The ads of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl

Today the US celebrated one of the biggest sporting events on earth, the Super Bowl XLIX, with the eyes of the advertising world moving to the ad breaks with up to $4m being shelled out for a single minute of airtime.

The Hallway’s creative partner Simon Lee and Naked Communications CEO Carl Ratcliff and senior strategist Craig Adams joined Mumbrella for a live blog running the rule over the best creative campaigns as they happened.

Scroll down below to find all the ads from advertisers as diverse as McDonald’s, Clash of Clans, Victoria’s Secret, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Loctite. Some of them were pretty memorable.

2.42 – Carl Ratcliff gives us his final thoughts on the top spot:If LikeA Girl ran, that would be mine. I think it’s awesome. Emotive, without being trite. Truthful, without being clumsy. Full marks P&G. A gorgeous campaign. A nifty spot to play during Superbowl.”

2.38 – Craig Adams gives us his final thoughts on the ads that have aired today: “For me, the car brands really put on a great show. They really stepped up creatively, and delivered an engaging and diverse mix of memorable work. Special mention though goes to Skittles, Clash of Clans and Grub Hub. Great, fun advertising.”

2:19 – As we wrap up this blog, here’s the final few ads that have been airing today.

Katy Perry for Pepsi

Discover: Surprise Scream

Chevrolet: Back in Black

Game of War: Who I Am

Lexus NX: Make Some Noise

Toyota: One Bold Choice

Weathertech: America at Work

Lexus NX

T-Mobile: One Upped

Sprint: Cut Your Bill in Half

Microsoft: Empowering us All

2:08 – The New England Patriots have defeated the Seattle Seahawks, but which ad won? Let us know your favourite ad in the comment thread below.

V2:07 – On the 50 Shades of Grey trailer Craig Adams said: “It’s much better if you put the SuperBowl subtitles on this one. They simply read: ‘Dear sports fans, watch this film. You’ll see boobs and maybe more.’  Interesting media placement but to be honest, I’m not even sure why you’d bother advertising this film. It would’ve sold out regardless.”

2:01 – On Lexus’ earlier ad, Carl Ratcliff said: “This ad talks directly to the 10 year old boy I used to be. It reminds me of the deep focus I used to pour into my remote control car. I’m left not thinking anything, just feeling happy – and I like that. If I’m being 100% honest.. I’m perhaps considering buying a remote control car and recreating some of these manoeuvers in my flat. I think I now like Lexus a little bit more.”

On Doritos’ pigs might fly spot he said: “Doritos. Living up to its ’bold’ promise. Ridiculous. And all the better for it. A pot bellied pig with a rocket launcher attached to its back. Yes please. I like. And I want more…”

And on Budweiser’s latest spot he said: “This Bud’s For you. And you. And you.  And you too. If you drink craft beers or real ale you’re a ponce says this loud, proud, product mood film.  Golden suds are what real men drink.  Except they don’t. Another commercial that neglects the reality of the brand. And hopes by shouting shouting SHOUTING at you, you’ll roll over. And drink. Next?”

2:00 – Here’s an ad for a mobile phone game…

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1:57 – Fans of Entourage should recognise a familiar face in this ad for Wix…

1:55 –Victoria’s Secret, need I say more?

Craig Adams said: “No comment. It’s better that way.”

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1:53 – Fifty Shades of Grey. Don’t act so surprised – it had to happen. The movie about the much reviled book is now becoming the much reviled movie, or so it would seem after the film was featured in an ad spot during the Superbowl.

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1:52 – This is what Craig Adams had to say about Liam Neeson’s Clash of Clans spot: “Liam Neeson – about bloody time he showed up! I was seconds away from filing a missing persons report on behalf of his family. I love this. Right on the money. Textbook Neeson – you can’t go wrong.”

1:51 –  So now we know the real price of a Twitter follow after Loctite Glue ran its Super Bowl ad earlier…

1:50 – Here’s another Budweiser ad, this one doesn’t have any puppies. 1:45 –  GoDaddy pulled its original spot, so what do you make of the replacement? 1:44 – Here’s what Twitter have to say about the latest Doritos spot: Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.43.22 PM 1:43 – This is what Skechers has given Super Bowl viewers 1:40 – Here’s the second Doritos spot which features a dad refusing to share his chips with his son, quipping “sure, when pigs fly” each time the son asks. I’m sure you can work out what the son does next… 1:37 – What have you made of the Super Bowl ads so far? Here’s on view from Twitter: Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.36.58 PM 1:36 – Liam Neeson joins the long list of celebrities to appear in Super Bowl ads.Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.35.22 PM 1:34 – Craig Adams has said the Dodge ad from earlier is “unlike anything else we’ve seen today”. “Visually arresting. Wonderfully intriguing. A brilliant spot, with powerful cut through.” What did you think? Let us know in the comment thread below. 1:33 – Remember Salt’n’Peppa? They feature in this spot from Geico. 1:31 – Mumbrella commenter Tin said “The McD’s ad. Yeah, there’s going to be naysayers but I kinda like the feel-good aspect of it.” Here’s the spot for those that missed it earlier. 1:30 – Here’s another car Super Bowl ad – this one is from Lexus… 1:29 – Simon Lee had this to say on Kia’s offering: “And this is a really nice car ad. Has the scale and production values of a big Superbowl ad whilst knowingly mocking big Superbowl ads, all within a stunningly aspirational setting and with nice performances from Brosnan and his agent. “The perfect getaway vehicle” is a platform any creative would love to have the chance to execute off.” Carl Ratcliff said: “Piers Brosnan playing Bond playing Piers Brosnan. Another self referencing spot. One that pulses with an almost original wisdom: ‘We know car ads are dull, so we are going to make the opposite of dull. But still keep the dull bits in. Everyone’s a winner. Hurrah.’ Next” 1:27 – What do you think of this spot for Mophie? 1:25 – Some on Twitter are saying an ad for a glue brand could be this year’s funniest spot… Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.23.48 PM 1:21 – On BMW’s Super Bowl spot Carl Ratcliff said: “A nice simple idea. It makes me feel old, and almost mature enough to buy a BMW. Very cool product though.” 1:18 – Did you like avocados before they were cool? Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 1.20.02 PM 1:16 – Social@Ogilvy boss Yianni Konstantopoulos is a fan of the Dodge ad, he Tweeted:


1:13 – Here’s an interesting tweet from AdAge:

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1:11 – While all eyes are generally on the national Super Bowl ads, here’s an interesting spot which aired in St Louis…

1:09 – This is Jeep’s efforts for the Super Bowl

12:45 – On Carnival Corporation’s ad Craig Adams said: “Carnival boldly step up and offer a moment of calm amidst the celebrity cleavages, hidden camera pranks and blockbuster trailers. The voice over is brilliant. The cinematography, stunning. I’ve never been so moved by cruise liner porn – for want of a better word. ”

12:36 – Here’s what Craig Adams had to say about the Skittles spot: “Refreshingly original and bizarre. Nice one Skittles – simple, entertaining and odd. If I was being really harsh however, it was slightly unbelievable in places – be honest, no one likes the lemon ones.”

12:35 – This is what Twitter has been saying about the #LikeaGirl ad:

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Simon Lee said: “It’s the Superbowl, guys, I just wanna drink beer, munch hot dogs and laugh at some dumb-ass ads. Now just let me finish this can of Bud and I’m gonna burp like a boy #burplikeaboy”

 12:26 – Here’s a Skittles ad from earlier in the Super Bowl:

12:22 – Perry’s been joined on stage by Lenny Kravitz for a duet of ‘I Kissed A Girl’

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12:19 – Katy Perry has taken the stage…riding a giant gold cat…

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12:18 – On Esurance’s earlier Breaking Bad ad, Craig Adams said: “I’m a huge Breaking Bad fan, which makes it even more painful when I say this is perhaps the greatest missed opportunity I’ve watched so far. I’m sorry Esurance, but I just found it a bit too confusing. All the ingredients were there, but for some reason I had to watch it twice to get the idea. Hopefully you didn’t blow the whole budget on just one spot?”

12:16 – Dads are a big theme at this year’s Super Bowl…

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12:11 – Here’s Pizza Hut’s Super Bowl offering.

12:09 – On the earlier Fiat spot Craig Adams said: “Penis-puns, excellent. The advertising world would be a better place if more brands took a little of whatever it is Fiat are on. Cheeky, quick & funny – ashamedly more my style, and judging by the response on Twitter, to many other people’s taste as well.”

12:07 – We’re entering half time, with the half time show set to feature Katy Perry. As we are at the half way mark, which ads are the favourites so far? Let us know in the comment thread below.

12:06 – On the Game of Wars spot Craig Adams said: “Powerful stuff here sports fans, powerful stuff. As a closet gamer I can say that this, sadly, works. Not only does it make me intensely curious about the game, but it also makes we want to start attending those ‘real life’ battle re-enactments and learn to ride a horse. There’ll be loads more women like Kate there right? Bold move showing very little in game action or cut-scenes, but it does the job.”


12:02 – The celebrity appearances keep coming, with William Shatner in Priceline’s Super Bowl ad.

Here’s what Carl Ratcliff thought: “In spite of William Shatner’s peculiar shape, I like. Aggregator websites often struggle in broadcast marketing. In my view. They over index on the shout. Or the abstract. But this gets the balance just about right I’d say. 7 out of 10 given Shatner’s decent, hammy performance. ”

12:00pm – Here’s another Esurance ad, and Breaking Bad fans are going to like it.

11:59 – Here’s some thoughts from Twitter on this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads:

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11:57 – Here’s what Carl Ratcliff had to say about Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad: “Microsoft goes on an emotive sortie. And puts its fat hand on your heart. The little kid is amazing. On ya Brady. I’m less convinced that #empowerment is especially true or distinct for Microsoft. A shame that such good intentions end up being wallpaper.”

11:55 – While Craig Adams has described the Square Space spot as “Brilliantly curious and original”, some on Twitter have panned it as boring.

Adams said: “As I finished watching it and headed online to check out, I wasn’t sure what I was discovering. Unsure how much of what I was experiencing was dry humour, simply surreal or beautifully smart. The tie in with No Kid Hungry grounded me in the end. But until then I was left feeling a little peculiar and I liked that. I will remember that feeling Squarespace.”

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11:51 – Twitter is loving Fiat’s Super Bowl spot.

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11:49 – Bud Light’s spot has been described by Ratcliff as “mental”.

He said: “This is mental. And I’m not sure in an entirely good way. Don’t get me wrong, I love an activation me. Bit there’s no spontaneity here. No truth. That said, we love Pacman at Naked. So, credit to the client and agency for buying into this level of mad. I’m sure its din is just what you need to cut through during Superbowl. ”

Lee said: “Woah! What just happened!? Is this supposed to be a fly on the wall stunt ad? Whether it is or not, I like the idea of real world Pac Man. I reckon we should all lobby an Aussie brand to let us make one in the ultimate Australian venue for live brand activations: the hallowed MARTIN PLACE 🙂 #MARTINPLACEPACMAN failing that, we could try in front of Customs House #CUSTOMSHOUSEPACMAN or that patch of grass next to the MCA #PATCHOFGRASSNEXTTOTHEMCAPACMAN”

11:46am – This one from Dove has Lee and Ratcliff divided.

Ratcliff said: “Dove Men+Care is trying to be LikeAGirl. But for Dads. And so wants to reframe masculinity amidst a game oozing a more ordinary definition. All in just 60 seconds. Big guys might not cry, but this ad will make you eyes sting, if you’re a Dad. Like me. If you’re not, you’ll think its ham fisted and fails to land what’s actually a really smart insight.”

But Lee wasn’t interested. He said: “Sorry, I just don’t make the connection between caring for my kids and caring for my skin. In fact I feel pretty uncomfortable that a brand has tried to pull on my emotional fatherly heart strings then tried to flog me moisturizer, wrinkle cream or something and suggested I be part of a social media conversation about how care makes me stronger. #pullyourheadin”

11:40am – Weight Watchers made an interesting choice to air a spot during a day celebrating food and sport.

Simon Lee said: “Interesting call to air a Weight Watchers ad on one of America’s biggest eating days of the year. Millions will be able to binge happy, knowing that tomorrow they can call up their personal weight loss coach. There’s nice insight in “when you’re trying to lose weight it seems like food is everywhere”; the execution seems to be a pretty straight execution of the insight though.”

11:34am – Here’s what Craig Adam had to say about today’s early Chevy blackout spot:

“I love it. Everything about it. We’ve seen so many of these ads-come-research-studies over the past few years, it’s about time a brand took one seriously. The sample is robust. The focus group method, flawless. And, as a guy that can’t grow facial hair, the results are hard hitting and cut to the core of me. As I go on to watch the Truck Guy Deodorant follow up ad online, I await news of the spin-off TV series featuring the old guy at 01:44, in search of ‘The Definition of Cool’.”

11:30am – This ad has been labelled the buzzkill of the Super Bowl

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11:27am – This is what Twitter had to say about the spot.

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11:26am – It looks like Australian’s Man Child Doritos hope has missed out after this Doritos spot aired.

11:20am –  Coca-Cola’s spot offers a solution to cyber bullying and online trolling…what do you think of it?

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11:17am – On this morning’s earlier McDonald’s spot, Craig Adams said: “I’m too British for this ad.

“The happy go lucky music reminds me of the opening scenes of every Jim Carey movie ever made. The hidden camera’s shallow depth of field perfectly frames the promise of completely unrehearsed happy tears at any moment.

“It’s all way too perfect for my bitter taste I’m afraid. I am however extremely excited about trying this the next time I’m in Maccas… Upon ordering my Fillet’o’Fish burger I will be the one that suggests a spontaneous contract of affection is entered. I get to keep the arguably misunderstood fish burger, of which they clearly have plenty, if I successfully force my love upon the person behind me. This could go viral.”

11:11am – Here’s what Twitter had to say about the NationWideInsurance ad starring Mindy Kaling.

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11:09am – In the same ad break as Budweiser’s Lost Puppy we had this spot from NationWideInsurance…this is just the teaser.

11:07am – On the Budweiser’s Lost Puppy spot, Simon Lee isn’t a fan. He said: “Neither the story nor the execution really grab me so I’m left a little empty and somewhat disappointed by this big Bud ad. Just bring back Wassup! It’s still funny…”

What do you think? Who’s winning so far? Let us know in the comment thread below.

11:06am – While the ad community were cautious about a follow up to last year’s Budweiser puppy spot, it looks like the move has paid off.

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11:02am – Kim Kardashian’s turn for T-Mobile hasn’t been as well received.

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Simon Lee was more positive, commenting: “This is definitely a nice idea – an ironic wink at celebrity obsessed pop culture, but the execution in my humble opinion unfortunately falls somewhat flat. In theory, treating it as a parody of a charity ad complete with moving piano score could work, but something’s not quite right, mmmmmmhhhhh, what could it be?”

Craig Adam points out the elephant in the room, saying: “I have to say, watching this ad on YouTube was much more entertaining than seeing it live on TV. Simply because once it had finished YouTube, of course, offered up a smorgasbord of other Kim Kardashian videos that I might want to check out. Including a few of the standard ‘leaked’ sex tapes. For someone encouraging you to keep a hold of your data, she’s done pretty well out of her ‘stolen’ data in the past. Perhaps more of a ‘learn from my mistakes’ ad would’ve driven the message home.”

11:01am – Snickers did leak their ad prior to the broadcast of the Super Bowl but it’s still getting some positive traction online.

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The Hallway’s Simon Lee was right there with social media, saying: “I love this ad and I’ve never even seen the Brady Bunch. Great casting and performance, but most of all, tapping into an iconic American property for a Superbowl execution off the “you’re not you when you’re hungry” platform is really nice thinking.”

But Naked Communication’s Carl Ratcliff wasn’t so sold, he said: “If you like The Brady Bunch you’ll probably hate this spot. If you don’t you most likely still will or you’ll wonder as to why decent insight gets obliterated by marketing managers in their un-glorious quest for brand content.  Actually you won’t think that because you’re normal. Rather you’ll think, ‘Wow, Steve Buscemi was cool once.’.”

10:54am –On Mercedes animated spot Naked Communications senior strategist Craig Adams said: “I’m not really sure what to think about this one… Whilst initially impressed by the stunning hyperreality – blending slick Dreamworks-esque animation with a text book set of ‘fast-car-moves-fallen-leaves’ shots – I’m left a bit confused about the idea here to be honest.

“Unless of course the pitch went a little like this; The Advertising Standards Authority are clamping down on car brands showing people dangerously ragging sports cars down empty country lanes narrowly missing wildlife, but they’ve said nothing about tortoises…”

What do you think? Let us know in the comment thread below.

10:52am –  This spot from Turbotax is well liked according to Twitter, but what do you think? Let us know in the comment thread below.

10:50am – Chevy’s blackout spot also had people talking on Twitter.

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10:34am – Here’s Chevy’s spot that is making a lot of people online want a truck…

10:30am –  Lindsay Lohan has turned things around to appear in Esurance’s ad. Some people on Twitter are questioning Lohan as a mom…

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10:26am – McDonald’s ad is already drawing some interesting comments on social media – it’s all about paying for meals with hugs or acts of kindness. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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10:22am – The US national anthem has been sung and we’re straight into the ads. First off the ranks is a spot for T-Mobile.

10:16am – Sydney based aerial marketing company Branding by Air has announced their newly opened US office by flying a 12,000 square foot banner over this year’s Super Bowl in Glendale Arizona.  The giant aerial flag, commissioned by US insurance giant PEMCO, celebrates the legendary “12th Man” supporters club.

BBA SuperBowl 12 Banner


10:07am – Michael Hill has unveiled its ‘We’re for Love’ brand platform that is launching in Australia, NZ, Canada and the US after two commercials air during the Super Bowl.

The ad has been created by Colenso BBDO Auckland.

10am – As we edge closer to the kick off of the match, AdAge has a break down on who has bought ads during the US broadcast. You can expect to see around 15 new advertisers in this year’s game, with digital commerce and technology some of the newcomers to the field.


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