2016 Super Bowl Ads Top 10 List

For the past couple of years I’ve enjoyed doing my own Super Bowl Ad Top 10 list. However, in October of 2015 my household cut the cord and has been without cable since. We’ve been Netflixing it for the most part, until we introduced a Roku at Christmas. Believe it or not, it was the Super Bowl commercials that pushed me over the edge. I ran out today and purchased an HD antennae for our television so I could continue my tradition. We are now proud owners of free, at times pixelated and spotty, cable.

This is also the first time since I’ve been doing this that I actually sat through the game. In the past, I DVRed the game then went back afterwards and fast forwarded through the game, making notes about the commercials. It was a bit rough – shooshing the kids during commercials and coordinating bedtime around the halftime show – but I saw all the commercials, from coin toss to Peyton’s endorsement of the ‘King of Beers.’

I was completely underwhelmed this year. There were the expected star-studded and weird ads like Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby,” Apartment.com’s “Moving Day,”  Skittles’ “The Portrait,” and Amazon Echo’s, “Party” that all flopped in my book. I was concerned I wouldn’t even get a top 5, but things picked up a bit in the second half and here’s what I ended up with:

10. Axe, “Find Your Magic”

I feel like this ad will not be on many people’s short list. And I have to say I was struggling with putting it at the number ten spot because I was also a fan of Audi’s, “Commander.” However, I noticed Axe has changed up its messaging and moved away from ‘use Axe and all the girls will flock to you.’ This is a new and positive message. This is telling young men to focus on what makes them unique and celebrate that instead of trying to be what they’re not. And I like that. A message like that is needed in this day and age. And Axe is doing it in a way that stays true to the brand.

9. Toyota, “Prius”

8. T-Mobile, “Drop the Balls”

The pitfall of this ad, you had to know what happened at this year’s Miss Universe pageant and be aware of the current Verizon ad.

7. Honda, “Somebody to Love”

I’ll be honest, the only reason this one is this high on the list is because I love Queen and it’s just memorable. There’s no relevance to the brand at all, but it does showcase the new truck bed audio feature. This is what I call a good ole fashioned Super Bowl commercial. It was a nice change of pace for the night after all the OIC, IBS and toe fungus commercials.

6. Heinz, “Weiner Stampede”

This was another good ole fashioned Super Bowl commercial that made me smile.

5. Hyundai, “Ryanville”

Okay, so I’m thinking I could potentially fall in Elantra’s target market. It starts off with a Salt-N-Pepa song (one point), shows a lot of Ryan Reynolds (two points) and then ends with Ryan Reynolds AND dogs (major points) – where’s the nearest Hyundai dealership? In all seriousness, this is a Super Bowl commercial where a brand does a good job featuring a celebrity. Reynolds isn’t just there to be there. He helps illustrate the car’s emergency brake and pedestrian detection features, which happen to be beneficial to “distracted” drivers.

4. Budweiser, “Not Backing Down”

3. PayPal, “There’s a New Money in Town”

I liked the soundtrack, the visual rhythm, the copy and the over all concept.

2. Jeep, “4x4ever”

1. Jeep, “Portraits”

Jeep stole the Super Bowl ads hands down in my opinion. They had two ads that were polar opposite in style but both were attention grabbing and brand relevant, which is something several brands struggled with this year.

I’ve said it many times before, I’m a sucker for a strong narrative. They pull you in. They force you to feel. “Portraits” was reminiscent of Ram Truck’s “Farmer” ad from two years ago, but still unique enough it didn’t feel like a rip off.