Super Bowl Best and Worst Commercials

When you label something as “First Annual”, you’ve committed to at least a Second Annual and so here we are, soberly (well…) watching and reviewing commercials during the Super Bowl again. I don’t mind it though since I’m already sitting here and being responsible for a blog post means I can’t leave the couch for 3 to 4 hours. Basically, I need to stay awake and write maybe 10 sentences. As lifelike fembot Carrie Underwood likes to sing, Game On!

When people say things like “I just watch for the commercials” what they’re really saying is I have no understanding of sports, specifically football. That’s fine, football isn’t really worth knowing, but no one honestly enjoys commercials. For every Budweiser horse/puppy commercial that allows us a moment to think the world is a hopeful, welcoming place there’s a painfully inappropriate Dodge spot using a Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speech to sell a truck. When I say I watch it for the commercials, however, it means I literally do just that. The Redskins aren’t playing so none of this concerns me. Also, I picked up malt liquor to make the game experience more fun louder.

[On a side note, bright, shining super-genius Sean McVay was a coordinator on the Redskins. With a little finessing he could have been the head coach right here in DC. Instead, he’s on the other side of the continent, winning almost everything.]

So, away we go into the high-stakes world of $5 million ad buys, bad truck commercials and that unblinking block of wood, Jim Nance.


My top five commercial picks carry all the heft of your unemployed brother’s hot take on the China trade talks. But read it anyway…there’s things to click on.

Microsoft | We All Win

The first ad Microsoft did in this series (Reindeer Games) showed the kids in the neighborhood converging on Owen’s house to watch him beat a game using an adaptive controller. The children seemed genuine in that spot and Owen was pure joy. I think it was the best ad of 2018. This ad goes deeper into the accessibility Microsoft is touting and shows us more children with disabilities able to play games seamlessly. The parent’s and children’s testimonials are pitch-perfect as is the overall tone of the spot.


Bud Light | Game of Thrones X Bud Light

The Bud Light series of ads surprised by being actually funny and then truly memorable by running a spot that turned into a Game of Thrones tie-in.


Hyundai | The Elevator

Jason Bateman as the elevator jockey taking passengers to floors including root canals, jury duty and a vegan dinner party on their way to buy a Hyundai is funny and sticks with the brand buying experience long enough at the end to assure that you remember who the ad was for.


Coke | A Coke is a Coke

This animated spot the opens with a few retro bars of “I‘d Like to Buy the World a Coke” and slides into a nicely animated difference is beautiful message. Not a big, splashy spot, but cuts through the clutter perfectly.


Amazon | Not Everything Makes the Cut

The premise of having Alexa in microwaves, dog collars and toothbrushes is a pretty funny nod at criticism of the product. Having Harrison Ford, the girls from Broad City, and a Queen song in the mix makes this the most star-studded commercial of the game.



It stings when you pay this kind of money and come up short. It’s like paying top dollar for a veteran QB that has his leg pulled off just as the playoff push starts. It’s just like that.

Yellowtail Wine

Yellowtail is straight up bum wine. This is the stuff you drink with Advil to avoid the almost immediate headache that’s coming. It’s the wine at the wedding you knew you shouldn’t have agreed to go to. The commercial is misleading because … of my first sentence up there. Happy, attractive, successful people ruining their days and nights by drinking this Australian bag plonk.


Michelob Ultra | The Pure Experience

Zoe Kravitz whispering to me about beer is weird, but I like weird. What I don’t like is beer in its organic form because I don’t know what that means. They use that ASMR whisper audio trick and I find that annoying as hell also. Zoe Kravitz looks as natural with a beer as I would look with Zoe Kravitz.


Budweiser | Wind Never Felt Better

Come on, alcohol ads! Be better than this. This spot looks like standard Bud fare; horses, a Dalmatian, some nice scenery and then wind turbines? And Bob Dylan singing “Blowin’ In The Wind”? Wind powered beer isn’t a thing and Bob Dylan was singing about something else entirely.


CBS Sports | Dream Big

Hello friends, I don’t know what this spot was selling to be honest…Jim Nance, I guess, but clips of Jim Nance and a voice-over by Jim Nance is too much Jim Nance. The kid in this spot is apparently dreaming of Jim Nance. That’s the weirdest spot of the night.


WeatherTec | Scout

WeatherTec makes truck bed liners and now dog bowls? I definitely thought this was a parody of something, but the joke never came. They rolled this new venture out at the Super Bowl and that takes guts and money but it still makes the list because it’s late and I’m sleepy.

About the Author
Tom McCormick
Tom McCormick is the head of the Brick Factory's design department, overseeing all of the company's creative work. In that role, Tom consults with clients to design websites that are beautiful and functional. He only writes blog posts that have something to do with football, probably because he is a Redskins fan and needs some kind of catharsis after they lose every week.