Our Top 5 Superbowl Commercials From Superbowl LVI

December 11, 2023



Our Top 5 Superbowl Commercials From Superbowl LVI
This week, we pick the 5 Super Bowl ads that bowled us over.

1. Coinbase | QR code

Funny? No. Enjoyable? Not even a little. But crypto exchange Coinbase delivered a marketing moment unlike the Superbowl had ever experienced.  

The ad featured a colour changing QR code bouncing around our TV screens like the logo of a DVD player’s screensaver. No people, no voice over and no text. Just a QR drifting from corner to corner.

Had the spot been just 15 seconds, viewers may have thought little of it. But at a full 60 seconds, the company banked on our curiosity getting the better of us ($13 millions to be precise), until we eventually pulled out our phones and scanned the code. Doing so led to the Coinbase landing page, where a promotional code awaited the millions of people who had tuned into the Superbowl. In an arena defined by competing for attention, Coinbase leapfrogged over simple brand awareness and directly engaged people. Well done.

Coinbase's Super Bowl Ad: A Floating QR Code

2. Hellmans | Make taste, not waste

Hellman’s delivers a masterclass on word-play with their Superbowl ad. The spot shows coach and former NFL linebacker Jerod Mayo tackle food waste by literally tackling consumers who are trying to throw away food. Food that can be salvaged by - you guessed it - mayo. MAYO x MAYO. Puntastic.

Word play aside, the spot is also a masterclass in delivery. It crafts a topical narrative on food waste during one of the biggest food holidays in the USA, delivering it in a light-hearted way that allows the message to land without hitting the audience over the head with it. Fantastic.

3. Gillette | GilletteLabs

Gillette is just a company, advertising in front of millions of people, trying to sell a razor. The company pitted itself against the status quo this year and delivered the least Super Bowl-y ad you can imagine. In fact, it’s just a standard ad. And that’s what makes it wonderful. Not only did it eschew the standard celebrity cameo, it shunned all the hallmarks of Super Bowl advertising, instead focusing solely on the product itself. It marks the company’s return to the event after 16 years, making the simplicity of the spot even more powerful. Sometimes, less is more and Gillette does well to remind us of that.

Gillette Rediscovers Its Edge After Long Super Bowl Absence

4. Squarespace | Sally’s Seashells

If nostalgic marketing is the equivalent of comfort food, Squarespace put out a full Super Bowl spread. The ad uses the widely known ‘Sally Sells Seashells’ tongue twister and makes it come of age by associating it with the brand. We watch a struggling Sally try to grow her seashell business by opening a store on Squarespace and eventually become a seaside sensation. By turning a cherished feeling into a relatable story, the brand shows us just how powerful nostalgia can be. And just how clever copy can be, too. The ad leans into the tongue twister with full force, carrying it through the entire script to leave you, well, speechless.

5. Budweiser | Down doesn’t mean out

Budweiser is the quarterback of Super Bowl ads and after a year out, it returned with a Clydesdale sized bang. Directed by Oscar winning Chloé Zhao, the ad demonstrates how to deliver a cinematic experience in 60 seconds. It tells the story of a wounded horse who manages a heartfelt recovery with the support of his golden retriever best friend. That’s right, a horse and a dog, as best friends, overcoming hardship together, with the line ‘In the home of the brave, down doesn’t mean out.’  We’re crying and so are you.

Budweiser Makes Powerful Super Bowl Comeback with a Message of American  Resilience

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