The Gridiron Games.
This annual rite of passage finds excited fans across the country settling in for what’s arguably the biggest Sunday night of the year. Celebrated players face off in a pitched battle for seasonal supremacy. And oh yeah, there’s some football on the screen, too. This year’s Super Bowl LVI featured songs, celebrities, cameos, some laughs and tears, and even a few awkward moments. And as expected, our team of full-time brand experience experts (and part-time critics) had a lot to say about this year’s lineup.
Gathered virtually, Adrenaline’s Super Bowl brand fans collectively watched, sparred, shared some good-natured ribbing, and ultimately voted for our own slate of Hall of Famers. Here is a roundup of our brand MVPs, some also-rans and a few benchwarmers (don’t be sad, there’s always next year)…
Best Overall (Most Likely To Swipe Right)
Looking like an old school pong game or an early screen saver, Coinbase’s “Coinbase Big Game Ad” spoke squarely to the gamer generation in an inventive way, empowering viewers to use their smartphone to scan a QR code and receive a nice little bitcoin surprise for your efforts.
Worst Song in an Ad
Even Ms. Dolly Parton herself couldn’t save this supposed send-up from Miley Cyrus for T-Mobile. For our team, “Do It for the Phones,” was a cringey play on the “We Are the World” style music videos so prevalent in the 80s. For a Gen X/Gen Y Super Bowl, this one was a must-miss for us.
Best Celebrity Cameo
Larry David’s cameo in FTX’s “Don’t Miss Out on Crypto” ad took historical advances like the invention of the wheel and putting a man on the moon and showed just how wrong one whiny man can be. Spotlighting David’s signature humor, FTX reminds viewers: Don’t Be Like Larry.
Worst Celebrity Cameo
Miley makes her second appearance on our lineup for T-Mobile’s “Do It for the Phones.” Don’t worry, we won’t make you sit through it again, but we can’t guarantee the song won’t get stuck in your head…
Best Tearjerker Ad
In Toyota’s “Brothers,” we see two brothers bonding through athletics throughout their childhoods. When one gets devastating news, it’s their connection and commitment to sport (and each other) that carries them all the way to their Olympic dreams.
The Brand That Doesn’t Belong
In this category, we had a tie. We found WeatherTech’s “Special Ops: Fit Crew” a little off-putting with its military theme and serious-ish tone – they didn’t quite pull off the deadpan for this one.
Also out of place was Taco Bell’s “The Grande Escape.” With bored circus clowns in school and remake of Hole’s “Celebrity Skin” spotlighting Taco Bell food, this one was a beautiful production, but ultimately unappealing.
The One You Didn’t See Coming
Coinbase came back again to sweep this category for it’s “Big Game Ad” full of surprising and nostalgic appeal.
Biggest Waste of Money
Uber Eats’ “Uber Don’t Eats” featured (not smart) regular people and celebrities consuming things they’re not meant to simply because it was brought by the brand known for food delivery. With people eating diapers, kitty litter and dishwashing soap to Kreepa’s “Oh No” playing in the background, the brand tried to latch onto a cultural TikTok moment, but ultimately fell flat.
Stay tuned to Adrenaline’s Insights channel for best brand practices including smart strategies for marketing and advertising. To learn more about the role of creative and advertising as part of a holistic brand experience or to speak to one of our brand experts, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (678) 412-6903.
Adrenaline is a brand experience company that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.