The Five Best Super Bowl Ads of 2018

The Five Best Super Bowl Ads of 2018

The Super Bowl isn't only a competition to find out who is the best football team in the NFL, it's also a competition between mega brands to produce the year's best commercials. This year, NBC charged at least $5 million per 30 seconds of ad time. Who do you think got the most for their money?

According to Variety, Amazon's Alexa took the top spot in YouTube views on Monday, and SpotBowl had viewers vote on the most likable ads, with Doritos vs. Mountain Dew taking the top spot at 67 percent likability. Which ads married likability with a brand message that will drive an actual increase in revenue? That's still to be seen, but these are my top five based on which I found the most clever and enjoyable.

1. It's a Tide Ad

With a healthy dose of humor from "Stranger Things" Actor David Harbour, Tide cleverly inserted itself into every Super Bowl commercial by reminding viewers that whether they were watching and ad for a cold brew or a car, everyone was wearing clean clothes, and if it's clean, it must be Tide, even encouraging viewers to "watch and see." Not only do they end up with a fun commercial, but they were able to then piggyback on every other commercial. Top points.

2. Doritos Blaze Vs. Mountain Dew Ice

Who doesn't want to see Peter Dinklage lip-syncing Busta Rhymes while setting a mansion on fire, with a cameo from Busta, himself? Or Morgan Freeman literally bringing the house down while freezing everything in his vicinity with some cool lip-syncing to Missie Elliot, who also makes a cameo? No one, that's who. The commercial plays on the new flavors, and brings powerfully popular actors in to reinforce the hot versus cool message. It may not be the most clever, but it certainly had style.

3. Alexa Lost Her Voice

With a star-studded cast, Amazon made it clear that we should be grateful to have a calm, predictable Alexa to order around. The commercial was a lot of fun to watch, spanning the spectrum of potential celebrity replacement voices from a raging Gordon Ramsay to a controlled and slightly creepy Sir Anthony Hopkins, which was enough to rescue the commercial from the brand message itself, which was a bit bland.

4. “Westworld” Season 2

The commercial begins with sprawling, beautifully cinematic images of a western landscape, only to break the illusion with a view of a violent revolution, all while an uplifting score served to both inspire and then provide some cognitive dissonance to the gunfire and slow-motion violence. Big wins for teasing the new season, as well as creating something captivating to watch.  

5. Dundee

This commercial for Australian Tourism has had people convinced for weeks that it was a real trailer for an upcoming movie, and even spawned a petition to have an actual movie made before the full Super Bowl commercial was released, revealing the hoax. That's a win.

Honorable Mention: Skittles

Skittles came to the table with their usual dose of quirky humor, but this time with a twist: a commercial that would only be shown to one person, Marcos Menendez. After several commercial teasers leaving viewers wondering which teaser would be used for the actual "exclusive commercial," Menendez was brought to a warehouse for his private screening, afterward revealing what he saw. Since no one but Menendez saw the entire commercial, it's being relegated to the honorable mentions, but this ploy made viewers continue to engage with the brand long after the Super Bowl itself, which is a pretty great return on investment.

Which commercials were your favorites and why? Let us know in the comments.

Lead image by WikiImages via Pixabay.

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Ryan Mense's picture

From what I read on Adweek, Tide has a few more additional commercial spots they made for after the Super Bowl. I know Tide won because I've been sort of interested in seeing the new ones. The other ones may have been neat commercials, but Tide launched a genius campaign just when they needed to shift customer focus the most.

Nicole York's picture

I agree, which is why it was the winner for me. Super clever concept, immediate appeal, long-term applicability, and a rope to climb out of a hole. Genius.

Michael Holst's picture

Can we talk about that Dodge Ram commercial? cringe.

Nicole York's picture

No kidding! Maybe we need a "most cringe-worthy" list, too, lol

Michael Holst's picture

They used an MLK sermon that specifically talks about advertisers tricking people into buying things and refers to cars as one of the things people spend too much money on. It’s classic irony and in poor taste.

Michael Holst's picture

The attachment to MLK isn't the thing that I'm disappointed in. It's the context in which they did it to sell a truck. Had it been more about the brand (not showing the product), I might not have hated on it so much. Most importantly it's the irony. They should have chosen a different speech even though it was made on the same day 50 years earlier. It just doesn't fit the context.

Simon Patterson's picture

That one was pretty awkward! Definitely doesn't fit in the "best of" or even "honorable mention" category.

Interesting choice to use an image of a soccer stadium for a Super Bowl post.

Started watchign the game but so many obnoxious commercials I turned it off and listened on the radio. Much better. More information and analysis.
The commercial interruptions on the TV made the game unwatchable.

Motti Bembaron's picture

By far the Dundee ad is the best!

Chris Rogers's picture

Looks like they "TURNED THE TIDE" *snicker snort*

Simon Patterson's picture

I wonder when that "honourable mention" ad will be "leaked"?

Bill Larkin's picture

How the Giants' Dirty Dancing commercial with Eli isn't #1 or even mentioned is beyond me! I laughed so hard I cried...

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Also a fan, that was hilarious. #swayze

Everybody would've been talking about the Budweiser ad if they had debuted "Dilly, dilly!" at the Super Bowl like the "What's up?" ads from years ago. But "Dilly, dilly" had run its course before the Super Bowl.