Our Top 5 Big Game ads and 3 not so great

Big Game
(Our Number One spot)

It’s over. Sigh. My Philadephia Eagles put up a valiant effort but they couldn’t do it for four quarters Sometimes you lead by 10 points at halftime and lose by 3 when it’s all said and done. That’s why it’s called “The Big Game.” It applies to other aspects of life as well.

Someone has to win and someone has to go home and figure things out for next year. That is the case for coach Andy Reid, who if he decides to retire, can go out with a storybook ending by beating the team that he was head coach of for 13 years – The Eagles.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who looked like they were on the brink of losing the Big Game, went to their locker room and adjusted. The Eagles didn’t. C’est la vie.

The same can be said about the 51 ads that ran last night. There are some that clearly won. Some need to go home and rethink their playbook.

What did we see this year? A lot of celebrities. Like a lot. Stallone climbed a mountain. Coolidge smushed her face. McCarthy got pampered. Affleck worked Dunkin’ Donuts. Travolta can still sing. And so can Scrubs Zach Braff and Donald Faison. It was as if the marketing team from Pepsi’s heyday took over the strategy for almost every brand.

Jesus showed up as well. That’s a pretty big one. But it’s the Big Game.

We also witnessed a pregnant Rihanna deliver a masterclass of performances as she soared through her music library and then literally soared over the State Farm Stadium crowd and became a diamond in the sky. Amid fireworks.

And then there was Chiefs’ owner Clark Hunt’s daughter and heiress, Gracie. Good lord.

According to USA Today’s Admeter, The Farmer’s Dog finished first, ending Chicago-based Highdive’s three-year reign. The bottom spot was U2’s 15-second concert announcement. Audiences didn’t react well to an ominous floating orb with a baby’s face. It was as if someone smoked a little too much weed and kidnapped the Teletubbies’ iconic sun baby.

Below are our 5 Super Bowl that hit us like the Eagles’ defense usually hit teams during the season until last night:

Super Hits

“Forever” Brand: The Farmer’s Dog | AgencyIn-house

We always say at Reel 360 News in order to make it to Reel Ad of the Week make us laugh or make us cry. This beautiful 60-second spot certainly did the latter and is probably one of our Best Ads of 2023. Created in conjunction with production company Sanctuary, Forever, like the loving and loyal chocolate lab in the spot, follows the relationship between a little girl and her furry friend, Bear. We see their love grow as they both do. They remain connected through major life changes such as slamming bedroom doors as a teen, going off to college, getting married and having kids.

The lovely song, “Forever” by Lee Fields underscores their relationship perfectly from the moment she promises, “I’ll take care of you forever” to their tired locking eyes – hers from the kids, his from aging. The creativity makes us realize the importance animals carry in our lives.

“Run With It” Brand: NFL | Agency: 72andSunny

Titled ‘Run With It’, the NFL’s blockbuster Super Bowl LVII spot features an epic game of flag football and pays tribute to women driving the sport forward. Airing right after the Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show, the NFL tricked the audience into thinking the spot was filmed live, with Fox Sports anchor Erin Andrews interviewing Diana Flores, the quarterback for Mexico’s national flag football team, “live” on the sideline. During the interview, Erin tries to take Diana’s flag – but she is too fast and takes off.

The spot then follows a cast of football players and other celebrities chasing down Diana in a chaotic cat-and-mouse game of flag football, including: YouTuber MrBeast, Diana’s own mother and NFL players past and present, such as Sauce Gardner, Jalen Ramsey, Aidan Hutchinson, Cam Hayward, Davante Adams and Jim Kelly.

As Flores is pursued through a mall, a hotel and across rooftops, the quarterback manages to outmaneuver everyone with her impressive speed and athletic ability – and with a little help from fellow iconic women in sport, including tennis legend Billie Jean King and football players Bella Rasmussen and Vanita Krouch.

Directed by Hungry Man US’ Bryan Buckley, the action-packed chase spills out of State Farm Stadium and onto the streets.

Watch below:

“Breaking Good” Brand: Popcorners | Agency: Frito-Lay In-house

PopCorners Popped-Corn Snack’s first Super Bowl commercial revives the most critically acclaimed television show of all time, Breaking Bad, 10 years after its beloved characters left the airwaves. The brand has reunited creator and head writer, executive producer and director, Vince Gilligan and stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

The brand brought the ad to life in a truly authentic way by teaming up with many of the original cast and crew members from the hit series, including actors Cranston, Paul and Raymond Cruz, reprising their roles as Walter White, Jesse Pinkman and Tuco Salamanca.

Inspired by the original Breaking Bad storyline, the spot reimagines iconic scenes and incorporates series elements sure to excite superfans, including original set pieces, like the infamous RV and Tuco’s wardrobe. Watch below:

“Binky Dad” Brand: Kia America | Agency: David&Goliath

Kicking off Kia’s 360 Super Bowl campaign, created by our friends at David&Goliath, is an adventure-fueled 60-second spot directed by celebrated film director Dante Ariola of MJZ, which debuted today, 2/9. The ad follows Binky Dad as he immediately jumps in his Telluride X-Pro and goes on an incredible journey to get the binky, before his beloved baby erupts in an explosion of tears. 

Set to the iconic and uplifting classic theme from RockyGonna Fly Now (perfect for the Philadelphia Eagles), we can’t help but cheer for Binky Dad and his Telluride X-Pro, the champs of this story of sheer grit and rugged determination to beat the odds.

“Drive-Thru” Brand: Dunkin’ Donuts | Agency: Anomaly

Actor, writer, and director Ben Affleck is known to be a disciple of Dunkin’. He apparently goes there every day the same way others go to Starbucks. Even the memes chronicling his visits go way back. The spot catches the Batman actor working the drive-thru at a Medford Dunkin’. The spot, which Affleck also directed, features footage of surprised (and some not surprised) customers. The biggest surprise – wife Jennifer Lopez showing up at the end and asking for a glazed donut.   

Honorable Mentions: Warner Bros. “The Flash Trailer,” Amazon “Saving Sawyer,” Doritos “Try Another Angle,” General Motors/Netflix“Why Not an EV?” T-Mobile “Neighborly,” Workday “Rockstars,” Tubi “Interface Interruption.”

REELated: Complete list of all our Super Bowl coverage. Enjoy!

Super Misses

WeatherTech “We Never Left”

WeatherTech can spend as much money as it wants on Super Bowl advertising and the company has for years. But the spots never, ever land emotionally. The creative is just invisible.

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise “Who’s in the fridge?”

The spot, in what feels like a Pete Davidson weed-induced dream features megastars Jon Hamm and Brie Larson, who are found chilling in Pete Davidson’s fridge next to foods’ best friend, a jar of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. The trio aim to inspire everyone to ‘Make Taste, Not Waste’ by using Hellmann’s to bring leftovers to life. Yeah, not inspired:

Skechers “Skechers x Snoop Dogg”

Yes, dogs score with Big Game audiences, but not even Snoop Dogg can help fans ignore just how ugly Skechers are. And with all the gratuitous shoe shots in this dog of a spot, we see the shoes are just ew.

Nominate Someone You know For The Reel Black List OR Reel Women

Now I will go drown my Eagles sorrows in some coffee and wait until baseball season. Thank you Eagles for an amazing season.

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at colin@reel360.com or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1