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đŸŠ© The Studs vs the Duds: Super Bowl Edition


This year's theme was light and entertaining full of star-studded commercials with tried-and-true formulas. Most leaned on storytelling and humor, some used nostalgia, while a few shared heartfelt messages.

The StudsÂ đŸ‘đŸ»Â Â 

1. NFL Sunday Ticket was clever to use the bird mascot names of each team — Eagles, Ravens, Seahawks — highlighting their migratory path. Just like these birds, they always come back.

2. M&M featured the "could have beens" Dan Marino, Terrell Owens, Bruce Smith, and Scarlett Johansson turning M&M's Peanut Butter into diamonds for the new M&M's Ring of Comfort.

3. State Farm was funny with its "neighba vs neighbor." Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent struggles with pronunciation until his former co-star Danny DeVito steps in to assist.

4. Dunkin Donuts features Boston's own Ben Affleck in his hometown donut and coffee shop with his longtime collaborator Matt Damon depicting an "U got it bad" style infatuation with his wife, Jennifer Lopez. Tom Brady, Jack Harlow, and Fat Joe also made cameo appearances and nailed their comic performances.

5. T-Mobile stacked their ad with celebrities, including Jennifer Hudson, Common, Laura Dern, Patrick J. Adams, Gabriel Macht from "Suits," and Bradley Cooper with his mother, auditioning to become T-Mobile's Magenta Status spokesperson.

6. Google Pixel 8 ad effectively conveys a powerful accessibility message while demonstrating high-quality execution and production. It introduces the Guided Frame on Pixel 8, which leverages Google AI to assist individuals with blindness or low vision in taking photos. Directed by blind filmmaker Adam Morse, the ad includes a voiceover by the legendary Stevie Wonder.

7. NFL Character Playbook was very touching with the kid running with a dream. The NFL smartly used the global viewership of the Super Bowl to highlight its goal of expanding the game worldwide. The commercial showcases a young football enthusiast from Ghana who dreams of playing the sport and includes Osi Umenyiora to promote the NFL's global pathway program.

8. Pluto TV was for all the lazy "couch potato" TV watchers who want to stream Pluto TV's countless movies and shows at no cost.

9. CeraVe features Michael Cera and a play on his name who humorously claims responsibility for the dermatologist's work on the CeraVe Skincare line.

10. Doritos action-packed commercial was a funny one! Jenna Ortega's fictional grandmothers Dina and Mita embark on a "mission impossible-like" quest to discover the snack brand's new Dinamita rolled chips.

Honorable Mentions:

Sketchers features Mr. T scolding Tony Romo, the CBS Sunday night game commentator, for saying there's no "t" in Skechers. Pity is needed. 

Microsoft Copilot used the tagline they said I couldn't watch me" to feature AI to "help" you make "your" dreams come "true."

DudsđŸ‘ŽđŸ»

1. Starry was bad! Pepsi's Starry, the lemon-lime alternative to Sierra Mist, confirms the split by featuring Ice Spice moving on from an old flame.

2. BMW attempt at "imitation" fell flat. They had a star-studded cast featuring Christopher Walken, Ashley Park, and Usher. The 60-second spot showcased the electric BMW i5 and plays off Walken's distinctive voice and speech rhythm as he encounters various imitators throughout his day. 

3. Booking.com with Tina Fey was disappointing. She employed body doubles to fully explore the accommodation choices offered by Booking.com.

4. Coors Light's punchline was weak "Thanks LL Cool J!" Coors Light aired a new Canadian Super Bowl commercial featuring the famous Chill Train, back after 12 years, set to the song "Love Train" by The O'Jays.

5. Oreo was another dud featuring historical figures like Kris Jenner to determine their fate by opening the cookie to reveal where the icing is, instead of relying on chance.

6. Hellmann's - Mayo Cat did a good job of showing different uses of mayo but the ad was just OK. For cat lovers, maybe it was a hit. Kate McKinnon and Pete Davidson in this commercial for the mayonnaise brand that capitalizes on the trend of cats becoming viral sensations for various reasons.

7. ELF "objection" ad featured Rick Hoffman and Gina Torres from “Suits” and Judy Sheindlin from “Judge Judy” in a court skit that spoofs both programs. 

8. Bud Light tried too hard featuring a magical bottle with a genie who granted wishes, such as hanging out with Peyton Manning and Post Malone. 

9. Poppi Soda highlighted young individuals in a vintage split-screen video to promote the healthiness of sodas from an Austin, Texas beverage company.

10. Zeam had hopes that John Stamos could help introduce how local TV could jump right into streaming. It was an epic failure!

11. Apartment.com was just odd with aliens arriving on Earth and, of course, they need an apartment. 

Well, that's a wrap. Do you agree with our list? Comment below and share your studs and duds of Super Bowl LVIII commercials.

P.S. Mari was part of a panel discussion with Jennifer Mulchandani on Arlington Strategy's podcast. Watch it here. 

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