OKRP Creatives weigh in on Super Bowl ads

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(l-r: Angela Coster, Nicholas Cialdini, Andrea Knowles)

Despite the CBS All-Access crashing right at kick off. Despite a somewhat lame, yet spectacle-laden Half-Time Show thanks to “Should have been nominated for a Grammy” The Weeknd. Despite atrocious ref calling. Super Bowl LV was a historic telecast as we saw the oldest NFL coach Bruce Arians, 68, and the oldest QB Tom Brady, 43, demolish the Kansas City Chiefs 31 – 9.

While the score is telling, that’s not necessarily the score advertising creatives, agencies and brands are interested in. They want to know what the best and worst spots were.

So, we chopped it up with the talented creatives at OKRP to get their weigh in and Monday Morning quarterbacking on the commercials which aired last night.

Creative Director: Angela Coster

Likes:

  1. Toyota’s tearjerker. The way the beautiful worlds were woven together were breathtaking. The story. The color. The way the lights come on in the orphanage as she swims through, how she peered in with optimism as her future mother got the call. At the end of those 30 seconds, you believe that Toyota is a proud partner of Team USA. It’s Beautiful. 
  2. No Way Norway – it had me at Awkwafina the archer. And of course the pledge to EV’s at the end.
  3. Certain is Better / Rocket and Tracy Morgan. Genius. Taps into human risk truths that really resonate. HE’S IN THE BATHTUB!!!! 
  4. Reddit’s 5 Second Ad: the perfect undesigned, unproduced, and unmoving ad. I loved it, it spoke to coming together and the power of change a hell of a lot better than Jeep’s ad.
  5. Indeed’s: The Rising – loved the supers that fill in, simple and sweet.

Don’t likes:

  1. Jeep is full of layers that just don’t add up. This probably won’t be a popular comment, especially in America. Jeep, pretty please go back to trekking up mountains, driving through mud and being your bad ass self. 
  2. Squarespace 5-9 – to quote Tom, thing on a thing on a thing. It had interesting art direction. I just don’t get it, Squarespace wants to be the creative hub of the side hustle? 
  3. Sketchers – To the Max // it’s not a sports drink, the giant truck at the end? Yikes. Not for me. 

Creative Director: Nicholas Cialdini

LOVED the Jason Alexander sweatshirt for Tide, which has a great insight “dirtier than it looks”. You knew it was going to be a Tide ad from the get-go. It’s a funny montage with Jason’s face, and a nice twist at the end when Jason calls him out. The 80s TV sitcom track “Believe it or Not” from the Greatest American Hero was a brilliant choice that cranked the nostalgia of anyone over 35.

LOVED pretty much everything Paramount is doing. The Beavis and Butthead thing was funny but none of it made sense until they got to the top of the mountain in the Patrick Stewart spot. Oh!!! A mountain of entertainment. Makes sense. I can get all these characters in one place with Paramount.

LOVED the montage about job hunting for Indeed. I love a commercial with no dialogue and no VO that can be so powerful and precise in its message. This was the right year, after so much job market volatility, to show some optimism. 

WINNER: Can I Kick it? (A Tribe Called Quest) for Michelob Light. This spot pulled me in with its writing and ends with a wonderful question “Are you happy because you win? Or do you win because you’re happy?” The art direction on this spot was so polished and pretty. I loved how they matched portrait stills to motion. This spot was wonderful.

NOT SURE: 

The NFL Vince Lombardy spot was powerful but I was creeped out by what looked like 3D projecting him back from the dead. 

Did Draft Kings hire the same guy who makes David Gruber’s commercials?

I don’t know what Fiverr is and I still don’t. Am I supposed to be confused? 

Why is Jimmy John’s showing me the same commercial again?


ALSO READ:  Complete list of all our Super Bowl coverage. Enjoy!


ACD: Andrea Knowles

  1. FIVERR
    Opening with the Four Seasons Total Landscaping bit made me audibly laugh. And aside from being hilarious and beautifully shot, I loved how this spot introduced a brand that a lot of people don’t know much about. It was a fun way to explain the benefits of the product. Plus, I’m a fan of how it just edged the line of a political commentary without going too far.
  1. TIDE 
    This has been a long year to say the least, and I think people were just craving levity in Super Bowl spots this year. That’s why I loved the Jason Alexander Hoodie spot – the lighthearted, random humor made it laugh-out-loud worthy by the end. And it was a different, more creative approach to using a celebrity. Not simply for his face… but for all of his facial expressions. 
  1. AMAZON ALEXA
    The thought of Michael B. Jordan being this woman’s dream vessel for her Alexa was not only super funny, but really creative. It was one of those spots where I found myself thinking about how fun the concepting sessions were, and how the creatives probably had a laundry list of hilarious MBJ scenarios. Perfect celebrity choice too. 
  2. GM 
    I loved how this fun cast of characters were part of a larger connected story vs. just being planted for celebrity appeal. I also enjoyed how cinematic it was; it felt like movie trailer and left me wanting to see more, which is really all you can ask for when it comes to a Super Bowl spot. Plus the opening gag of Will Ferrell’s hand being stuck inside of a globe was exactly the type of simple humor we all needed this year.
  1. CADILLAC Edward Scissorhands + Timothee Chalomet?! I love how this unexpected pairing speaks to all ages and how they seamlessly worked the brand into an iconic story with a modern twist.

WORST 5

  1. VERIZON
    This one just confused me. It felt like a grab bag of too many weird references and techniques – whimsical fantasy characters, intense CGI work, Game of Thrones vibes… plus Sam Jackson? And what brand was it for again?
  1. JEEP
    A Super Bowl commercial is never going to create unity, especially in our country’s current state. For a car brand to take on that message this year felt tone deaf. Overall, heavy manifestos like this weren’t landing last night.
  1. SKETCHERS
    Tony Romo + Sketchers… what a strange mashup. I realize the intent was to make this campy and ironic, but if fell flat – they didn’t lean far enough into cheesy to make it feel like a choice. Therefore, it ended up feeling cheesy in a real way. 
  2. DOOR DASH
    I wanted to love it, because, Sesame Street. But after everything local independent restaurants have gone through this year, I expected more from Door Dash and Uber Eats with their spendy Super Bowl buys. A bigger, more meaningful call to action at the end, paired with a more relevant charity, could have helped. 
  3. TURBO TAX
    This felt “weird for weird for weird’s sake.” Wasn’t memorable. “Year of You” from Super Bowl 2014 is the big game spot that Turbo Tax will always have to beat.

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