The Big Game Ads: CM’s Best and Worst Picks

CM-Big_Game-900x450The Big Game, personally I feel like it was a huge letdown. A little lopsided for my taste. But that’s aside from the point, so let’s get to why you are really here. I am referring to the ads. Millions of ad dollars spent to get thirty seconds of time to get your brand in front of 111 million people on average. To an agency, that is the pinnacle of the advertising mountain top. We thought long and hard about what we saw this year. With a load of let downs and only a handful of wins, let’s go over the best and worst Sunday’s game had to offer.


Let’s start with my worst pick –

Turbo TaxSmall Dog Licking a Zero Dollar Dog Bone “Zero Love”

This is a commercial showing a dog, basking in the glow of a crackling fireplace and gently licking a bone in the shape of a zero while a dusty-voiced narrator tells you about how his owner paid nothing to file his tax return. I feel like it doesn’t speak to any specific audience and shows very little creativity. The fact that the whole scene is a dog licking a bone makes me wonder; what ideas didn’t make the cut?

Aaron Leslie, Our CCO also showed a distaste for the commercial citing not being engaging as its worst offense.


Mountain Dew – PuppyMonkeyBaby

Sydney, a social media account coordinator at CM thought the only redeeming quality about this commercial was how extremely unnerving it was. So much so that it eclipsed the brand messaging. She adds, “I suppose the fact that it stands out is good for them although, I don’t remember the company.”

OIC is DifferentEnvy

Vicky is the director of content strategy and she felt very strongly about this spot for Opioid-induced constipation. With the many metaphors for being blocked up appearing one after the other, she found it ruined her appetite and was all around poorly timed for an occasion centered around excitement and eating.


XifaxanIrritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea

The name says it all and Evan, a project manager here at CM, couldn’t agree more. A tangled web of bubble gum colored bowels is the main character of this stomach-turning sixty seconds (pun intended). Take that and the barrage of symptoms and effects of having this affliction and you won’t be going back for seconds on the bean dip.


Overall winner (and I bet you saw this coming) –



For the past nine years, Doritos has hosted a contest to allow users to submit videos and get them played during the Big Game. This year was not a letdown, even with the grand prize winner being a different video, Ultrasound caught attention nationwide. Aaron commented, “It was really funny and unexpected” and Sydney said, “even though it was weird and kind of gross, it was memorable.”

Shock TopUnfiltered Talk

I am already a huge fan of T.J. Miller, so seeing him in an open dialogue with a mohawk adorned orange slice was perfectly targeted to me. As a 32-year-old who enjoys a better beer now that I drink it for the flavor and not for the effects. This spot was right in line with whom I think they should be marketing to. The stream of consciousness style tends to work well since most ads feel over produced and salesy.


Strong brand messaging and clear demographic targeting is how this ad made it to the top of the list for Vicky. She adds, “I think the spot was a perfect match for people who do drink Budweiser and it reinforces its American appeal. It wasn’t as emotional as the puppy from last year – but I think it was the right move for this year.”

Amazon Echo#BaldwinBowl Party

A star-studded cast drives this ad that highlights many of the features available with the newly released Amazon Echo. Aside from car commercials, this spot stands out by speaking to the usability of the product and adds in some banter between high profile celebs to keep you at attention. Evan notes, “Great mix of celebrity mashup and product awesomeness. Plus they had a huge snack setup … a win in my book!”

There you have it, an agency list of who won and who lost for their game day efforts. Congrats to the winners and better luck next year to our losers. If you need any ideas for your next big ad campaign, give us a shout and we can help you think of something that pops!