For the last few years, we’ve divided up the Super Bowl and taken a look at the best and worst executions on the world’s largest/most expensive ad stage. And this year, the Hyperbole tradition continues, starting with our Associate Creative Director, Jim Deweese.
I watched this year’s game with friends from the comfort of my living room. It was a room full of desirable demos: 4 guys… a high school senior, a college senior and a couple of middle-aged art directors. Unfortunately for advertisers, it was a tough room. Overheard throughout the night were things like “I haven’t seen a ‘Super Bowl’ ad yet,” and “I have no idea what I just watched. What was that ad for?” But there were a few highlights.
First up: The first spot in what I thought was a brilliant Tide series, staring Stranger Things’ David Harbour, with send-ups of a litany of Super Bowl ad tropes. Is this a beer ad? Is this a car ad? “Does this make every Super Bowl ad a Tide ad? I think so.” Pretty great, and it resonated the whole night. More than once, somebody at our watch party shouted “Tide Ad!” only to find out that it was a real ad that just didn’t make any sense. If you ask me, Persil got their clock cleaned and wasted what, I’m guessing, was their entire TV budget for the year.
Next up: In a bit of genius casting, Danny DeVito is a Red M&M, come to life. It was as if he took a page from an Always Sunny in Philadelphia script and spent 30 seconds wandering the streets asking people if they wanted to eat him. A little low brow for a candy commercial? maybe. But pretty funny.
Props to Wendy’s for giving their spot a bit of their social media sass, with a direct shot a the “Frozen Arches,” with their Iceberg spot. It’s a bit of old-school ad-think to say you shouldn’t say your competitor’s name, and not everybody likes “attack ads,” but for me, if you are #5 in the category, you can afford to take some chances. If you’re gonna come at teh king, you’d best not miss. And they didn’t.
And finally, what was probably my favorite spot of the evening, the back-to-back spots with Peter Dinklage looking positively satanic for Dorito’s Blaze and Morgan Freeman once again playing the part of the coolest guy on the planet for Mountain Dew Ice. I loved the logical product crossover between the two PepsiCo products with new flavor offerings, the production value was fantastic, the casting was spot-on, the music assists from Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot were perfect. And as an added bonus, the internet, being the internet, went nuts with Game of Thrones conjecture about whether Doritos just confirmed a long-held theory about Tyrion Lannister’s real identity. Well played, PepsiCo. Well played.