The Super Bowl has always been advertising’s biggest stage. This year, 30-second spots ran up a bill of over 6 million dollars — and that doesn’t even consider what it takes to produce the ads. What makes a Super Bowl ad successful and why do we love them so much?
Over the years, Super Bowl ads have tugged at our heartstrings, made us laugh, and convinced us to become loyal customers of new brands. They show up with unpredictability, surreal humor, celebrity cameos, and cinematic special effects that keep people talking for weeks beyond the big game.
This year, however, was a bit different. Social media changed the landscape in which we consume these iconic advertisements. You’re not alone if you felt a sense of deja vu while watching the game. Many advertisers released their spots via social media on February 11th, one day before the Super Bowl — possibly in hopes of generating a profit before, during, and after the game.
Money and strategy aside, these ads are all in good fun for the viewers. This is our definitive ranking of the best, and worst, Super Bowl commercials of this year.
M&M’s: “They’re Back for Good”
We knew things were getting strange in 2023 when Tucker Carlson criticized the animated candies for being too “woke”, but that didn’t stop M&Ms from making a bold statement in a two-part ad set this year.
The set began with Maya Rudolph as the new spokesperson for the classic chocolate candy. After Maya hijacked the brand, the candies returned after the game in a press conference to announce their official return – even toying with Tucker’s remarks against the Purple M&M.
Well played, candies.
The Farmer’s Dog: “Forever”
We’re not crying, you’re crying. What this spot lacked in celebrity appearances, trendy music, and visual effects was made up for in a tear-jerking story of a woman and her beloved pet dog.
The spot followed the pair from the puppy years through to starting a family of her own. The Farmer’s Dog specializes in fresh dog food…and making us sob like babies, proving that strong storytelling is more powerful than fancy gimmicks.
GM & Netflix: “Why Not an EV?”
General Motors and Netflix teamed up with Will Ferrell to create a world where there are more EVs — whether they make sense or not. The spot places Ferrell in several popular Netflix series and movies where EVs are ironically placed.
A zombie apocalypse seems like the ideal time to have an electric mode of transportation if you ask us. Netflix and GM splitting the bill this year may just pay off.
PopCorners: “Breaking Good”
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul make their return as Walter White and Jessie Pinkman in the PopCorners spot this year. Breaking Bad concluded nearly 10 years ago, but we were feeling the nostalgia last night with this clever ad for an otherwise bland chip product.
Squarespace: “The Singularity”
What’s better than one Adam Driver? One hundred Adam Drivers.
This year’s spot from Squarespace was seemingly a result from a very bad hallucinogenic experience. They decided to simply have a billion Adam Drivers whisper “a website that makes websites” before being sucked into a dark void labeled “the singularity”. Make it make sense, Squarespace.
Tubi: “Interface Interruption”
All across America families were arguing over who had the remote during the biggest game of the year…and why were they changing the channel to Mr. and Mrs. Smith? After the 15-second spot concluded, apologies were shared as it was just a Tubi ad. A very, very clever Tubi ad.
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