Who scored and who wasted their money on Super Bowl ads

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 2/4/2019, 10:32 a.m.
Crafting memorable Super Bowl advertising remains a formidable challenge, as companies try to navigate the complicated waters of celebrity endorsements, ...
While it's popular to say "The ads were better than the game," they collectively weren't.

Stella Artois -- On their own, the sendups of "Sex and the City" and "The Big Lebowski" -- and the characters played by Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges -- would have been mildly clever. But in a day filled with incongruous celebrity endorsements, mashing the two together felt like an inspired coup.

The Washington Post -- Sober and spare, the paper's one-minute ad offered a broad statement on behalf of journalism, saying, "Knowing keeps us free." The Tom Hanks narration was a nice touch.

Disney -- The combination of "Captain Marvel" and "Toy Story 4" right after the game and a pre-kickoff spot for "Avengers: Endgame" punctuated a quiet Super Bowl for the movie studios, with a modest assist from Universal's "Fast and Furious" spinoff "Hobbs & Shaw."

Kia -- Amid a surplus of celebrity-driven ads, an understated one that celebrated the ordinary people that produce its cars stood out from the crowd.


Turbotax -- A robot child who yearns to do taxes set the bar for creepiness, on a day with a fair amount of it.

Olay -- The company's first Super Bowl ad -- a horror-movie spoof featuring scream queen Sarah Michelle Gellar -- wasted that casting coup, where even the slasher wants to discuss her great-looking skin.

Planters -- It's hard to tell what part of this ad you're supposed to like --the fact that the Planters spokes-nut has a Peanut-mobile, drives it like a lunatic, or lives in the same neighborhood as Charlie Sheen.

Devour Frozen Foods -- There was some promise in the idea of confusing love of the company's frozen dishes with porn (the ad is titled "Food Porn"), but no.

Pepsi -- The soft-drink giant presented a star-studded spoof built around people asking, "Is Pepsi OK?," which really just reminds viewers that a lot of people like Coke better. As advertising goes, it's a classic self-own.

T-Mobile -- The company bought an ad in each quarter, but didn't seem to have anything particularly interesting to say, other than offering freebies.

Avocados from Mexico -- Not to be a stickler, but what does a dog show have to do with avocados?

Yellowtail -- Whatever the wine tastes like, the company's ad tastes bor-ring.

Michelob Ultra -- See, robots can do everything better than us, but they don't get to enjoy drinking beer. Of course, they'll have the last laugh when they rise up against their human masters and take over.

Turkish Airlines -- Nothing about the Turkish Airlines ad made any sense, beginning with the assumption that anyone would be moved to go online to find out.

Audi -- Should a car commercial ever involve the Heimlich maneuver? No, it shouldn't.

Bon & Viv Spiked Seltzer -- Frankly, the sharks might as well eat whoever dreamt up that ad campaign.

Burger King -- Andy Warhol? It's a talker, but for all the questions the ad invited, nothing about it really made you want to run out and eat a burger. Or to quote a more memorable ad, where's the beef?