Madison Avenue paraded a comic cavalcade of movie stars, chatty critters and hit makers before Super Bowl viewers Sunday night.
Advertisers largely played it safe, perhaps still shuddering over last year’s Nationwide Insurance fiasco, when one of the most talked-about commercials was about children dying in accidents.
“I’m a bit disappointed at the overall creative effort this year,” said Jarrod Moses, founder of United Entertainment Group marketing agency.
“It was all very safe and very disappointing. You really need to do something daring and different to break through, or you might as well save your money.”
The spots cost $5 million per 30 seconds just for airtime. And then companies shelled out millions more to hire celebrity talent like Ryan Reynolds, Willem Dafoe, Kevin Hart, Jeff Goldblum, Anthony Hopkins, Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen, Helen Mirren, Alec Baldwin, Steven Tyler and the comedy team of Key & Peele.
Celebrity overload made it hard for advertisers to stand out in the crowded field.
Among the boldfaced were:
- Paul Rudd, who appeared twice — briefly in the Schumer-Rogen Bud Light spot and then again for Coke doing his Ant-Man character.
- Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., he of the remarkable one-handed catch, marveling at a similar wedding-bouquet grab by Emily Ratajkowski in a Buick spot.
- Oscar-less Baldwin and Super Bowl ring-less Miami QB Dan Marino, trading barbs for Amazon Alexa.
- Steve Harvey made fun of his Miss Universe blunder in a T-Mobile spot.
- Hopkins, selling out for TurboTax — and having a good laugh at himself. “I would never tarnish my name by selling you something,” the distinguished actor said before shamelessly hawking the tax-preparation program.
“What a great gimmick, telling the truth,” Tomorro LLC founder Jon Bond said in praise of the TurboTax spot.
Among noncelebrity commercials to make a big splash were Mountain Dew’s “Puppymonkeybaby” and a birth-inducing Dorritos ad.
“The sonogram spot, I thought it was very disturbing — in a good way,” said Beth Mock LeBlanc, chief creative officer at MLB Creative ad agency.
A spokesman for Colonial Williamsburg acknowledged it was “jarring,” adding, “We cannot forget our sacrifices or our tragedies even as we celebrate our accomplishments.”
Source: Google News Super Bowl Commercials
Super Bowl ads were an unmemorable parade of stars – New York Post