Super Bowl ads: who scored a touchdown?

Once again the Super Bowl had all eyes on it, with the advertising community in the front row as usual. So we watched all the commercials and gave our very own AML Super Bowl Awards to those we liked the most.

First of all, we want to give special credit to two brands operating in highly-regulated sectors that resonate particularly well with what we do. Anyone who considers tax stuff (and therefore tax stuff advertising) boring might think again after watching the awesome weirdness of this Turbo Tax film. We challenge you not to dance to the notes of “you can file it, you can do it, you can file it, you can do it”. And Bravo! Turbo Tax for the LGBTQ-inclusive message.

Moving to mortgages, what about the hilariously bizarre use of a celebrity by Rocket Mortgage? Whether you find it disturbing or amusing, you’ll never look at Jason Momoa the same way again.

Choosing our favourite SNACK SUPER BOWL AD is a challenging task. While the Snickers’ ad divides opinion and Reese’s Take 5’s illustrated clichés may or may not put a smile on your face, Cheetos’ “Can’t touch this” is definitely fun and relatable, and Doritos‘ cowboy faceoff between Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X is one of the most praised Super Bowl 2020 commercials. But apparently nothing can beat Pringles’ ad featuring Rick and Morty, generating tons of memes already.

Plenty of drink brands also battled to satisfy our thirst for good creativity. Presidente and Budweiser tapped into patriotic sentiments (respectively American and Dominican), while others made extensive use of celebrities (Coca Cola, Mountain Dew, Michelob Ultra). All in all, choosing our favourite DRINK SUPER BOWL AD, we’d go for the spots by Bud Light Seltzer, starring Post Malone and the heavily-tattooed, tiny folks populating his brain.

In the tech horizon, we appreciated the relatability of Dashlane’s “password hell” and the good feelings behind Verizon’s ad. We weren’t very impressed by Squarespace, and agree that Google’s film wasn’t as good as previous years – remember their first Super Bowl ad Parisian Love? Facebook’s ad put a smile on our face but probably isn’t what the brand needs right now, especially for their first-ever appearance on such a stage. Amazon had some fun with Ellen, Portia and the idea of how the world worked in the before-Alexa-age. But our TECH SUPER BOWL AD medal goes to Microsoft, for giving the spotlight to the first woman (and first openly gay person) to coach in a Super Bowl.

Cars are always a big deal at the Super Bowl, and this year was no exception. While we weren’t particularly engaged by Audi’s Disneyan sing-along with Maisie Williams, we appreciated the serious stand taken by Kia, the humour of Hyundai and the breath-taking Porsche race. Still, it’s Jeep and Toyota that compete for our favourite CAR SUPER BOWL AD, with the former winning the game. Jeep and Bill Murray delivered what seems an effortlessly good ad, taking advantage of the fact that Super Bowl happened on Groundhog Day, and linking the idea quite nicely to the product’s features.

Finally, for the category WHAT-THE-HELL-IS-HAPPENING-HERE SUPER BOWL AD, the competition is high. Walmart employees serve sci-fi characters coming from all over the galaxy. A bunch of P&G mascots join Sofia Vergara’s house and bring to life scenarios chosen by the audience. Snickers dig a giant hole to offer the earth a chocolate bar. Heinz shows four horror stories in one, and Post Malone destroys a corner shop for a squabble happening in his own brain. But our favourite is Toyota’s ad, with Cobie Smulders boldly and calmly rescuing action-movie characters and her teenage, slightly ungrateful son from all kinds of tricky situations.

So, that’s all for the 54th edition of the Super Bowl. We hope we helped you discover some hidden gems you hadn’t seen, and if your favourites didn’t make the list, let us know! [Final whistle]