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The Best & Worst Super Bowl LI Commercials

Original LinkedIn Post by Jake Kosten can be found HERE.

This year during the Super Bowl we saw a mix of tactics performed by brands to help connect to their audience. Some brands hit it out of the park, while others flopped to grab our attention. My only hope is that brands continue to move away from the traditional commercials and more towards creating a story that connects with their audience on an intimate level that drives conversations around the brand. Too many brands today are still ignoring this idea of having to give the consumer a more relatable experience where they can feel part of the brand. If you're a brand already building a strategy around this than you are far ahead of your competition, but for those of you who are not, I'd round up your marketing team and get to work before you fall so far behind that you can't recover.

Without further adieu here are my best and worst commercials from Super Bowl Sunday. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

The Best of Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Baby Legends (CLICK FOR VIDEO)

This year the NFL brought back Super Bowl babies and it did not disappoint. Who doesn't think these kids are cute in their NFL costumes? There is only one disappointment with this commercial. The NFL has such a lockdown on their content that you can only view the commercial on their YouTube channel unless you have permission directly from the NFL to have playback on your blog.

Avocados From Mexico (CLICK FOR VIDEO)

This year Avocados from Mexico poked fun at top news stories which ranged from Area 51 to deflate gate and Antonio Brown streaming live in the locker. A clever way to keep us entertained for a minute and a half.


Although this commercial was completed well before President Trump's executive order on immigration, Budweiser managed to make a political statement. Budweiser depicted a compelling story about humble beginnings and that dreams do come true. I was happy to see they managed to work some clydesdales into the commercial as these beautiful horses have become an integral part of the Budweiser brand.


Honda's commercial inspired us all to believe in ourselves and keep pushing forward to chase our dreams. Viola Davis says it best, "All dreams are in reach, all you have to do is keep moving towards them".


“Faking your own death to get out of a Verizon contract?” Sprint can help you with that with much less hassle. Sprint's Super Bowl commercial was very well targeted with clever humor throughout to push Sprint's message home.


84 Lumber, a Pennsylvania lumber company, took the opportunity Super Bowl Sunday to send a message that was politically charged. We see a mother and her daughter emigrating from Mexico through deserts, fields and rivers. At the end of the Super Bowl commercial we are prompted with the text "See the conclusion at". In the conclusion we see the mother and daughter make it to the border, the girl pulls out a US flag she made from items along their journey and they find a door in the wall. The final statement we see is "The will to succeed is always welcome here".

84 Lumber took a chance to tell a story that connected with their audience and they gave us just enough of the story to encourage us to want to see what happens in the end. A great use of video to send a message, connect with their audience and drive traffic to their channels.


A simple, yet clever, commercial by Bai that leaves us wanting more.


T-Mobile went for the 50 shades of grey parody and it works pretty well as a 30 second spot. Not the best of Super Bowl Sunday, but surely not the worst.


The worst of Super Bowl Sunday


Mr. Clean now looks like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and I'm not sure how I feel about the women ogling at the life size, tight clothed, cartoon cleaning her house. She then turns that desire onto what seems like her husband. One thing is for sure fellas, if you want a woman out of your league, grow a beard.


Pepsi's new water brand LIFEWTR was beautifully shot and art is exciting, but the art was sloppy and running all over the place. The commercial just doesn't embody the concept Pepsi was going for in their brand Lifewtr, but a little fine tuning in some areas on the commercial and Pepsi would have a winner.


Michelob ULTRA failed to tell a story and left us wondering why the theme song for "Cheers" was being used with a bunch of people doing high intensity workouts instead of relaxing around an inviting space enjoying each others company.


An everyday commercial that is nothing new to consumers. I believe we as consumers have moved past yellow suits, kangaroos and models in bikinis. I'm certainly not running out to buy a bottle of yellow tail.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the commercials played during the 2017 Super Bowl. At my company, Dublite Productions, we bring to life the stories that improve the conversation between your company and your audience to help drive your brand forward. We look forward to creating some awesome videos and bringing your story to life!

Jake Kosten, CEO & Founder Dublite Productions |

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