Latter-day Jane

A happy diversion of life, love and sisterly advice for Jane Austen fans everywhere. [There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart. -Jane Austen]

10 Winning Super Bowl Commercials (and the rotten tomato we can’t forget)

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The real reason I watch the Super Bowl is no secret.

I’m in it for the commercials.

Debuting an commercial during the Super Bowl is the equivalent of a red-carpet twirl on Oscar night — and that thirty-second spin in front of the massive crowd costs about $4 Million.

There were some funny moments in this year’s ads as we’ve come to expect, but the days of big-crazy-funny seem to have run their course, in favor of dig-deep, feel-the-feelings commercials. Brands want to be remembered for a feeling, a cause, a statement. They know that we’re sharing meaningful messages on social media, and they want to link themselves to the messages that matter. That’s a powerful thing.

Here are Latter-day Jane’s Top 10 Commercials of Super Bowl XLIX, followed by the rotten tomato that no one can forget.

1. Budweiser’s “Lost Dog”

I don’t drink adult beverages — never have and never plan to. But I can appreciate a good commercial, and Budweiser has a killer marketing and ad team. This year’s spot, featuring their signature mascots, the Budweiser Clydesdales, is even more touching than usual, as they team up to help bring home a lost puppy.

Budweiser "Lost Dog"

2. Snickers “The Brady Bunch”

Remember Snickers’ “you’re not yourself when you’re hungry” campaign? They featured the much-loved Betty White last year. This is another in that series, this time featuring The Brady Bunch.

Snickers "The Brady Bunch

3. Always “Like a Girl”

The “Like a Girl” campaign created a social media firestorm a few months ago, and for good reason. The message is powerful. An excellent choice for the Super Bowl. Props to P&G and their Always brand for aligning themselves with a message like this.

Always "Like a Girl"

4. Coca-Cola “Make it Happy”

This is another not-to-be-missed social message, addressing online bullying.


5. “Domestic Violence PSA”

For the first time in Super Bowl history, a public service announcement aired on the subject of domestic violence. The 30-second slot worth an estimated $4 Million, features an actual 911 emergency call. The air space was donated by the NFL, in an attempt to make good on some poor decision-making surrounding public relations crises involving some of their players during the last year. This links to the full-length 60 second version, and it’s worth your time. A shortened 30-second spot ran during the Super Bowl.


6. Toyota “How Great I Am” 

Get ready to be blown away by Amy Purdy, a Sochi Paralympic medalist and double amputee who is embracing life in a way that many people only dream of doing. This inspires me to dream big. 

Toyota How Great I AM

7. Microsoft “Empowering: Braylon O’Neill”

Microsoft’s series of “empowering” commercials were incredibly touching. This one really spoke to me, as a mother, and as a human being. Get a tissue and get ready to fall in love with this determined little boy and his equally determined parents.


8. Doritos “When Pigs Fly”

One of two winners in Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest, “When Pigs Fly” was produced by Canada’s Nelson Talbot. It’s pretty darn cute. 

doritos commerical

9. Dodge “Wisdom” (warning: mild language)

I love the messages in this one, and they come straight from the mouths of centenarians — people who arguably know a thing or two about living. I don’t find this offensive personally, but I’ve included a mild language warning in case you have little ones nearby. One of the gentlemen in this spot uses the word “b*tch” as a synonym for “complain” — as in “don’t complain”. Growing up, I would’ve heard my WWII vet, retired police officer grandfather say something like this without reservation. My grandmother would’ve given him a stern warning too: “Not in front of the children!”

The Dodge brand celebrated its 100th anniversary April 16 with a

10. Fiat “The Fiat Blue Pill” (warning: adult-themed content)

And finally — Fiat. I couldn’t help but laugh. There’s nothing overly sensual in this ad (nothing more than you’d see in a movie with a PG rating), but you probably don’t want to have to explain to your kids why this sweet grandpa is so disappointed over losing a little blue pill. 


11. Toyota “My Bold Dad” 

The list grew to 11. It couldn’t be helped. This is beautiful. “Being a dad is more than being a father…” Get the tissues ready.


And not to be forgotten…

The ROTTEN TOMATO ad of Super Bowl XLIX. 

Nationwide “Make Safe Happen”

If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle — or connected to a child in any way — this one is going to make your heart drop down to your gut. The thought process was good. The message could have been good. I repeat: could have been. There was a big fumble in the execution and as a result, the disappointed masses have been voicing profound disappointment over one of the most depressing Super Bowl commercials they’ve ever seen. Watch it for yourself, if you must. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the team marketing meeting at Nationwide Insurance this week.

Nationwide ad

Did your favorite commercial or commercials make the cut? If not, which ones would you have included?

Sarah Elizabeth is a wife and mother residing in a small Southern town filled with rolling green hills and thousands of kind, beautiful faces. She once enjoyed a life with a slightly faster pace as an award-winning television journalist, and marketing professional, but these days, her life is much more quiet. She writes about her daily observations, experiences with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, chronic illness, and occasionally, her love of Jane Austen. Latter-day Jane is her blog. Click here to follow her on Facebook. 

Author: latterdayjane

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