The Best Super Bowl LI Commercials

February 7, 2017

Okay, so Super Bowl LI was absolutely insane! I was on the edge of my seat, mouth wide open in disbelief of what was happening. If you missed it, I hope you DVR'd it so you can watch, but wow, just wow.


Now that that's out the way....As a marketer, I'm always intrigued by the commercials and the stories they tell, and this year was no different. From feel good commercials to those making a true statement, I have a replay of my top 7 commercials of Super Bowl LI.

AirBNB #WeAccept Commercial


This commercial was beautifully simple and made a powerful statement regarding what's going on in the world and the US right now. I loved it, but what really gets AirBNB the win for best commercial in my book is the fact that the founders of AirBNB also sent an email out to their list Monday morning to solidify the message using the same imagery. 


This extra touch point helped to bring the point of what the company stands for home for people regardless of if you saw the commercial or not. Plus, having it come from the founders of the company definitely increased their open rate to make sure more fans saws their message. They also blended in the social element not just in the visuals, but also with the hashtag. Kudos for a great integrated marketing campaign!

National Geographic's Genius Commercial


This ad tops the charts for me due to impeccable timing. Timing is so important when it comes to your marketing, and Nat Geo made sure that their ad buy had the most impact.


The ad for this new show about Albert Einstein appeared at the conclusion of Lady Gaga's fantastic halftime show performance (another video I highly recommend). This ad shows the personality of the show and ties together the past and present beautifully by playing "Bad Romance" on the violin.

Audi #DriveProgress Commercial 


This commercial was one of my favorites of the entire night! Equal pay for equal work has been getting more coverage lately (and rightful so) and it was nice to see it come from a slightly unexpected brand, Audi. Way to step up with a memorable commercial in what was clearly the year of the social statement, not the year of puppies or Clydesdale horses.


I like the vintage feel of the ad from the muted tones and they fact that the dad and his daughter were both presented as feminists in the commercial. Now, hopefully Audi is paying equally otherwise this could end up being a PR nightmare, but a beautiful ad and a clear statement of what the brand believes in.

T-Mobile If You're In to that Sort of Thing Commercial


T-mobile had a few spots throughout Super Bowl LI, these spots I've termed "50 shades" of cell phone service. Again, this advertisement wins due to timing-it doesn't hurt that they're really funny too. With the newest installment of the 50 Shades movie franchise set to come out later this month, it was brilliant to link this campaign in peoples minds to that.


It also shows a key differentiator between them and their competition Verizon. If you're into taxes and fees, then they aren't the company for you. So it's a great set of ads because it shows a benefit of the brand in a different light!

Ford Go Further Commercial


I liked this commercial because it is a great example of showing and not telling. What caught my eye for this spot was they didn't say anything about being stuck until the end of the spot, but as you watch you can't help but think it several times and probably remember a time that you were stuck in a similar situation. Ford's message is clear: you can go further when you're not stuck, and that's why they are always innovating their brand.

Turkish Airlines Widen Your World Commercial


This one makes my list of favorites because of they tell the story of their target customer as shown by Morgan Freeman. When you have limited time, you have to show who you represent quickly. Turkish Airlines accomplishes this by saying "If you're one of us" and then showing a few beautiful shots of some of the places their airline can take you.


I was left with a clear understanding of the distinguished jet setter who would fly Turkish Airlines and the right people for them most certainly started looking for their next trip due to this commercial.

Budweiser Born the Hard Way Commercial 


Another example of fantastic storytelling from the perspective of the brand's own history. I loved it! It was a good blend of social commentary with branding, and I love that a beer company skillful tackled the topic of immigration.


I like that they showed the product as a sketch in his journal since I feel like an actual product shot would have felt really out of place in this ad. The story of thier founder’s ambitious journey to America in pursuit of his dream: to brew the King of Beers goes to show that you should think of unique ways to authentically tell the story of your brand and align it with what people are currently dealing with. Beautiful job!

So there you have it, my favorite commercials of Super Bowl LI. What were your favorites? Why did they stand out for you? Until next year!



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