Last night I had the pleasure of watching the New England Patriots lose the Super Bowl. I also had the pleasure of watching some of my favourite Super Bowl Ads in a very long time.

Typically, I find the Super Bowl Ads to be quite disappointing. There’s a horse. It kicked a football. Here’s more beer. Here’s a truck. And so on. But last night, there were a few Super Bowl Ads that I think blew things out of the water. Some I’ll talk about, and some I won’t, and I’ll explain why.

First, the losers, just so that we can get them out of the way.

Dodge. Good god. If you’re going to take a speech of one of the most important figures in at LEAST American and possibly WORLD history, maybe don’t have that speech PURPOSEFULLY DISAGREE with the idea of what you’re doing; selling products to people through advertising. It’s also an incredibly cheap use of a powerful figure. I was unimpressed.

There were a few other misses, but that’s the one that really stood out. So let’s talk about the good stuff.

There were a few ads that won because they were just really cool.

And a little hot.

The Doritos ad with Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman was STUNNING. Alexa losing her voice was incredibly entertaining (and maybe a little insightful about there HQ2 is going to be located).

But then there was something really interesting.

There was a Michelob Ultra ad that featured Chris Pratt learning he’s to be an extra in a Michelob Ultra commercial and then a follow-up where we get to see Chris Pratt as an extra in these specific ads. There was a pretty solid M&M commercial featuring Danny Devito that delved into the mind of those little chocolate wonders.

But for me, the big winner was Tide.

And here’s why.

Every other ad decided to be funny or inspirational or whatever. But Tide’s ad might have been the smartest ad I’ve ever seen, and here’s why.

They suggested that any ad with clean clothes, was in fact, a Tide ad. And they’re right. For the rest of the Super Bowl, every time there was a single ad, my friends and I looked for stains on shirts and suggested that maybe THIS was a Tide ad as well. One time we were right. Commercials now have two categories in my mind; Tide ad and not a Tide ad. We mused that it would be amazing if they did an ad where they pretended to be the game itself, stating “this isn’t the SuperBowl…it’s a Tide ad”.

Then there was an ad for (to me) a no name detergent (which apparently is WAY bigger than Tide globally) and my first thought was, this has got to be a Tide ad. I couldn’t tell you what that brand was, only that it wasn’t Tide.

Now, am I going to buy Tide? No.

My wife and I use a local, eco friendly detergent company for all of our cleaning needs.

And part of me wonders what drives someone to make a change from one detergent to another.

But here’s what I KNOW.

  1. Tide had the best, most memorable, ad of the super bowl, especially if you’re talking brand awareness.
  2. David Harbour is really enjoying the fame he’s received from Stranger Things. If you want to learn more, dig into his recent twitter antics.
  3. Marketing is changing. Do you need to show what your product does and why it’s good? Sure. I would argue that Tide absolutely did this. But more importantly, you need to involve people. You need to engage people. We DO NOT WANT ads. So if you’re going to serve them up, they better not be a mediocre soft drink ad. (I’m looking at you, Pepsi.

Also, this isn’t a blog post.

It’s a Tide ad.

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