Chelsie Layman

My Take on Super Bowl LI Ads

By Chelsie Layman on February 7, 2017

Brands should be more human. That’s our philosophy. That’s also the question I asked myself when thinking about the Super Bowl ads this year.

Let’s start off by sending a huge congratulations to all of the advertisers who had a spot featured during the Super Bowl this year. I can only imagine all of the work that went into making those seconds come to life on our screen. I hope you got to take Monday off. *high five*


The Good

This year’s Super Bowl ads were beautifully shot, featured a healthy dose of emotion and seemed to be more inclusive than in previous years.

The themes of the night appeared to be diversity and a fighting spirit, even if they sometimes didn’t fit with the brand, you felt it. For example, the Honda ad was great, with the positive messages about believing in yourself and chasing your dreams. But, it didn’t quite feel like a car commercial, as the car was barely mentioned or related to the overall message. The Airbnb ad was simple, delivering the message that everyone is welcome reiterating with #WeAccept. But if you weren’t paying attention you may have missed that it was Airbnb.

I am still not going to drink Budweiser, but the brand was able to share a strong story in a very limited amount of time. Coca-Cola running the America the Beautiful spot again this year was a major highlight for me. This was originally aired in 2014, but is still as beautiful as ever. Coca-Cola could run that ad every year and it would still give me the warm fuzzies every time.

The Bad

Even the bad spots weren’t that bad… just sort of meh. It was nice not to watch anything that felt overly offensive or caused my eyes to roll to the back of my skull. If I had to pick one that I thought was the worst I would have to go with the WeatherTech spot. C’mon, time standing still to create a floor mat and install it all before the coffee spilled? Trying way too hard on that one.

And the Huh?

Was anyone else scratching their heads after the Yellowtail spot? Just a strange ad overall. It tried really hard to make Yellowtail a crazy-fun party drink. I love me some cheap wine, but that spot just missed the mark for me. But cheers to them for finding a way around the Anheuser-Busch exclusive category ad rights for the Super Bowl by buying local ads in 70 TV markets to cover a larger portion of the U.S.

Final Thoughts

After taking some time to digest, I didn’t feel like any of the spots on Sunday stood out from the crowd. The good ones felt just shy of great and the bad ones weren’t bad enough for a “can you believe they did that?” reaction. I wasn’t dying to talk about any on Monday and no one else seemed excited to talk about them either.

So what do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Did you have favorites during the game? Now that we’ve all had some time, which ads do you still think were *fire emoji*?

Chelsie Layman is an Assistant PR/Social Media Specialist at Core Creative.