Super Bowl 2016 Ad Recap

Wow, I guess they changed the interface on this site.  I wouldn’t know – it’s been months since I’ve posted.

But I hope you’ve been well.  I’ve been busy, as usual.  But as we’ve just passed a major milestone in the year of marketing and advertising, I felt it was my duty as the lapsed owner of this blog to comment on it.

Lemme just start by saying that the Super Bowl ads this year…meh.  There weren’t any that blew me away, made me emotional, or made me laugh out of my chair.  However, I think I should pick five and comment on them, so here you are.


Mountain Dew Kickstart, “#PuppyMonkeyBaby”, BBDO New York

Say it with me, everyone…what the f**k?

I will admit, when I first saw that thing on my screen, I thought it was kinda cute.  After watching it again several times the next day, however, I was pretty terrified.  The Twitter comments were pretty priceless.  “Kill it before it reproduces!”  “If that thing came into my apartment, I’d get mai shotgun!”  And my favorite, from Patton Oswalt:

“That puppy monkey baby is already being used in ISIS recruiting videos.”

Mountain Dew Mountain Did, and now many people are saying Mountain Don’t.

I can imagine this was devised in a manner not unlike many other campaigns.  A bunch of exhausted, possibly a bit stoned creatives at the agency were up at 2am, and after a Domino’s binge someone said, “Hey, the drink has three different things, so let’s combine three random things that should never be put together under any circumstances!”  The result – a creature that defies description for a drink that probably defies description, too, if you’re going by what’s actually in it.  Which is why I never drink Mountain Dew.  But it’s tactics like these that help you remember the product and get people talking across the Interwebs, which is a major goal for Super Bowl advertisers.  I’m only curious to see if the drink will live on in notoriety thanks to the newfound fame of its mascot.

Heinz, “Weiner Stampede”, David Miami

I can’t help but think there might be deeper symbolism behind this one…All the people in Heinz product costumes receiving the dachshunds in hotdog costumes…the unification of humanity through ketchup?  However you look at it, this was a really fun ad, accentuated by the cute little puppies.  Dachshunds are my favorite, too.  Major plus.


Pokemon, “Pokemon20”, Omelet, Los Angeles

This was a really cool ad.  Although I was never into Pokemon as a kid, this commercial was a great tribute to the spirit of determination touted by the franchise, and the commonplace connection it holds across cultures.  Not to mention Pokemon has never advertised during the Super Bowl, to my recollection.

I did have a really funny exchange with the agency during the game, though.

Me: My friends loved the commercial during . They also think your name is awesome.

Omelet: We think you AND your friends are awesome!

Me: We’re going to make an omelet, in your honor.

Omelet: You can do that.


That’s why I tweet to the agencies during the game.  And now, a word from your friendly neighborhood Helen Mirren.

Budweiser, “Give a Damn”, Anomaly, New York

Man, British people can be nasty when they want to be.  But I appreciate how Budweiser took a stand for responsibility with this classy, biting ad.  Dame Helen really was perfect for it, too.  Sometimes you just have to be that blunt, especially when dealing with alcohol and peoples’ lives.  Good job, Budweiser.

Doritos, “Ultrasound”, Peter Carstairs

And now, for my personal favorite.  This ad relied on the cheap bathroom humor which has propelled Doritos’ ads over the past decade, and was clean, clear, and unexpectedly hilarious.


So there you have it.  I’m sorry I don’t have anything more insightful to say about my selections, but I suppose that’s a reflection on the ads themselves – rather pedestrian, safe, and nothing boundary-pushing.  In a way, I can’t say I’m surprised.  The Super Bowl is an American tradition, and perhaps the quality of the ads and types of ads produced has plateaued with public perception of the game.

In any case, I’m always hopefully for the next “1984”.  😉

Until next time, guys.



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