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Best Commercials for Super Bowl 49Not the best year for SuperBowl commercials. If you can call them that.

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The 2015 Super Bowl commercial line-up seemed to leave me feeling emotionally drained this year. There were some funny ads from Snickers and Esurance with some great guest star cameos. Budweiser again created another commercial that would sell puppy chow better than beer. Nationwide Insurance also created a very strong spot using Matt Damon and Mindy Kaling. I had some very serious concerns about the tone of some of the commercials presented this year. However first, I want to present my picks of the top commercials based on two criteria. How well does the commercial present the brand in a unique and creative way and will you remember who created the commercial.

#4 The Perfect Getaway

*Great branding, and appeal to both men and women. Everyone likes fireworks.

#3  The FIAT Blue Pill

*Great identification as FIAT, even the European style complimented the product. A good laugh, although this spot ran in 2014 in Europe.

#2 Dodge Wisdom

*You know it’s about Dodge and the message bleeds about values and living life full throttle.

#1 Come Back to the Sea

*This spot connected with its audience, the Kennedy generation. It has a bold, strong message that you belong on these ships, and it will be a healing experience.


Talk TO your audience, not AT them!

After the first couple of commercial breaks, the tone of the Super Bowl commercials changed. It seemed that many of the advertisers created commercials that were more about encouraging us to change our behavior instead of telling us about their product.

  • Nissan produced a ninety-second ad entitled “With Dad”. A person on Twitter summarized the commercial as “Sorry son I wasn’t there for you growing up but look at my great Maxima”.
  • Coke’s entry encouraged us that hate and debate in our culture should be changed to happy and positive communication.
  • Proctor & Gamble created a commercial called “Throw Like a Girl” which celebrated girls yet came across a bit condemning of all boys and men for stereotyping girls.
  • McDonalds had a message that if you call someone and say something nice you get something free.
  • The most negative reaction I’ve ever witnessed was Nationwide’s second commercial entitled “Make Safe Happen” featuring a boy who is sharing his hopes and dreams and then suddenly reveals he was killed in an accident. Nationwide has been emphasizing prevention in recent campaigns. However the commercial’s dramatic and dark spin left everyone I was with not in the mood to watch the game anymore. It was simply a mood killer.  The social media instantly went negative on Nationwide’s dramatic commercial. I hope there are some questions asked Monday morning about why this ad was selected when their first ad was a strong commercial.

I’ve never seen a strategy of creating a depressing commercial engaging new customers.

As a filmmaker and media consultant, I have a very simple common sense approach to producing videos and commercials for my clients. Know your audience and what they are expecting. Your audience wants you to talk to them, not at them. This is a lesson some ad agency executive I hope will be asked by their clients on Monday morning when they read the reviews about their choices. Although the ideas of some of these commercials were appropriate, there were simply, so many lumped in a row, and it was draining to watch. Something NBC should have also considered.  For me and others, it seemed to take the joy out of the evening for myself and several others watching.

Overall I would say this was one of the weakest set of commercials we’ve seen for a SuperBowl. Hopefully the agencies will return to the chalkboard for next year and review that for the SuperBowl, people want to be entertained, and not told how they aren’t good people.

EMMY HEADSHOTJohn Ondo is an Emmy Award Winning TV Producer, Media Consultant & Author. His production company, Ondo Media, creates the finest in video productions as well as social media and web strategies. Based in Columbus, Ohio, John Ondo, can be followed on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and our Ondo Media Vimeo site. You can also get his book “How To Avoid A Media Meltdown” at Amazon.Com or at the Ondo Media Bookstore.

John also is a board member & supporter of the Central Ohio Chapter of the March of Dimes.

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