Detour, Round 2: My Favorite Superbowl Ads of 2019!

Well, the Advertising Industry Showcase Periodically Interrupted By A Sporting Event has once again graced our television screens, with products galore competing to be the breakout sensation that will have us discussing their brand for weeks to come. Unfortunately, much like the Rams offense, the fabled Super Bowl Ads were something of a dud this year. There were, however, some genuine diamonds among the ruff, and it would do us all some good to enjoy some of those gems. So, without further ado, here are my favorite commercials that aired during Superbowl 53.

(This year I’ve decided to organize them alphabetically by client, so don’t think of this as a ranking!

  1. Bud Light/Game Of Thrones: Joust

To understand what made this ad so utterly delightful, you have to understand the context at which it arrived. Bud light had already run ad or two, and it seemed as this ad got rolling that it was going to be a fun, lightweight affair, probably discussing Bud Light’s lack of high-fructose corn syrup, something the company had been hyping in the first quarter. However, the gauntlet was dropped fast with a savage, sudden tone change and the appearance of . . .

2. Google: “Translate” & “Veterans”

Before I get into why I love this work, watch through this ad all the way to the end and then the next ad that appears after it! They both were broadcast during the Super Bowl, and it honestly felt disingenuous to only talk about one. These ads are, on their own, excellent examples of the form. They’re well made in every way, tell complete and powerful stories, and pack a surprisingly heft emotional punch that really lands shockingly well. What’s most impressive about them, though, is what sets them apart from run-of-the-mill ads, which are largely displays in brand identity and nothing more. This pair of ads, however, were rooted in something more concrete: real, actionable data in the case of the first, and a real, concrete benefit the company was rolling out in the case of the second. That, and the simple craft and impact on display, are why these two ads well deserve their spot on this list.

3. The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 Trailer

never underestimate the power of a punch to the face. That’s exactly what this ad is, given that it starts with all the trappings of a generic Superbowl ad, all fluff and pretty images and vague platitudes about a better world. But the .
4. T Mobile: Various

5. The Twilight Zone: Season 1 Trailer

This ad isn’t anything too remarkable on the face of it,
Honorable Mention: NFL 100

There’s little more that can be said about this ad other than that it’s an utter romp, .

What were your favorite ads? Let me know in the comments!

With excitement and optimism,