Live Blog: The ads of Super Bowl 50

super bowl 50 logo

Some think it’s a football game, but the real battle at Super Bowl 50 happened between the plays and on social media when America’s biggest advertisers went head to head to lure consumers with the best ads of the year in the most expensive timeslot on TV – around $5m for 30 seconds.

With an Aussie is in the mix as one of three finalists in Dorito’s Crash the Super Bowl competition Mumbrella live blogged the best ads, with expert commentary from Simon Lee, executive creative and partner at The Hallway.

2:45pm: We’ll leave you with the ad which is going to get talked about most after its showing in the first half, the incredible and disturbing ‘PuppyMonkeyBaby’ Mountain Dew spot.

2:34pm: And the end of the game signals the end of the big ads. Lots of brands have spent big on both talent and air time. Some of the highlights of the 50 ads we’ve covered over the last five hours are:

Coca-Cola Hulk v Ant Man (12:02pm);  Kia’s ‘Walken closet’ (1:45pm); the NFL’s Super Bowl Babies choir (1:34pm); Sheep singing Queen for Honda (1:24pm); LG’s Liam Neeson ad (1:12pm); Pokemon Train On (1:05pm); Jeep’s faces (12:47pm); Prius ‘Heck on wheels’ (12:14pm); Audi R8 ‘Commander’ (11:50am); Hyundai ‘Ryanville’ (11:46am); Skittles with Steve Tyler (11:43am); Bud Light Party (11:34am).

2:32pm: And here’s the spot that Pepsi used to kick off the half time with – a walk back through 50 years of music (it’s Super Bowl 50 remember):

2:30pm: Lots of brands paying some social love to Pepsi for the halftime show. Here Kia throws back to its Christopher Walken ad:

diarrhea commercial

2:28pm: One of the stranger ads of the evening involved a smiling colon rushing to the bathroom. Seriously. We’re hunting for the ad, but you can see it via this link.

2:25pm: Winning Quarter Back Peyton Manning tells reporters he’s going to sink a lot of Budweiser tonight. Obviously not a Michelob fan…

2:22pm: It’s all over for the side-show – that is the match. Denver Broncos won quite comfortably in the end.

2:21pm: T-Mobile slapped Verizon with a Super Bowl ad earlier. Never one to rise above a good telco stoush Verizon hit back on Twitter:

verizon super bowl t-mobile

2:17pm: Simon Lee shares his thoughts on the Colgate ad:

There’s a really great idea here, driven by sickening fact. I would love to see this pushed a whole lot harder in the execution though. I had to watch it a couple of times before I really took in what was happening. The story at the heart of it deserves to be told better and would be more effective it was. Great to see Colgate run a PSA at the Superbowl though.

2:16pm: With the game winding down so are the ads. Here’s Colgate getting a little preachy about wasting water:

2:09pm: Simon Lee is underwhelmed by the Mini spot (1:07pm):

I am big admirer of the Mini brand, and was looking forward to watching this ad. It left me fairly indifferent unfortunately and I can’t think of anything much to say about it.

2:07pm: Jim Gaffigan has an identity crisis as the new Colonel Sander for KFC:

2:04pm: More advertising banter flying around. This time LG Electronics baits Budweiser using the same kind of dog they had in last year’s ad:

2:02pm: McDonald’s is of course at the party, spruiking all day breakfasts (sorry this is a US ad don’t forget):

2:00pm: It appears Helen Mirren’s Bud ad has America confused because of the word ‘pillock’:

1:58pm: The Hallway’s Simon Lee says of the Bud ad:

This is an interesting one. A regal sounding Helen Mirren sips a cold beer before expressing her opinion of people who drink and drive. The ad attempts to deal with the drink driving issue in a tone that shifts from lighthearted to serious then back to lighthearted. I can see that it might just persuade those drinkers who are teetering between driving or not, but is unlikely to change the behaviour of ardent drink driving idiots. But you might argue that the latter are immune to advertising as well as void of common sense.

1:56pm: Here’s Budweiser’s second spot of the evening, this one with Dame Helen Mirren slamming drink drivers #giveadamn :

1:55pm: Simon Lee on Kia’s Christopher Walken ad (1:45pm):

We presented an idea last year entitled “a Walken in the park” which unfortunately didn’t fly, so it’s nice to see “a Walken closet” get up. Lovely irreverent idea which capitalises on a general love of all things Walken. I really wanted to absolutely love this ad, and I liked it, but felt the edit was a little “off”. I’m wondering if there’s a much funnier director/agency cut out there somewhere?

1:54pm: Schick Hydro takes on the ‘robot razors’ in its spot:

1:52pm: When a Super Bowl ad sums up how you’re feeling:

1:51pm: Simon Lee looks at Audi’s astronaut ad (11:50am):

A genuinely engaging story that does a good job, in the first few seconds, of getting you to care about the ageing astronaut who is the main protagonist. Not sure whether I really buy the link between the car and space travel, but it’s good to see a big car commercial with a story at its heart. Would love to know when the decision to use the Bowie track was made.

1:48pm: It took a while, but finally a phone company worked out Drake’s hit ‘Hotline Bling’ was perfect for them. And the Canadian rapper takes the suggested ‘changes’ to the tune in his stride:

1:45pm: Kia is at it again, this time it’s Christopher Walken and the ‘Walken closet”. Yep, brilliant.

1:43pm: Simon Lee gives his take on Axe:

“Who needs another thing when you’ve got your thing?” I like this approach a lot. I grew up with AXE ads showing perfect guys getting perfect girls,that, whilst being undeniably aspirational, weren’t always great for this imperfect teenager’s self image. To my mind, this new “Find your Magic” direction could be the teenage boys’ answer to #likeagirl

1:41pm: Axe (Lynx to you and me) has brought its new positive messaging to the Super Bowl, it’s going down well too:

1:38pm: Jeep has another ad airing, this time showing the benefits of the car:

1:34pm And during the break the NFL dropped its own ad – Super Bowl babies. Apparently 9 months after a Super Bowl win there’s a bump in births in the winning city. Could it win the day?

1:33pm: It’s the start of the fourth quarter (yep so far 45 minutes of play and 1hour 45 minutes of ads) – Denver 16 Panthers 7.

1:28pm: They said they weren’t going to, but they did. Budweiser has brought back the Clydesdale horses, and had a massive pop at imported craft beer:

1:24pm: Sheep singing Queen. Of course it’s a new Honda ad:

Nearly, Matt. It’s actually Somebody To Love.

1:22pm: Kung Fu Panda stars in an ad for talking about how he needs a big commercial to sell his business. It’s more meta than you might think:

1:19pm: It’s the moment all fans of Dachsunds have been waiting for – sausage dogs dressed as hot dogs. Yep:

1:18pm: Pabst Blue Ribbon create the second burn moment of the Super Bowl, taking the wind out of the Bud Light commercial by showing how Seth Rogan was once their endorser:

1:16pm: Butterfingers are a candy bar. That’s the context. And apparently you have to be an out there cowboy riding a bull on a plane to experience them properly:

1:13pm: Simon Lee talks LG:

The big game deserves a big name, and LG have certainly gone pretty big with Liam Neeson. Shame there wasn’t any budget left to pay for a more compelling script. The ad looks and feels slick and futuristic, but it’s pretty forgettable. My award for the best ever ad for a TV still goes to Sony Bravia:

1:12pm: Celebs, celebs, celebs. This time Liam Neeson does his serious voice talking about the future in this LG ad (“The future is staring back at you”):

1:10pm: Mini has been getting some love on social:

1:09pm: Sir Anthony Hopkins refuses to sell, because “there’s nothing to sell, it’s free”. Look out for the cameo of his dog:

1:07pm: Mini tells everyone what its car is clasically defined as not being, form fast to hip hop and gay to a “chicks’ car”.

1:06pm: Simon Lee give us his take on the Pokemon spot:

I must confess that my only experience of Pokemon is confiscating Gameboys from my students when, back in the day, I used to teach English in Japan. So I’m not entirely sure exactly what this ad is telling me that I can do. But I now bloody well want to have a go at it. Nice ad, well produced, borrows all the classic big sporting tournament cues and sort of gets me excited. I never made it as a quarterback, but I still have a shot at glory. It’s on!

1:05pm: Pokemon’s much anticipated commercial has aired, what do you think?

12:59pm: The second Doritos ad to air is the dogs one – dressing up and sneaking into the supermarket.

12:53pm: Horses have been a successful addition for brands in recent years, but this Bai ad is a bit nuts:

12:47pm: Jeep puts soldiers front and centre of its new ad featuring a whole host of different faces:

12:45pm: Alec Baldwin almost gets into a fight with Dan Marino in Amazon’s first Super Bowl spot ever – which also debuts Missy Elliot’s new track (yes she’s still going apparently):

12:42pm: Persil appears to have run a product test ad as its Super Bowl effort…

12:36pm: This Cure Insurance ad is getting smashed for being sexist on social media:

12:32pm: Has Mike Tyson really fallen far enough to be doing regional ads for plumbers? Apparently so…:

12:27pm: Subaru has brought back the Barkleys for its cutesy and funny efforts – dogs driving cars people, get on board:

12:25pm: This bean company paid a lot of money to promote this:

12:21pm: That’s half time (13-7 Denver for those who care). Now we’ll see Coldplay and Beyonce for the half time entertainment. Seems to us that PuppyMonkeyBaby has won the ads of the first half  (11:05am) if only for the weirdest ad to date. Lots more to come.

12:14pm: The Toyota Prius is ‘Heck on wheels’ according to the latest ad (“Now I don’t spill mu Chai”):

12:12pm: In case you missed it Peter Carstair’s ad for Doritos for Crash the Super Bowl aired earlier on. He made it alongside Cummins & Partners and Mr Smith, who have made some comments:

Ben Couzens, Executive Creative Director at Cummins & Partners said “Having an opportunity to write a Super Bowl script isn’t something that comes up very often down here in Oz so when Pete came to us from Mr Smith and asked us to write him a script for the competition, we obviously jumped at it”.

Helene Nicol of Mr Smith added “Our mantra is Make it Happen. On Ultrasound, it was simply a matter of bringing together the right people and giving them the resources needed to bring a big idea to life.”

We’ll find out if it has won the competition a little later on.

12:10pm: PuppyMonkeyBaby is definitely getting the most buzz, trending on Twitter, although it might not all be in a good way:

12:08pm: Simon Lee gives his take on the Coke ad:

There is something quite nice about Hulk not being able to open the mini Coke can, and it feels kind of a shame that we have to wait until the end to play with that fact. I would have liked that to be the whole premise on which the story was built. As it is, it’s just a – albeit slickly produced – fairly standard chase scene between two super heroes. Are we seeing more entertainment property/brand tie-ins than usual this year? Would be interesting to see the stats.

12:07pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the latest Mobile Strike ad, with plenty of needless violence and explosions:

12:04pm: Reaction for Coke is mixed though:

12:02pm: Coca-Cola is always worth waiting for, and it’s pitting the Incredible Hulk against Ant Man (Paul Rudd) – “Sometimes you just want a little Coca-Cola” is the strapline:

12:00pm: If you haven’t seen the Bud Light ad this might not make sense:

11:59am: Simon Lee on T-Mobile:

Maybe this is one that you have to be American or be in America to understand and appreciate. For me, it was just a load of balls…

11:57am: Heloooooo. It’s George Takaie in a Taco Bell ad – and it’s going to be bigger than ‘Aliens’ and real football – it’s cheese in a shell.

11:56am: Simon Lee likes the Skittles spot:

“Rock the Rainbow” and Skittles portraits are nice ideas that clearly have legs, and I quite like this execution. Steve Tyler is definitely better at singing than acting, but he does alright. Would be fun to see one with Alice Cooper or Ozzy Osbourne. Next year?

11:53am: T-Mobile has had its Drake ad everywhere, but it’s also run a campaign with TV personality Steve Harvey taking a big pop at rival Verizon – snap:

11:50am: We featured it in the Morning Update last week but it bears repeating, it’s the emotive Audi R8 ad:

11:48am: Simon Lee delivers his verdict on the Bud Light ad with Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer:

“We’ve got the biggest caucus in the country” has got to be one of my favourite lines from this year’s superbowl ads so far. I haven’t had a chance to see what else the brand is doing around this idea of the “Bud Light Party” but I can see that they could have a lot of fun with it. Given the choice between the bud Light guy or Donald Trump, I know who I’d be voting for…

11:47am: Another take on the Steve Tyler Skittles ad:

11:46am: Hyundai’s second outing for the Super Bowl takes us to Ryanville – filled with the very distracting Ryan Reynolds:

11:45am: Some love for Bud Light’s effort:

11:43: Skittles is next cab off the rank, and Stephen Tyler (Aerosmith) is a very divisive front man:

11:41am : Simon Lee gives his take on that slightly GFC feeling Quicken Loans ad:

Feels like someone accidentally pasted the “background” section of the creative brief into the script. Is the average American’s homebuyer’s primary concern to stimulate the American economy and give people jobs, or is to get a mortgage as quickly and as painlessly as possible?

11:39am: Here’s an ad for a small business (Death Wish Coffee) sponsored by a big business, classy work Quickbooks

11:34am: Bud Light’s another long-time advertiser with the Super Bowl (and one of the most associated brands with it). They’ve bene teasing their Amy Schumer and Seth ROgan frinted political spoof ad for the last week, and here it is:

11:32am: – What he said on that Quicken ad:

11:31am: the new Acura ad is getting some love on the socials:

11:28am: Quicken Loans pushes the idea of making getting mortgages easier as beneficial to the economy as a whole (and what sounds like Serial’s Sarah Koenig narrating):

11:27am: For anyone interested in the Football it’s Denver 10 Panthers ) at the start of the second quarter.

11:24am: Simon Lee’s take on the avocados ad:

Superbowl ads should entertain, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Feels like agency and client have given themselves permission to have fun, and that’s what they’ve done. It’s not gonna change the world, but it will raise a chuckle as people tuck into their half time guacamole

11:23am: Avocados from Mexico gave us an alien’s interpretation of earths’ culture, and most amazing of all is the avocados from Mexico apparently…

11:21am: Advil (the painkiller) has spent not so big using recycled web clips for its ad:

11:19am: Simon Lee gives his take on that interesting Snickers ad with Willem Defoe:

 I really enjoyed last year’s Snickers effort and they’ve followed it up nicely with Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe. Good to see them sticking to the “you’re not you when you’re hungry” platform – and as execution after execution show – what a great platform it is.

11:18am: ShockTop (a beer with orange in it) has been teasing its ad, and here it is, a man bantering with a beer tap – “You look like you’re on a cleanse that doesn’t work”:

11:16am: Key and Peele are doing an unofficial live blog for the Super Bowl for SquareSpace. the problem is they can’t talk about the game. Here’s their ad anyway:

11:13: Here’s PayPal’s disruptive effort – ‘Old Money is stuck in the past, new money is better’:

11:10am: Simon Lee gives his take on the Marmots, Michelob and Mountain Dew ads (are they doing the ads alphabetically?):

Simon Lee says: I love Marmots – little furry alpine creatures that a good climbing friend of mine refers to as “Mountain Beavers”. Great to see one having so much fun and driving awareness and understanding of a little known and often mis-understood species. Might sell a few raincoats too…
Michelob: A nicely executed Powerade or Nike ad with a beer logo at the end. Guilt free post work binge drinking, awesome! 09]
That’s michelob
I think I may have laughed out loud at this and am still smiling. PuppyMonkeyBaby rocks! A great, simple, very funny way to dramatise a clear proposition: “Three Awesome Things Combined”. Very nicely executed too – Surely a serious Cannes contender.

11:09am: Now for a bit of Flight of the Conchords fun – their Friends song is used in Marmot’s kooky ad:

11:06am: Carstair’s Super Bowl effort is being well received on the socials:

11:05am: PuppyMonkeyBaby. this is definitely the trippiest ad of the year so fat from Moutain Dew. WTF?

11:03am: And that’s the big moment for Peter Carstairs, as his Doritos ad is shown during the ad break in the US. WE still don’t know which of the three finalists has won – reportedly Doritos are showing all of their finalists for the Crash the Super Bowl competition this year:

Carstairs spoke exclusively to Mumbrella yesterday about is experiences. See that here.

11:01am: Simon Lee gives his verdict on the Intel ad:

This is by no means the first time that Beethoven’s 5th has been sampled and remixed; in fact I seem to remember hearing something like this on an “acid-house” mix tape back in the early nineties. I also must confess that I have never previously detected Intel’s audio sting in the symphony. I’m not sure what to think of this ad really, I guess I do get carried away to some extent by its scale and actually don’t mind the attempt to highlight the sting. I think they have overdone it somewhat though with constant repetition of the logo and audio branding. Alright, alright, we wet the point!

10:59am: Was Movin’ on Up a good choice for

10:58am: And here’s the ad which marries up rapper Lil Wayne and Jeff Goldblum. Yep.

10:56am: There’s a few questions being asked of the Michelob ad on social media:

10:55am: Snickers steps up with a little Marilyn Munroe.

10:50am: Michelob has run its Breath ad.

10:40am: Intel gets in before the kickoff with some help from Beethoven.

10:30am: It’s Lady Gaga. But totally not as we know her!

10:29am: Hyundai opens its account with a cute take on a first first date showing off it’s car finder technology.

Simon Lee says: 

I like this ad – funny, built on good insight and a really nice way of showcasing the “car finder” functionality. A few slightly cheesy bits of performance, but on the whole, a nice ad that people will no doubt enjoy and respond to. As a father of two daughters, I might now consider a Hyundai.

10:20am: Kickoff is a few minutes away and the big spenders are starting to see if they are going to get their money’s worth. KFC is one of the early runners with this dream sequence featuring the Colonel.

Simon Lee says: 

OMG, what just happened?! I appear to have spent 90 seconds inside the head of Colonel Sanders. A strange strange place. Feels like an episode of The Prisoner. I kind of like it, I think. Have they legalised LSD as well as Marijuana over there?

9.50am: Stats from sports marketing firm Repucom suggest around 8% of Australians are ‘seriously interested’ in American Football, with 28% having ‘some interest’ in the code. Those figures have likely been buoyed this year by former NRL star Jarryd Hayne’s eventful first season in the sport with the San Francisco 49ers.

jarryd hayneThose stats suggest Seven could enjoy a decent return on its investment in showing the Super Bowl on 7Mate today, while its traditional home in Australia ESPN will also be licking their lips in anticipation of a good crowd locally. 

19:25am:  Perhaps the most iconic Super Bowl ad of all time, Apple’s Macintosh ad. It ran once – followed by a 20th anniversary reboot, but really has been running non-stop ever since.

9:10am: If you you ever had any doubt that Super Bowl ads influence global advertising, you just have to cast your eye back to last year when Kia splashed out on this effort starring Pierce Brosnan which has been running on Aussie screens ever since.



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