Industry reactions to Super Bowl ads

(l-r: Leigh Browne, Johan Leanderson, Heather McTavish)

Well, the Super Bowl LVII is over. And there were winners and losers. But we’re not talking about the Philadelphia Eagles right now. We’ll be licking those wounds for some time. No, we’re talking about the 51 Super Bowl spots that aired last night. Now that USA Today has listed their top spots on the admeter and we have listed ours, let’s see what stood out to others in the industry.

And we now know how Reel 360 News felt about some of the ads that stood out. Now, we picked the brains of three creative leaders to see what they thought. We spoke with Heather McTavish, Group Creative Director, Virtue Worldwide, Leigh Browne, Creative Director (Copywriter) at GSD&M and Johan Leandersson, Creative Director, Supernatural.

Which spots stood out for you?

Heather: For me there were two ads that stood out, for very different reasons. Tubi’s ad, by Mischief, was smart. It got me. I was walking out of the room, when my wife and friends began looking for the remote. I turned back to see if I had left it where I was sitting only to realize we’d all been bamboozled. It was clever, it cut through, and it got me asking, “What is Tubi?”

As for the second ad, sure it may have been two people dancing in a room to waiting music, but it was the song choice for Bud Light’s Miles Teller feature that really got me. The song, titled Opus NO. 1, is a quiet cultural banger, and everyone knows it.

We’ve seen it on Reddit, we’ve read the think pieces, and have nodded our heads at the memes that riddle Instagram. It was simple, it was earnest, it was intimate – and it was rooted in culture, making the song choice the most creative part of this ad.

Leigh: Literally every Super Bowl: too many celebrities, not enough concepts. Sometimes the right celebrity elevates a spot. Ben Affleck for Dunkin’ makes sense. Adam Driver for Squarespace was perfect casting in a simple, dumb-in-a-good-way spot. But often it’s just a crutch. Google Pixel would’ve had the same impact celeb-free.

And DraftKings? Just, no. One of my favorites was TurboTax with the guy just dancing. It’s sorta anti-Super Bowl, but there’s something refreshing about not being so try-hard. NFL’s “Run With It” was so charming and fun. And I can’t be mad at Tubi. Who’s ever talked about Tubi before this?


Complete list of all our Super Bowl coverage. Enjoy!

Johan: Another year, another Big Game filled with 30-second cut-downs of great 90-second ads. Today, I went through all the spots again on Youtube and I barely recognized half of them. A lot of the full cuts were simple, well-crafted minute-and-a-half films.

But last night a lot of that craft was lost as these films were squeezed into the most expensive 30-second slots on planet earth. Possibly, just maybe, we should pay less attention to the pre-and post-game and really try to make well-crafted ads that take advantage of the limited time they have. I think the people who matter (hint: it’s not us ad people) would appreciate it.    

Nominate Someone You know For 5th Annual The Reel Black List OR Reel Women