The Super Bowl is made up of two audiences – one that watches it for the football game, and one that watches it for the ads. I know that personally, I am part of the latter group. I watch the Super Bowl every year for the commercials, and I will openly admit that I always have no clue what is going on in a football game. And that’s okay, because I get to enjoy some awesome advertisements every year. This year has been especially interesting in terms of advertising in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with many ads serving as a thank you for frontline workers and acknowledging the accomplishment of making it to this point when it has felt at times like all odds were stacked up against us. This year, 30-second advertisement slots were going for about $5.5 million each according to Fast Company, and that excludes production costs. Some companies went above and beyond, spending millions of dollars in production costs to make it an ad that stands out to all viewers, and for others, their ads fell short. There were some notable companies missing from the mix, one example being Budweiser – who didn’t advertise during the Super Bowl for the first time in nearly 40 years. Instead, Budweiser chose to donate their advertising budget to COVID-19 relief efforts. Despite Budweiser missing from the lineup of advertisements, there were still plenty of ads that were sure to be memorable – for the right and the wrong reasons. With lots of ads out there from the Super Bowl, I’ll keep it short and give you my top three favorite commercials from the big game and my bottom three that missed the mark.

Top 3:

Huggies

I think that this commercial was probably my favorite in terms of concept but didn’t stand out like some of the weirder ones. I felt like the idea of having the babies that were just born today was really unique because a majority of these commercials took months of planning and they were getting the Huggies commercial ready up to the last minute.

Indeed

I really liked this commercial; I found it to be very heartwarming. It reminded me of past Google commercials, but I can’t put my finger on which one. Services like Indeed have been very important during the pandemic, and they conveyed that during the commercial. It was relatable to a good portion of the audience watching it, and the emotional appeal grasped its viewers.

Squarespace

Squarespace did a great job with this commercial in my opinion. I think the only thing that could have made it better is if they had made it more relevant by incorporating the concept of working from home. I really enjoyed the visuals of this commercial when it went from a grey-toned outlook to a colorful scene. It paints the product in a more positive light by adjusting those visuals and having that effect on the viewers. I also loved the spin on Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and felt like that gave it a very fun touch.

Bottom 3:

Oatly

The Oatly commercial was…odd. Personally, I didn’t hate it. The reason for it being in my bottom three, however, is because of all of the bad attention it’s getting. I found it to be somewhat funny and it was memorable. It got people talking, which is exactly the point of Super Bowl commercials, but at the end of the day the talking wasn’t good. People were saying things like “This made me want Oatly less,” which isn’t something you want people saying about your product, especially if you paid a lot of money for airspace during the Super Bowl. What many viewers didn’t know, however, is that the man singing in the commercial was actually the company’s CEO Toni Petersson, who also wrote the jingle.

DoorDash

I had absolutely no clue that this was a DoorDash commercial until the end. If anything, it was a Sesame Street commercial and not a DoorDash commercial. The message wasn’t delivered and didn’t make a lot of sense. While I knew who the star of the commercial, Daveed Diggs, was I don’t think he was a celebrity who is recognizable enough for it to resonate with viewers. Overall, I wasn’t a fan of this commercial.

Vroom

I really didn’t like this commercial. It was really dark and strange, and I feel like there were more ways that they could’ve gone about this. I just think it was a little much and it doesn’t really seem like there are people talking about it that much. I don’t know if it entirely suited the “vibe” of the Super Bowl, where in the past commercials are typically a bit more light-hearted and funnier, as opposed to the somewhat scary look of the Vroom commercial.

Photo courtesy of the NFL