The best Super Bowl commercials this year were a master class in advertising and a much-needed reminder to stick to basics. Keep the product or brand front and center. Have a smart concept. Write it brilliantly. Cast charisma. Execute flawlessly. Repeat.
Toyota Tundra – “Keeping Up with the Jones.”
Start with a solid concept. Get charisma on camera (Joneses Leslie, Rashida and Tommy Lee – and Tom Jones on the backing track — plus Nick Jonas), show the product performing from start to finish, execute in the most entertaining way possible, and you create a spot that not only does its job, but that begs for repeated views. Best in class.
Rocket Home / Rocket Mortgage – “Barbie Dream House”
Same as above. Anna Kendrick is ridiculously great. So is the concept. And the writing. And the spot walks you through everything Rocket does perfectly in 30 seconds.
Kia EV6 – “Robo-Dog”
More heart than the usually reliable Budweiser’s dog. More memorable than Arnold and Salma in the BMW spot. Just an irresistible robot dog and his new human, and their new Kia. Plus “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for good measure.
Verizon – “Cable Guy”
Jim Carrey reprises his movie role, with a script that clearly ticks off the benefits of Verizon over you-know-who, delivered with gleeful gusto by its star.
E*Trade – “Off the Grid”
He’s baaack. The baby you didn’t know you missed until he returned. But as good as it is — and it’s very good — the payoff is in the middle. Parked cash. Inflation. And “taking financial advice from memes,” followed by a perfect baby spit-take. Welcome back. Let’s have more.
Cutwater Spirits – “Here’s to the Lazy Ones”
A perfect play on every overly dramatic voiceover ever, promoting the ingenuity of laziness and the reward of Cutwater canned cocktails. Endlessly re-watchable. From a recliner, of course. With a remote.
Oikos Triple Zero and Oikos Pro – “Dad Strength”
Football dad/son duo Deion and Shedeur Sanders try to outdo each other with their own Oikos yogurt, driving home the strength-building protein benefits of both. It’s fun and fine. But the gold is in the line grandma delivers. “Strength? How do you think I gave birth to you and your big head?” Try not to watch it again.
Coinbase – “Win $3 Million”
A QR code floats slowly around the screen, vintage video style, for 30 seconds. Gets scanned so many times it crashes the website. Brilliantly simple. Simply brilliant.
Michelob Ultra – “Welcome to Superior Bowl”
Product in heavy rotation. Perfectly cast. Deftly acted. Scored superbly via ELO’s “Showdown.” Two words of dialogue – at the very end, courtesy of Steve Buscemi. And the Serena entrance that makes you want to see what happens next.
GMC Sierra Denali – “We Will Rock You.”
I hate this spot. I love this spot I hate this spot. In nerve-wracking fashion, GMC demonstrates its advanced driver assist technology. Now if you can just get your blood pressure back down. Breathe…