Campaign Review: Super Bowl special

Each week, Mumbrella invites industry creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns. This week, Mumbrella asked M&C Saatchi's Cam Blackley and Howatson+Company's Dom Hickey to share their thoughts on three spots that launched during the Super Bowl.


Campaign: Melissa McCarthy in “Somewhere, Anywhere”

Agency: Anomaly

The verdict: An expensive miss

Cam Blackley, chief creative officer at M&C Saatchi AUNZ, gave it a 5.5/10, saying: 

One of the weaker executions I’ve seen. Feels like a really poor use of Melissa McCarthy. Hold on, I’m going to watch it again…. Ok, nup. It’s just too squeaky clean, all the punches have been pulled on the comedy. It’s probably marginally better if it’s not a celeb TBH. There was probably a funnier draft or two of this script along the process or at least I’d like to believe that. A missed and expensive opportunity.

Dom Hickey, chief strategy officer at Howatson + Company, gave it a 2/10, saying:

Superbowl ads are always a good reflection of the cultural temperature. This year, politics are out, and safe, expected, feel-good spots are in.

Very few amongst the mix this year challenge the audience and this ad is no exception.

Giving the message a musical treatment seems to be on trend this year, while it can work phenomenally well to create stickiness (BCF does it brilliantly), in this case, it feels like a vehicle for Melissa without building anything for the brand.

There’s something profoundly annoying about this ad. It’s reliance on a generous budget and expensive celebrity power to connect with consumers doesn’t land for me.


Brand: Bud Light

Campaign: Bud Light Hold: Easy to drink, easy to enjoy

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

The verdict: A simple standout amongst a sea of spots that try too hard

Cam gave it a 7/10, saying:

This is an enjoyable watch. It’s not a deep idea but it’s light as is the product, I guess. My favourite bit is the opening shot with the phone on the girl’s forehead, that’s really great direction and draws you in. It’ll have cut through because of its restraint, it’s not trying too hard in a sea of ads trying to outspend and out-celebrity each other’s faces off. Do I love it? No. Do I really quite like it? Sometimes less is more. Yes.

Dom gave it a 6/10, saying:

Hold is simply shot with a story that’s given room to breathe. That alone makes it stand out amongst some of the over-produced spots in this year’s ad selection.

It’s far from a new idea, there’s no shortage of interpretive dance moves on TikTok highlighting what we all do when we’re stuck on hold. But it’s charming and modest compared to its peers.

A much quieter piece of communication for the brand. It’s a sweet spot that will no doubt hit the mark for the target audience.


Brand: Pop Corners

Campaign: PopCorners Breaking Bad Super Bowl Commercial : You Make Seven

Agency: D3, Frito-Lay’s in-house agency

The verdict: Non-committal

Cam gave it a 5/10, saying:

Oh boy. I watched the trailer or teaser and was all set up for a hit of the good stuff. It didn’t materialise unfortunately. I just think that when you’re paying money for a property like Breaking Bad you don’t want to go in half-baked. That’s a theme this year, a lack of commitment, a bit like Riri not really bothering to lip sync during the halftime show. I wish I could’ve reviewed the Square Space ad to be honest. Anyway, back to “POP CORNERS!” I will never forget the name Pop Corners though. I guess that’s what they want. I assume they are good for you.

Dom gave it a 5/10, saying:

From Grease and Clueless to Caddyshack and the Matrix, this year’s Superbowl advertising served up a nostalgic story rehash for every generation.

There’s latent memory muscle in using old characters, scenarios, and familiar storylines but often nowhere near enough to make it more compelling than throwback wallpaper.

The Breaking Bad throwback from Pop Corners spot was the best of the bunch, resurrecting some classic banter from the iconic series. There’s a clear message in the strength of new flavour profiles developed and dialogue between the two actors feels effortless.

The challenge is that sometimes it’s better when your favourite characters remain dead.


As told to Kalila Welch. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email Kalila at


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