That was a helluva game. Talk about a nail-biter. 60 minutes of actual playing time and over 4 hours of snacking, watching, and drinking. Yes, Super Bowl LVIII lived up to the hype of being an unforgettable game, Taylor Swift and all.
The game also anointed Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, as a bonafide dynasty. From Andy Reid to Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce and the rest, they are a team that puts a winner on the field. The same can be said about the teams putting the winners on the screen during the game.
These are creative teams from large agencies, mid-sized agencies, and small agencies who put out advertising that consumers are ready to gobble up along with their wings and chips. They laugh or are moved by the creativity and innovation the brands bring to the game.
And they were almost as entertaining as Usher.
Super Bowl LVIII was no exception. As the world’s eyes fixated on the screen, we were treated to a tapestry of commercials, ranging from moments of brilliance to occasional misfires. From a cornucopia of food advertisers to a galaxy of celebrity endorsements, the stage was set for brands to make their mark.
What did we see this year? A lot of celebrities. Like a lot. Michael Cera wanted to hydrate us with his cream. Glenn Close impersonated Tina Fey. Ben Affleck and JLo brought friends for Dunkin’ Donuts. Jason Momoa can sing. People were talkin’ like Christopher Walken
Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger was reunited with “Twin” Danny Devito for State Farm. And speaking of Super Bowl dynasties, is Chicago’s Highdive becoming one?
Yes, there were celebs galore, but we were also moved by a little girl on the ice skating for her grandpa in a Kia spot. And touched by a little Ghanaian boy who wants to play American football.
And Taylor Swift chugged beer. I’m sure all the brands would like to know. So who were Reel 360’s Top 10 spots? Below is your answer.
1. BRAND: State Farm | “Like a Good Neighbaa” | AGENCY: Highdive
Is there a better agency nailing the Super Bowl over the last five years than Highdive? Sure, some don’t always hit as well as they could with BETMG. But last night’s State Farm spot with Arnold Schwarzenegger and a surprise appearance by Danny DeVito is Reel 360’s number one spot.
The Terminator actor’s enduring charm shines brightly. The genius lies in simplicity as the ad revolves around Schwarzenegger’s endearing mispronunciation of “neighbor” as “neighbaa,” seamlessly integrating State Farm’s classic tagline. What’s remarkable is how the joke, though seemingly mundane, grows increasingly delightful with each repetition, each new gag, and each scene variation. Watch below:
Director Jim Jenkins infuses the commercial with the perfect blend of tone, pacing, and variety, elevating a simple concept into something universally appealing. It’s a testament to the power of understated brilliance—a formula that resonates profoundly with the masses and leaves a lasting impression long after the game is over.
Credit goes to Highdive for their mastery in creating Super Bowl commercials that effortlessly allow celebrity talent, like Schwarzenegger, to shine authentically. The addition of DeVito at the ad’s conclusion, while not groundbreaking, somehow amplifies the charm, leaving viewers smiling once more.
2. BRAND: Dunkin’ | “The DunKings” | AGENCY: Artists Equity
Dunkin’ serves up another dose of celebrity charm in their Super Bowl follow-up to last year’s Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez spot. This time, the tables are turned as Affleck, accompanied by Tom Brady, Matt Damon, Jack Harlow, and Fat Joe invades Lopez’s recording studio dressed as the hilariously garish “DunKings” in orange-and-pink Dunkin’ attire.
In a cringe-worthy yet undeniably funny twist, the DunKings launch into a heavily Boston-accented rap, hoping Lopez will include it on her album. Her horrified reaction is priceless. Directed by Affleck and Brandon Pierce, the sequel to the Grammy’s spot seamlessly continues the storyline of Affleck’s pop star aspirations. Watch below:
The ad masterfully leverages the self-deprecating humor of Affleck, the funny reaction shots from Lopez, and the shining supporting roles of Brady and Damon. While Lopez may not be sold on the DunKings’ musical talents, there’s certainly potential for future escapades in the music biz—or at the very least, another entertaining commercial down the line.
3. BRAND: Kia Motors | “Perfect 10” | AGENCY: David&Goliath
Amidst the glitz and glamour of Super Bowl commercials, one heartwarming family tale shines through the celebrity-filled landscape. The narrative unfolds with a young girl captivating an arena with her graceful ice skating, while her proud father watches from the stands, an empty seat beside him hinting at a poignant absence.
As they embark on a journey through snowy mountains in their Kia EV9, they arrive at a secluded house where the true magic unfolds. With meticulous care, the father connects the electric SUV to power speakers and twinkling lights, transforming the serene pond outside into a stage for his daughter’s performance. It’s a touching gesture to share her routine with her ailing grandfather, who cannot travel to witness it in person. Watch below:
Director John Hillcoat’s deft touch ensures the ad avoids sentimentality, while the choice of the Cat Power/Coldplay track Wish I Was Here adds an evocative layer without feeling forced. While the spotlight isn’t solely on the car itself—a departure from hard-sell tactics—the commercial stands out as a beacon of quiet storytelling amidst the cacophony of Super Bowl night.
4. BRAND: Dove | “Hard Knock” | AGENCY: Ogilvy
Dove’s latest ad campaign takes a simple yet powerful approach to support girls’ self-esteem, particularly in the realm of sports. Directed by Lucy Bridger, the commercial addresses a sobering statistic: 45% of girls quit sports by the age of 14. However, the tone of the spot remains uplifting and hopeful throughout.
The ad opens with heartwarming home-movie footage of girls fearlessly competing in sports, resiliently bouncing back from falls with smiles on their faces. Set to the infectious tune of “It’s the Hard-Knock Life” from Annie, the scenes evoke a sense of determination and joy.
A brief interlude introduces a poignant moment as a girl in a swimsuit hesitantly gazes at her reflection, highlighting the impact of low body confidence on girls’ participation in sports. However, the ad swiftly pivots back to optimism, highlighting Dove and Nike’s Body Confident Sports program as a beacon of support. The girl’s swift transition from self-doubt to spirited action—sprinting off and cannonballing into a pool—symbolizes resilience and empowerment. Watch below:
While the issue of girls quitting sports during puberty is not new, Dove and Nike’s collaborative effort to address it is commendable. By promoting the cause in such an energizing and inclusive manner, the ad fosters a sense of hope and vitality, encouraging girls to embrace their confidence and continue pursuing their passions on the playing field.
5. BRAND: CeraVe | “Michael CeraVe” | AGENCY: Ogilvy
Has there ever been a more hilarious and inappropriate line delivered during The Big Game than, “Let my cream hydrate you?” The “Michael CeraVe” campaign, starring Michael Cera, has undoubtedly been a standout in the advertising landscape. From cleverly placed social teasers to the ridiculously funny Super Bowl spot, the skincare brand’s collaboration with Cera has captured audiences’ attention with its delightful absurdity.
Directed by Tim & Eric (Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim), the Super Bowl ad builds upon earlier teasers, featuring Cera humorously asserting his supposed role in developing CeraVe products. What sets this spot apart is its culmination, as Cera pitches his unconventional ideas to the brand’s unimpressed executives.
The faux-perfume-ad vibes and absurd scenarios, such as Cera free-solo rock climbing with hand lotion, elicit genuine laughter, making it one of the most memorable moments of the ad season. The conference room scene, with Cera earnestly proposing his “perfect crossover opportunity,” serves as a perfect finale, blurring the lines between humor and reality. Watch below:
The “Michael CeraVe” is executed flawlessly with layered humor and modern sensibilities. The campaign strikes a balance between silliness and intelligence, making it one of the most fully realized and entertaining spots of the game and the year.
6. BRAND: NFL | “Born to Play” | AGENCY: 72andSunny
The NFL’s latest Super Bowl spot, “Born to Play,” builds upon the joyful, inclusive spirit of last year’s “Run With It” campaign, delivering another heartwarming two-minute spectacle crafted by 72andSunny. This time, the narrative transports us to Ghana, where we meet Kwesi, a young boy with dreams of becoming a professional football player—American football, that is.
As Kwesi navigates the vibrant streets of Accra, his imagination transports him to the NFL, where he rubs shoulders with stars like Saquon Barkley, Justin Jefferson, and Cameron Jordan. However, these encounters are mere figments of his imagination, symbols of his aspirations and dreams.
The 60-second sport takes an unexpected turn when Kwesi stumbles upon an NFL camp in his hometown and encounters Osi Umenyiora, the British-Nigerian former NFL player. This moment symbolizes the NFL’s commitment to developing talent globally, offering hope and opportunity to aspiring athletes like Kwesi. Watch below:
Directed by Andrew Dosunmu of Little Minx, with an entirely Black cast and mostly West African crew, “Born to Play” is more than just an advertisement—it’s a rich and resonant African story showcased on America’s grandest telecast. The spot seamlessly blends entertainment with purpose, delivering a cheerful action film and heartfelt underdog story in one breathtaking package.
7. BRAND: Doritos | “Dina & Mita” | AGENCY: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
In a burst of flavor and excitement, Doritos Dinamita is poised to captivate audiences during Super Bowl LVIII with its debut commercial featuring the dynamic duo of Dina (played by Patricia Mauceri) and Mita (portrayed by Olivia Negron).
This explosive ad spot introduces viewers to a spirited pair of snack enthusiasts on a quest for the tantalizingly spicy and flavorful taste of Doritos Dinamita. Crafted by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the commercial is scheduled to air during the third quarter of Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, February 11, starring actress Jenna Ortega alongside the vivacious characters.
Their adventure unfolds as they hunt down their beloved Doritos Dinamita chips, only to encounter actor Danny Ramirez, who snatches the last bag for himself. Undeterred, Dina and Mita embark on a thrilling pursuit, leaving Ortega trailing behind in their wake. Witness the excitement below:
8. BRAND: Verizon | “Can’t B Broken” | AGENCY: Ogilvy
n the showdown between Tay Tay and Bey during Super Bowl LVIII, both artists brought their A-game, each making waves in their own right. Taylor Swift garnered significant attention with her repeated screen appearances as she cheered on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, from the sidelines—an abundance of earned media that undoubtedly added to the game’s buzz.
However, Beyoncé emerged as a formidable force with her own Verizon Super Bowl commercial—a calculated investment that paid off handsomely. The commercial cleverly posed the question, “Beyoncé breaks the internet, but can she break Verizon?” In a 60-second spot, the pop icon introduced “Beyonc-AI” (an AI-powered robot) and “BarBey” (a Beyoncé Barbie doll), teasing her BOTUS campaign (“I’m running for Beyoncé of the United States”), among other creative endeavors. Despite her best efforts, none of these endeavors could disrupt Verizon’s “crazy powerful” 5G network.
As the commercial concludes with Beyoncé declaring, “OK, they ready. Drop the new music!” it becomes evident that Queen Bey has leveraged the Super Bowl platform for a stealth product launch—unveiling her country-themed Renaissance Part II album. Watch below:
While some might argue that Taylor Swift announced her next album at the Grammys, it’s undeniable that there’s no bigger stage than the Super Bowl.
In the end, while both Taylor Swift and Beyoncé made significant splashes during Super Bowl LVIII, Travis Kelce—representing Taylor—secured the actual victory on the football field. Yet, in the realm of cultural impact and strategic marketing moves, Beyoncé’s calculated commercial placement and product launch stole the show, cementing her status as a master of both music and marketing.
9. BRAND: BMW | “Talking Like Walken” | AGENCY: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
BMW made a splash during Super Bowl LVIII with a 60-second spot showcasing the all-new generation of the iconic BMW 5 Series, including the groundbreaking BMW i5 electric vehicle. Titled “Talkin’ Like Walken,” the star-studded commercial featured Hollywood legend Christopher Walken, actress Ashley Park, and GRAMMY Award-winning global superstar USHER.
The creative took viewers on a humorous journey through a day in the life of Christopher Walken, encountering an array of impersonators mimicking his distinctive voice and speech patterns. From his hotel valet to his drive-through barista, Walken navigated the comical landscape of imitators until he crossed paths with USHER, adding an unexpected twist to the storyline. “Talkin’ Like Walken” aired during the first quarter of Super Bowl LVIII. Watch below:
10. BRAND: Foundation to Combat Antisemitism | “Silence” | AGENCY: Quantasy
In its inaugural Super Bowl ad, Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism contextualizes Jewish hate within a broader continuum of intolerance and discrimination while proposing a strategy for resistance.
Directed by Warren Fischer, the 30-second spot draws upon imagery from World War II and the Civil Rights era, featuring burning symbols of hatred—a swastika and a cross—as it equates antisemitism with anti-Black and anti-Muslim animosity. Narrated by Dr. Clarence B. Jones, a former speechwriter for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the ad carries a weighty message: silence fuels all forms of hatred. Watch below:
While departing from traditional Super Bowl-style creativity, the spot is direct, thought-provoking, and timely, especially given the surge in hate crimes in recent years. Encouraging the nation to pause and contemplate these issues, even momentarily, represents a wise and necessary investment.
Now I will start to follow the NBA playoffs and pray my Sixers can make it and baseball training camp for my Phillies. And of course, watch commercials.
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