Top Super Bowl ads: 25 Charlotte ad execs make their picks

Which was your favorite Super Bowl ad and why? That’s the question we asked 25 local Charlotte advertising leaders. Below are their responses:

Jim Bailey

President, Red Moon Marketing

Pick: Coca-Cola - All The Way

Why: Highlighting kids engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle activity with one underdog achieving his moment in the sun. Also featured was an echo of the Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola ad with the hand off of the cold Coca-Cola bottle at the end of the spot as a reward to the victorious kid.

Seth J. Bennett

SVP, Marketing, Entertainment & Interactive Media, Bobcats Sports & Entertainment

Pick: Turbo Tax - Love Hurts

Why: Simply a funny storyline. Great job integrating football theme with a comedic tone. Just enough of a punchline to make sure the viewers remembered Turbo Tax.

Karen Bennetts

Co-Founder, Managing Partner, Little Red Bird

Pick: Maserati - Strike

Why: This spot was simply mesmerizing - it told a great story in very striking, emotional way, but was also surprising, but fitting, when it turned out to be Maserati. And "clever is more important than being the biggest kid in the neighborhood."

Gabriel Dalporto

President Mortgage & Chief Marketing Officer, Lending Tree

Pick: Audi - Doberhuahua

Why: Hilarious and entertaining creative that I wanted to watch again, which was linked to a powerful brand message: "When you compromise bad things happen. We don't."

Scott Ellmaker

Group Creative Director, Wray Ward

Pick: CarMax - Slow Clap

Why: It didn't try to make me cry. It wasn't based on a popular song. It just made me giggle and feel good. And there's just something about a Dad letting his kid wipeout on a bike. Nicely done. Clap. Clap. Clap.

Matt Ferguson

Managing Partner, Eric Mower + Associates

Pick: Wonderful Pistachios - Colbert

Why: The element of surprise is huge here. When Colbert's head splits open like a pistachio shell to reveal a smaller, green-pistachio Colbert head... Pure hilariousness.

Jenn Hausman

Media Supervisor, HMHagency

Pick: Radio Shack – Phone Call

Why: Wait what? Is this a rerun of an old Super Bowl? Radio Shack admitting they suck and need to do better is a smart approach and one that resonates. The cameos, funny (Alf!) and too many to count, were hilarious and really paid off the "'80's called" message perfectly.

Greg Johnson

President, BooneOakley

Pick: Cheerios - Gracie

Why: Authentic to the brand, entertaining, evoked emotion, stimulated conversation before, during and after the game.

Buffy McCoy Kelly

Creative Director, Tattoo Projects

Pick: T-Mobile - No Contract

Why: "Contracts hold you back" is a clear, solid message about the product T-mobile has to offer their customers. Tying it in to Tim Tebow's no-contract situation with the NFL is culturally relevant, and made for some fun scenarios. This ad series was memorable, entertaining, and most importantly -- left me with a clear message about the point of differentiation in the advertiser's product.

Robin Konieczny

President & CCO, Clear Blue

Pick: Budweiser – Puppy Love

Why: Everyone likes a good story. Budweiser ads always tell a good story and it’s always about best buds, whether they are horses or heroes. Bravo, Budweiser. Once again, you’ve shown us that great brands never waver from who they are and in so doing, they never let us down.

Steve Luquire

CEO, Luquire George Andrews

Pick: Volkswagen – Wingslga media director

Why: Clever and made the point of car dependability and longevity. Given the average car life in America is 8-10 years it was a differentiator. Combined humor and direct sales benefit.

John Mader

Vice President, Director of Connections, Wray Ward

Pick: Chevrolet Silverado - Romance

Why: Maybe it's because I'm the son of a Kansas farm boy. Maybe it's because my little girls love cows. Maybe it's because a bull licked my face once when I was a kid. Maybe it's because the competition was weak. My favorite commercial of the night was the Chevrolet spot for the Silverado. Perfect for the target audience. If I had to haul cattle, I'd buy a Chevy.

Jim Mountjoy

Director, EYE Creative Lab

Pick: Newcastle

Why: A Mega Huge Football Game commercial designed never to air on the Mega Huge Football Game? Newcastle with Anna Kendrick came up short on the budget to play on the same field with the omnipresent and somewhat predictable Budweiser. With social media and YouTube, who needs the game?

Shafi Mustafa

CEO/Co-Founder, Savveo

Pick: RadioShack – Phone Call

Why: In a sea of sameness, RadioShack dared to be different and stood out. Self-deprecating humor is not easy to pull off, but RadioShack nailed it. Super Bowl ads are often best served for BIG messages. RadioShack successfully acknowledged its dated positioning in consumers’ minds and set the stage for its new direction. Brilliant!

David Oakley

Founder, Creative Director, BooneOakley

Pick: Budweiser - Puppy Love

Why: This commercial made me cry. Twice. First, because it reminded me of our beloved yellow lab Yogi, who passed away last week after a gruesome bout with cancer. And second because my friend Jim Doyle drank my last Budweiser while we were watching the commercial.

Blair Primis

Director of Marketing, OrthoCarolina

Pick: T-Mobile – No Contract

Why: Self-deprecating excellence using a contemporary figure for both the football & non-football viewers. Excellent Twitter integration too.

Randy Poindexter

SVP Marketing, Bojangles' Restaurants Inc

Pick: Audi - Doberhuahua

Why: From Honda to Chrysler to the Silverado "Bull in Love", the car manufacturers rocked this year, but Audi's big-headed Doberman was my favorite. Of the non-car ads, Radio Shack's "The 80's Store" was a close second. Overall, the commercials were more entertaining than the game.

Ron Randle

Owner & Creative Director, Little Red Bird

Pick: M&M’s - Delivery

Why: Normally you'd expect the beer companies to own the humor category, but M&M's managed to pull off a terrific sendup of a mob flick. A perfectly executed twist at the end leaves Yellow M&M blissfully unaware of his fate. I mean, who doesn't love peanut M&M's?

John Roberts

Executive Creative Director, Wray Ward

Pick: Newcastle

Why: They weren't even in the Super Bowl but used the Super Bowl to get attention and communicate an authentic message for an authentic brand that didn't pander to their audience.

Dan Roselli

Co-Founder, Packard Place

Pick: RadioShack - Phone Call

Why: They did the most to move their brand forward. They took a known negative of their brand, accepted it as true, and then leverage that to make people see them in a different and better way. It was great consumer insight.

Marni Setless

Vice President Media Services, Media Power Advertising

Pick: Cheerios- Gracie

Why: Personally, this ad touched my heart. As a mom of a 5 1/2 year old, I identified with a smart adorable child who thinks and speaks as if part of the same peer group as parents. With my ad hat on, the ad targets a wide range: “everyone"; multi-cultural, families, moms, dads, kids, grandparents. Its relatability while targeting multigenerational and multicultural pulls off a necessary need in today's ad world. The spot answers a challenge to speak to multiple gens and cultures with one 30 second message and does it in a form that is cute, relatable and touches your heart.

Bob Shaw

President, Concentric Marketing

Pick: Newcastle

Why: The premise of this video is they hire Anna Kendrick to do a Super Bowl ad that never runs. Funny, timely and beating the system. Countless million YouTube hits later and PR buzz, they save $4mm and make a hilarious statement. Essurance followed this same idea of social integration and ripping on the actual cost of SB ads to lots of viral success also.

Mark Smith

VP of Marketing, Charlotte Knights

Pick: T-Mobile – No Contract

Why: I believe the T-Mobile ads did the best job of being entertaining while getting their message of "No Contracts" across. Great idea having two entertaining ads with Tim Tebow and their last one be simple with just words. I definitely can remember the company associated with those ads.

Anna Tartak

Principal, Ashland Advertising

Pick: Honda- Hugfest

Why: This commercial brought a complete change in tone from the other ads of the night with Bruce Willis speaking plainly to the camera. The message we are asked to consider was simple, relatable, and powerful, "How much do the people in your life mean to you?"

Barry Wilson

President, Planet Central

Pick: Budweiser – Puppy Love

Why: The Clydesdales are to Budweiser what the swoosh is to Nike - no need to show product.The touching interaction between the Clydesdales and other objects that people have such strong emotional connections to, such as the puppy, is incredible, and builds brand likeability whether you use the product or not.

What do you think?

Did Charlotte’s advertising leaders get it right? Make your picks and explain why in the comment thread below. Thanks to all who participated!