A Recap of the 2015 Superbowl Commercials

by Ad 2 Tampa Bay | February 4, 2015

The Super Bowl:

  • The highest rated program in broadcast
  • The #2 food day for grocery sales
  • The biggest advertising day of the year.

I was asked by the USF Ad Club to join a panel discussing all of the buzzworthy commercials from the Super Bowl. I was joined by other amazing young professionals within the Tampa Bay area from agencies like 22squared, Dunn & Co., ChappellRoberts, Harbr Co, and Social Forces.

Here are some of the highlights from the conversation:

 Things We Agreed That Worked

1. Socially trending topics:

Always – Like A Girl

  • This brand did a really great job of empowering women. There has been an active conversation about addressing the stereotypes of what a girl is, how a girl acts, and her roles within society. This brand did a great job of taking lead in this conversation.

2. Targeting different demos

Budweiser – Lost Dog, Up For Anything, and Brewed The Hard Way. Budweiser had three commercials, and they all spoke to a different audience.

  • Lost Dog spoke to those who have grown up with a nostalgic connection to the iconic Clydesdales. Adding a puppy is a plus. Pulls on your heartstrings a little.
  • Bud Light’s Up For Anything campaign speaks to the younger generation for many obvious reasons, (woo-ing, fist pumps, EDC music). You will get it if you just watch it.
  • Then, there was the Brewed the Hard Way commercial, which targeted the craft beer lovers who have taken this nation by storm. They argue that their beer is “brewed for drinking, not dissecting.” This is a pretty bold move for the brand. I could say more about this commercial, being a person who worked at Cigar City Brewing for a couple years, but that’s a different conversation for a different time J

 Things We Think Fell Short

1. Content alignment:

Nationwide – Make Safe Happen

  • Depressing. Super depressing. Not a horrible commercial, but what were you thinking airing this during the Super Bowl? Glen Hosking from Dunn & Co made a great point that this would have been better if it aired during the Oscars. The Super Bowl is known for over-the-top, entertaining ads. There is a sentimental commercial sprinkled in there every now and then, but this one was just plain depressing. Watch their other Super Bowl ad with Mindy Kaling – now that’s an ad for the Super Bowl.

2. Hashtags:

While some brands are using hashtags in effective ways, some brands are just not getting it. Eduarda Castro from 22squared spoke about hashtags and how brands should be building their campaigns with hashtags in mind or, depending on the target audience, using hashtags and shareable content as the basis of a campaign. Kris Solberg from Social Forces pointed out that many brands use a hashtag because they think, “oh wait, don’t we need one of those things?” Not effective.

A. #makesafehappen – Nationwide

  • I’ll say it again, it’s just depressing. The social conversation surrounding this hashtag is either people hating on the commercial or people discussing very depressing stories. Yes, accidents are real and people need to take precautions but is this conversation you want your brand surrounding?

B. #winatglue – Loctite

  • It doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved this commercial. Those fanny packs were on point but the hashtag is disconnected from the actual commercial. Also, I don’t see a ton of people tweeting about winning at glue. The Always commercial worked with their #likeagirl hashtag because there is a strong social conversation happening around the topic of girl power.

Other known winners of the evening:

Left Shark











Missy Elliot









Oh yeah, and I guess the Patriots









Thank you again to the USF Ad Club for hosting such a fun panel discussion!

What were your favorite ads of the Super Bowl?

Krista West | Programs Director