Which Super Bowl ads were the favorites of Charlotte-area advertising leaders? Here are their top picks:
Jim Bailey, president of Red Moon Marketing
Favorite: Coca-Cola Mini – Hulk vs. Ant-Man
Why: Great spot melding the popular Marvel franchise and big refreshment with a small package. The key takeaway was regardless of whether you have a big thirst (Hulk) or small one (Ant Man), Coke quenches them all.
Peggy Brookhouse, president and partner at Luquire George Andrews
Favorite: Avocados from Mexico – Avocados in Space
Why: I laughed out loud at the Scott Baio reference and thought the acting was spot on. Plus it didn’t come across as trying too hard like a lot of Super Bowl commercials do. Well-executed, fun to watch and definitely made me want guacamole.
John Cavanaugh, vice president of strategy at Belgrave Associates
Favorite: Audi R8 – Commander
Why: In a year with mostly weak offerings, this one felt like it was right-sized for the big moment. The spot told the story masterfully, pushed the right emotional buttons and showcased the brand especially well.
Matt Ferguson, managing partner at Eric Mower + Associates
Favorite: Hyundai – First Date
Why: Being a dad of four daughters, I could identify. Plus, Kevin Hart makes just about anything funny. And it reinforced the selling point about Hyundai’s car-tracking technology. Hyundai elevated its brand to the level of friendship with this spot.
Nick Fry, creative director at Orbital Socket
Favorite: Squarespace – Real Talk
Why: This is a perfect example of what modern advertising looks like. More than a very funny commercial, every piece is working together to drive engagement. Squarespace ties your passion’s future to their platform, and Key and Peele’s website is pretty dope.
Mary Gross, copywriter at BooneOakley
Favorite: Bud Light – The Bud Light Party
Why: Two words: Amy Schumer. Also, from now on I will find every possible opportunity to use the word “caucus” in an inappropriate way.
Buffy McCoy Kelly, president and creative director at Tattoo Projects
Favorite: Mini – DefyLabels
Why: No over-the-top stuff. This spot stuck to the truth, and that was enough. The message was authentic and simple: Defy labels. Couple that with a purposeful use of celebrities (each defiant in their own right) and you’ve got a smart, effective spot.
Marty Kelso, creative director at Kelso Communications
Favorite: PayPal – There’s a New Money in Town
Why: With the elevated expectations of a Super Bowl ad, too often the message, and the brand, gets lost in the effects and the irony. Not this one. The spot takes one of our most mundane daily tasks and gives it a surge of emotion, thanks to a strong montage, a great beat and a mantra that makes financial transactions feel almost radical.
Richard McDevitt, senior director of marketing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Favorite: Audi R8 – Commander
Why: Music was a major theme this year, with everything from Queen to Rossini. But the Audi spot was successful because it not only supports the Audi “performance” brand, but is spot-on targeted to their demographic and also uses the brilliant David Bowie song “Starman.” That’s celebrity enough for anybody.
Blair Primis, vice president of marketing at OrthoCarolina
Favorite: Jeep – Super Bowl Portraits
Why: Excellent combined use of photography in both the human face close-ups as well as the scenes of Jeep throughout the years. Inspiring music and trumpeting of Americana.
Aaron Putnam, motion director at Wray Ward
Favorite: Jeep – 4x4ever
Why: In the battle for marketing greatness, Jeep’s 75-years campaign was a winner. Its 4x4ever commercial struck an emotional cord by combining great storytelling with intimate cinematography and radio-ready music. Jeep obviously understands its millennial audience and delivered an artful and effective message.
Torrie Savage, Founder of #thesavageway
Favorite: Mini – DefyLabels; Honda Ridgeline – A New Truck To Love
Why: I think overall the commercials this year were lackluster. But the two that utilized the platform the best would be Mini for their attitude of never giving others the power over you to label you. The second commercial being Honda Ridgeline for their clever sheep commercial (witty, funny, smart).
Thomas Taylor, vice president of activation at Bespoke Sports & Entertainment
Favorite: Toyota Prius – The Longest Chase
Why: Toyota was on-brand with this spot. Prius was the winner among autos in a year where a few different brands aimed to reinforce their non-mainstream identity. The farmers market joke was fantastic. If you were one of the millions of viewers who considered “The Wire” among the best shows in TV history, then you cheered for the inclusion of the Sobotkas as the band of robbers, but if you never watched “The Wire” then it didn’t detract from the plot.