2015 super bowl ad scorecard

The Patriots weren’t the only winners in last night’s Super Bowl XLIX and the Seahawks weren’t the only losers.  Plenty of advertisers, who each shelled out at least $4.5MM for a 30-second slot, also landed in each column.  Here’s what my completely subjective, unscientific Super Bowl Ad Scorecard looks like:


Best of Show:  Fiat Blue Pill — captivating set-up with memorable payoffsuperbowl-fiat-ad 2015


Most improved:  GoDaddy Small Business Owner — finally a clear and resonating brand message

Most surprising:  Microsoft Braylon ad (boy with prosthetics) and Estella’s Brilliant Bus ad — emotional and inspiring from a brand that isn’t

Start-up success:  Wix — clever demo

Ads with creative delivery of a differentiating message:

  • esurance Lindsay Lohan ad and Walter White ad
  • BMW i3 Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel
  • T-Mobile Kim Kardashian ad and Sarah Silverman & Chelsea Handler ad (and I don’t even like any of these celebs)

Ads that tied important issues to brand values:

  • Always Run Like a Girl
  • Weight Watchers Too Much Food
  • Dove Men+Care Dads (the voiceover at the end ruined the spot, but the rest of it was excellent)
  • NFL No More

Classic creative:

  • Anheuser-Busch Lost Puppy
  • Coke Make It Happy
  • Budweiser Up for Anything

Nice try:  Jublia Animated Toenail Fungus — you try to run a pharma ad during the Super Bowl


Just bad:  Weathertech — boring

Really bad:  Sprint Apology Goat — stupid

The worst:  Nationwide Dead Kid —  depressing, meandering, confusing


  • Snickers Brady Bunch
  • Doritos Pigs Fly ad and Middle Seat ad
  • Lexus (all 3 ads)


  • Squarespace Jeff Bridges
  • Loctite Dancing Dweebx
  • Mophie God

Ads with creative that overshadowed the brand/message:

  • Toyota Camry Amy Purdy
  • Turbotax American Revolution
  • Nissan Nascar
  • KIA Sorrento Piers Brosnan
  • Jeep This Land Is Your Land

Ads that sold the category instead of the brand:

  • Carnival Back to the Sea
  • Avocados from Mexico Draft Winner

Ad that won’t matter:  McDonald’s Pay with Lovin’ — feel-good marketing won’t fix product/ops problems

I’d love to hear which ads you thought were winners and losers — please share in the Comments.


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