#SuperBowl Commercials: The Winners, The Losers

#SuperBowl Commercials: The Winners, The Losers

There was a game on yesterday, if you didn’t notice. And it was easily one of the most nail-biting, exciting Super Bowl games I’ve ever seen. Sadly, my team ended up being intercepted in the last 20 seconds (a play which will be forever armchair quarterbacked from now until we win another Super Bowl), but it was one of the most physical, hard-fought Super Bowl games ever. Congratulations to the Patriots on their victory. And for my fellow Seahawks fans… just wait until next season.

And then there were the commercials. The creativity and innovation of these commercials are eagerly anticipated, but in this age of social media, some get teased well before the game. Others… well, others should have been scrapped before they were even filmed.

Let’s start with my top three winning ads. These three received overall positive feedback on Facebook and Twitter. First, the Snickers ad.
This one wins for the nostalgia throwback, and the surprise cameo at the end.

Actor Danny Trejo stands in for Marsha Brady, who needs a Snickers.
Actor Danny Trejo stands in for Marsha Brady, who needs a Snickers.

Next, the Budweiser puppy ad… because everyone loves horses and puppies.
This ad was also released ahead of the game, and received nearly universal positive feedback.

Esurance came out as a huge winner with their hysterical “Breaking Bad” spoof.

This one was not released ahead of time, so it was truly a funny surprise. Esurance also did a Lindsay Lohan spoof ad along the same lines, but the “Breaking Bad” one was much funnier.

And now, for the three biggest losers, starting with Turbo Tax.

This one wins a “loser” award for historical stupidity.
Moving along, we have the extraordinarily confusing and depressing Nissan ad.
I think I get the point of the ad (trying to show a son that dad still cares, even when he’s off working. And by working, I mean professionally racing), but the song they used was NOT a good choice.

There’s also this slightly awkward problem:

Good idea in theory, Nissan, but it needed better execution. Find a way to promote fatherhood and cars without leaving everyone needing therapy next time.

And hands down, the worst ad I saw was this Nationwide ad.
In a lousy “Sixth Sense” move, we learn that the cute little kid in the ad is dead, and then the ad pushes a pitch for their MakeSafeHappen.com website about preventing household accidents.

The reaction all over social media was so overwhelmingly negative that Nationwide put out a statement late Sunday night.

Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America. Most people don’t know that. Nationwide ran an ad during the Super Bowl that started a fierce conversation. The sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance. We want to build awareness of an issue that is near and dear to all of us-the safety and well being of our children. We knew the ad would spur a variety of reactions. In fact, thousands of people visited MakeSafeHappen.com, a new website to help educate parents and caregivers with information and resources in an effort to make their homes safer and avoid a potential injury or death. Nationwide has been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer. While some did not care for the ad, we hope it served to begin a dialogue to make safe happen for children everywhere.

As Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports put it:

Nationwide was looking to appeal to consumers first, parents second. Look, we get it: protecting kids is a noble endeavor. But there’s absolutely nobody on earth who’s actually in favor of mortal childhood accidents. This was a gargantuan misstep by Nationwide.

Plus, what about parents who have actually lost children in accidents? Do you really think they need a reminder from an insurance company that their child’s death was a potentially preventable one in the middle of a football game?

Seriously, Nationwide, what were you thinking?

Those are my top three winners and the bottom three losers. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and I’m not commenting on the dancing sharks, because that was the haftime show and my son loved them. He loves all things shark. I don’t think he even noticed Katy Perry.

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