What was supposed to be a runaway game for the Atlanta Falcons turned into the New England Patriots’ greatest comeback and, arguably, the greatest performance in Super Bowl history. The game was thrilling and captivating. But the ads stole the show. Again.
This year’s list included many experienced and rookie advertisers. Some filled living rooms with laughter, and some hit us all right in the feels. Others carried stark political or social messages that had everyone in awe or shock.
In light of the Super Bowl hangover, here are our top five most watch-worthy commercials from Sunday night.
Since there were so many to choose from, picking out just 5 was an extremely difficult task. Here is a list of honorable mentions:
—Compiled by Julio Vega
→ Kia’s “A Hero’s Journey”
Incredibly hilarious with a subtle but strong message, this ad stars comedy actress Melissa McCarthy as she travels the globe attempting to save the environment.
And fails. Miserably.
The irony of the message is that no matter how much you may try to save the environment, whales, icecaps or rhinos, nature will come right back to bite you in the ass. So instead of trying to save the world by the way of tree-hugging, save it through technology. Buy the hybrid Kia Niro with up to 51 mpg.
That’s what I call marketing.
→Hyundai’s Live “Operation Better”
Hyundai set the bar high by promising to air its ad live.
The result was mind-blowing. The ad showed soldiers stationed in Poland enjoying the biggest game of the year alongside family members back home with 360-degree cameras and a circular projection room. What makes this so impressive is how Hyundai’s TV crew was able to put this together just as the game’s transmission ended, showing game reactions from the soldiers.
An excellent homage to those who have served.
→ Audi’s “Daughter”
When a father’s love for his daughter meets the social cry for gender equality, it seems inevitable that tears will flow.
Bringing in the “aww” then “wow” factor, this ad depicts a dad talking about the world his daughter will grow up in as she races down a hill in a soapbox derby, beating the male competitors. Its message on how women can compete with and rise above their male counterparts is the main message presented in the commercial, supporting Audi’s stance on equal pay. An inspiring message to women and young girls.
→ Budweiser’s “Born the Hard Way”
When the world’s largest beer brewer makes a statement about immigration, it’s hard to miss.
Going back to its roots, Budweiser’s ad shows Adolphus Busch, co-founder of the Anheuser-Busch beer brewing company, traveling from his German homeland to St. Louis and facing xenophobia, hardship and rejection.
It’s a blatantly obvious message, especially considering the political climate. People come from other countries in search of greater things. Without immigrants, one of the world’s most famous names would have never taken shape.
→ 84 Lumber’s “The Entire Journey”
No doubt the most controversial commercial this year, it depicts a Mexican mother and daughter travelling north to the U.S. border. In fact, the full commercial wasn’t even aired on television due to its content.
What you didn’t see on TV had to be viewed on their website, which was the conclusion where they find a border wall.
Their website actually crashed because of the overwhelming traffic. The message was simple but powerful: “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” This is the story of many immigrants overcoming struggles, passing through the wall’s door, looking for hope and a new life.