Super Bowl 50, “Commercial Bowl” Breakdown

Maura Glacken, TGI’s Marketing Coordinator, breaks down a few commercials from Super Bowl 50.

Ah, another Super Bowl came and went. While we are still trying to gain back momentum from Sunday’s festivities, there are a few things that I can’t stop thinking about. Aside from the Bronco’s win, Lady Gaga’s outstanding version of the Star Spangled Banner -Can you say Goosebumps- and the halftime show, the buzz about the commercials seems to continue to be a debate among all marketers and non-marketers alike. It IS the biggest opportunity of the year for advertisers after all, the COMMERCIAL BOWL. So, I spent some time re-watching Sunday’s commercials, and while I am not saying that I’m an expert, these are the ones that I can’t stop thinking about… and no, #Puppymonkeybaby (although- still hilariously replays in my mind) is not one of them.

Here are the summaries and breakdowns of a few commercials that stood out in my mind:

2017 Audi R8: Commander; Shoot for the moon

Summary: A heartwarming, emotional storyline of a sad retired Astronaut finding his love for life again through his son’s new Audi R8.

Breakdown: The cinematic quality of this commercial is outstanding, the storyline; powerful, emotional, inspiring… Pairing this storyline with Bowie’s iconic “Starman” (and only a few weeks after Bowie’s death), mesmerizing, powerful, and took this commercial’s emotional effect to greater heights. This one was definitely memorable, and “Starman” is on repeat in my brain.

Budweiser USA: Not Backing Down

Summary: Budweiser takes on the Craft Beer Revolution to prove that they are “not backing down”.

Breakdown: Taking a more riveting approach than past Super Bowl ads, this year’s Budweiser commercial takes on the Craft Beer Revolution in a powerful, yet playful manner. Budweiser traded in their heartwarming puppy & Clydesdale horse storyline to remind viewers that they have Clydesdales, not ponies, and that they are not backing down. Heavy machinery, extreme weather conditions, powerful and fierce Clydesdales and big venues prove that Budweiser is “ Not Small… Not a Hobby… Not for sipping… Not backing down since 1876”.

My favorite part- an old man at a bar flicks the lemon slice off of his beer glass, because Budweiser’s are “not fruit cups”

Snickers: Marilyn

Summary: Even Hollywood Icons get cranky when they are hungry.

Breakdown: Another trip down memory lane this year as Snickers proves that “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Hollywood Icon, Marilyn Monroe, looks a lot like Willem Defoe when she gets cranky. Donned in pearl earrings, a white dress, and re-creating Monroe’s famous “skirt” scene, Defoe is hysterically cranky before eating his Snickers. Seeing Willem Defoe in a dress while throwing a tantrum is pretty funny, but was this the best Snickers “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ad? That’s up for debate- comment below, which was your favorite?

Mini: Defy Labels

Summary: Mini Clubman defies labels and proves this car is for everyone.

Breakdown: Mini takes on the labels that both celebrities and non-celebrities have had to overcome and use them to defy the stereotypes of the Mini Clubman – a chick car, a cute car, a short man’s car, a gay car, etc. This ad promotes a powerful message to “defy labels” in this creative and simplistic, yet direct commercial for the new Mini Clubman, proving that this car is for everyone. In addition to the powerful message, this ad proves to be the best use of Celebrity, as a series of unexpected cameos are used to Defy labels (Abby Wambach, Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, just to name a few).

Pantene: Strong is Beautiful | Pantene Dad- Do

Summary: NFL dad’s prove that “Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women”

Breakdown: Dad’s of the NFL; DeAngelo Williams (Pittsburgh Steelers), Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) and Benjamin Watson (New Orleans Saints); pair up with their daughters in this powerful and heartwarming ad. Each dad is giving their daughter a “Dad-do”, while their daughters giggle in approval, and say the adorable “I love you daddy”. A branch off of Pantene’s ‘Strong is Beautiful’ campaign, the ‘Dad-do’ campaign is meant to promote that “Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women.” This commercial was powerful and heartwarming and will have a longer lifespan than other Super Bowl ads.

My favorite exchange is at the end of the commercial when DeAngelo Williams hands his daughter, Rhiya Williams, a mirror:

“When you look in the mirror, what do you see?”


“That’s ‘Strong is beautiful’.”

Pantene created a series of extended videos for these ‘Dad-dos’, which consist of hysterical play-by-plays of the NFL dads creating their ‘Dad-dos’:

DeAngelo Williams: Dad-Do #1

Benjamin Watson: Dad-Do #2

Jason Witten: Dad-Do #3

DeAngelo Williams: Dad-Do #4


Shock Top: “Unfiltered Big Game Ad Review”

Although I was not really a big fan of the initial Shock Top Super bowl ad that aired on Sunday, Shock Top takes the win for greatest Super Bowl ad follow-up. Their initial ad was pretty funny, but I felt it got lost in the sea of other Super Bowl ads. So, when I saw the “Unfiltered Big Game Ad Review” pop up on my newsfeed Monday, I just had to watch it. Adding a playful extension to their own ad of exchanged insults, T.J. Miller and the Shock Top orange wedge paired up again to watch and review other commercials from Sunday… the results? Hysterical. Watch as they hilariously take on their Super Bowl ad competitors. “Puppymonkeybaby? He will haunt my dreams for years to come…”


Overall, the ads this year were good, memorable, and hysterical… but there were a few that left me with an Eli Manning reaction– Xifaxan and it’s walking intestine, ENVY’s Opioid-induced constipation, and the snooze fest that was the Persil laundry detergent commercial. FYI- those ads cost $5 million for a 30-second spot this year!

So, what did you think about Super Bowl 2016’s commercials? Which were your favorites? Share in the comment section below!


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