You’re likely reading this with the same excitement as seeing a friend’s Wordle post, but thanks for hanging in there anyway. It’s Super Bowl Fifty (googles “what Super Bowl is this”) Six and once again I’ll take a look at every single commercial and provide hasty commentary on a few. This is our fifth and depending on how things (pandemic, general global unrest, fires probably) go, maybe our last one of these. If it is the end, let’s go out classy and read this somewhere other than the bathroom for a change.

No Jim (hello, friends) Nance in the booth this year, but plenty of other handsome old people to guide you through the 4+ hour ritual, which brings me back to the point of this endeavor. Commercials. A ton of them, and me, contractually obligated to watch them all and scribble notes before the alcohol washes away my interest and writing ability I get too sleepy. So here we go. Let’s see who quoted MLK for a truck ad…

Winning feels nice. I assume winning feels nice. I root for the Washington Football Commanders, so I wouldn’t really know. But these five commercials won our top tier spots, so they know.

FTX Bitcoin

I’m as annoyed and confused as anyone with these bitcoin ads, but where Matt Damon was such a weird little tuffy walking through history, Larry David doing for laughs really works. Each set-up is done well and Larry David can’t seem to wear out his welcome in this longer spot. The tagline, Don’t Miss Out On Crypto, feels a little desperate though. Spoiler: I am definitely missing out on Crypto.

Welcome to Irish Spring

What starts as a creepy Wicker Man/Midsommar vibe reverts to the retro Irish Spring sweater-dancing circle and the perfect tagline, Smell From a Nice-Smelling Place. They pack a lot of story into a 30 second spot here and the gigantic bottle of Irish Spring keeps the brand in your head.

Amazon: Mind Reader

This spot was leaked last week and received a lot of hype for the star power and how funny it was throughout. Alexa as a mind reader is a great gag even though Alexa is sort of a mind reader but Amazon is in on the joke here. Scarlett Johansson is perfect and the oyster spit-take (any spit-take) is a great finish.

Toyota: Brothers

The true story of Brian and Robin McKeever, brothers who became teammates after Brian lost his sight. The spot begins with them as kids, and the camera blurring out Brian’s point of view throughout is pretty moving. The training montage is uplifting and the ending, interspersing shots of the actual brothers, gets us where we knew this spot was heading; Gold medals. 10 of them. The final image of the brothers today with the Start Your Impossible tag is incredibly heartwarming.

Rocket Mortgage: Dream House

Anna Kendrick was the perfect narrator for the this overly-competitive housing market spot using a Barbie’s Dream House commercial within a commercial as the example. She and the spot are brightly colored, loud and animated well. Having the children in the spot talk in the parlance of terrifying real estate agents is funny and works well to convey the need for quick action in today’s market. Finishes with He-Man and Skeletor. Come on.

Yeah. The incredibly expensive missteps that get agencies fired, marketing managers exiled and probably sell products as well as the top five, to be honest.

Headspace: Sleep With John Legend

John legend isn’t funny or charismatic enough to pull off the “sleep with me” joke and I don’t know what he’s selling here anyway. A podcast to make me sleep? A podcast to eventually fall asleep to? White noise or something? Whatever it is, I don’t want to do this.

eToro: Flying Your Way

A lousy rendition of Fly Me To The Moon and weird just to be weird effects can’t save this poorly realized attempt to get younger people financially engaged or something. What starts as a typical dopey tech ad turns into a hipster flying zombie show complete with smug faces and a $%$#@ high five.

Cue Health

“Andy, Justin tested positive.” That’s how we’re starting this one?
A smart device for testing for Covid? What? No. This commercial is telling me this pandemic is going to be around forever and I don’t want to believe that even if it’s possibly true and screw you for trying to scare me. I’m already scared, Justin!

Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda: Land of Loud Flavors

Just another crappy beer alternate in an expensive and forgettable sci-fi/fantasy acid trip deal. Flavor zone or flavor town or something is an alternate reality that is loud, cheap and inhabited by screaming albinos. Not a great trip.

Meta Quest, I think?

The floating QR code? How retro and futuristic at the same time!

I watch the game passively. That’s how the Super Bowl AND TV works! I don’t want the two-screen experience. I don’t want to see the rest of your commercial at some website and I certainly don’t want to get up and chase a freaking code around my giant tv with my phone. I still don’t know what this commercial was for and it’s tomorrow.

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.