’s first TV commercial and he nails it. Made by FCB Chicago, the commercial shows Pratt working it out at the gym or chilling with friends and telling everyone that he is going to star in the new Michelob Ultra commercial. With the updated tagline “Live fit. Live fun. Live Ultra.” the commercial tries to focus on how fitness is important while also having fun.

5) Coca-Cola: “The Wonder Of Us”

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

“There’s a Coke for he. And she. And her. And them. There’s a different Coke for all of us.”, goes the voiceover at the beginning of the new Coca-Cola “The Wonder of Us” advertisement. The 60-second commercial talks about diversity and how each one of us are different in our unique way. Made by Wieden+Kennedy, the sweet ad about optimism and inclusion, leaves with you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

6) Febreze: “The Only Man Whose Bleep Don’t Stink”

Agency: Grey New York

Febreze, the air-freshening and odour eliminating product, talks about Dave, the only person whose ‘bleep don’t stink’. People who’ve known Dave since long, including his parents, talk about how he doesn’t need Febreze. “Dave isn’t at your Super Bowl party. But everyone else is. Is your bathroom ready?” reads the super in the end. Created by Grey New York, the commercial drives home the point of the product while managing to be really funny. Winner, right there.

7) Toyota: “Good Odds”

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi + Dentsu

Made by Saatchi & Saatchi and Dentsu, Toyota’s “Good Odds” ad narrates the heartwarming story of Canadian Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft. Lauren, who was born with no legs below the knee and no left arm below the elbow, is seen winning a gold medal eight times despite all the odds. Part of a global ad campaign titled “Start Your Impossible”, this Toyota ad has all the elements of being a real tear jerker. The ad that is centred around mobility, ends with the voiceover “when we’re free to move, anything is possible.” It’s interesting to note that the automobile giant doesn’t show a single car in the commercial and instead uses Woolstencroft’s inspiring real-life story to highlight Toyota’s transition into a “mobility company.”

8) Wendy’s: “Iceberg”

Agency: VML

When the competition is fierce, you gotta be ruthless. And, Wendy’s did exactly that while taking down their biggest competitor McDonald’s in their 2018 Super Bowl commercial. As a retaliation to McDonald’s “Our beef is flash frozen to seal in fresh flavor”, Wendy’s came up with “The iceberg that sank the Titanic was frozen, too” while adding that they use fresh-never-frozen beef for their hamburgers. Ouch! There’s nothing better than some good ol’ rivalry between big brands. It almost always works in commercials. And we definitely aren’t complaining. This 30-second shade thrown by Wendy’s is so brutal that McDonald’s needs to come up with something even bigger in order to salvage this.

9) Rocket Mortgage: “Translator”

Agency: Quicken Loans Marketing Team and Huge Inc. New York

Actor and comedian Keegan Michael-Key acts as a real-life translator in Rocket Mortgage’s funny 2018 Super Bowl commercial. Be it explaining a complicated haircut or helping in deciphering popular song lyrics or ordering a vegan sandwich – Keegan pops up hilariously in these  complex everyday life scenarios and explains them to people with his trademark sense of humor. In the end, he simplifies the complex mortgaging process to a couple with the easy-to-access Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. The commercial is short, funny, engaging and cleverly explains the service that the product provides.

10) Budweiser: “Stand By You”

Agency: DAVID Miami

Budweiser is all about being a socially responsible brand in its 2018 Super Bowl commercial, focusing on its water relief efforts. Created by the agency DAVID Miami, the commercial shows the employees from Budweiser’s brewery in Cartersville, Georgia, where they’re shown not only making beer, but also packaging clean drinking water. Over the past 30 years, the Cartersville site has helped in providing more than 79 million cans of clean drinking water for communities hit by natural disasters. The tagline in the end of the commercial reads “Whenever you need us, We’ll stand by you” and it definitely gives you all sorts of feels. Last year, USA had seen the largest hurricanes where hundreds of thousands of people were left without water or electricity. Showing how Budweiser helped with their emergency water program during such trying times, no doubt made for a great commercial.