Winners and Losers: Super Bowl 50 Advertising

The third most watched broadcast in U.S. television history featured more than just Beyoncé and a defensive win for the Denver Broncos. While the Super Bowl outcome wasn’t the one I was hoping for or expecting, several ads take the cake for their outstanding messages and resonation with 111.9 million viewers during Sunday night’s matchup.

the winners of super bowl 50

Yes, the Broncos, but no. The best advertisements of Super Bowl 50 made us laugh, cry, stare in silence, and share them with our nearest and dearest Facebook friends. Let’s take a look at those commercials and brands who stole the show.

t-mobile restricted bling

Agency: Publicis, Seattle

We all love Drake’s 2015 release of “Hotline Bling,” and if you don’t, well now it’s at least going to be stuck in your head for a while. Hidden fees have all cellular companies trying to pit themselves against each other. In T-Mobile‘s Super Bowl ad, the company is trying to highlight some of the common hidden fees of its competitors –  device upgrades, location restrictions, music streaming data charges – just to name a few.

Other wireless carriers may ruin everything, but they’ve helped create the perfect pop culture remix in “Restricted Bling” for those frustrated with their current providers.

the bud light party

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy, New York

With election season upon us, Bud Light has released its first in a series of many spots in its “Bud Light Party” campaign. With more millennials plugged into this election than ever before, Bud Light has seized the perfect opportunity to catch the attention of Super Bowl viewers who may be casting their votes for the first time this year.

The Bud Light Party sees itself as “the fake political party America needs right now. Because no matter where we all stand on the issues, we all sit on bar stools.” With comedy stars Amy Schumer, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, this ad definitely lightens the mood of ongoing political conversation.

I’ll be interested to see what else Bud Light rolls out in this series of ads. So far, they’ve got a down-to-earth and inviting vibe going in hopes of boosting brand sales across the country.

budweiser #giveadamn drunk driving PSA

Agency: Anomaly

You’d typically expect a drunk driving PSA to have a sad and thought-provoking tone. Budweiser’s ad featuring English actress Helen Mirren stands apart from the rest, but still keeps us thinking. In effort to call out drunk drivers using this “frank and unsensitive British lady,” Budweiser urges viewers to think twice before getting behind the wheel.

This ad is very matter-of-fact, and that’s exactly how it needs to be. Start sharing, because for every use of the hashtag #GiveADamn, Budweiser will spend $1 on safe ride programs. For a college student without access to Uber in my town, that’s a dollar very well spent.


If you say the Panthers, you’re wrong. While the team will #KeepPounding as they look forward to what next season will bring, these ads are just plain wrong, leaving us creeped out, disturbed and confused.

Mtn dew kickstarteR

Agency: BBDO, New York

Who on earth would have ever thought of a “puppymonkeybaby” and who wants to see one ever again? This commercial for Mountain Dew’s Kickstart energy drink has viewers wondering why. This is one of those ads that you might talk about and not even remember what brand it was even for.

While “puppymonkeybaby” is repeated over and over, all I could think is I never want one of these hybrid creatures to show up at my house. You know it’s bad when even Goosebumps author R.L. Stine was terrified by this ad.

NFl’s super bowl babies choir

Agency: Grey, New York

While I appreciate the NFL’s efforts to illustrate that “football is family,” this ad just left too many unpleasant visuals. While “it’s a day so super, it’s why [they] were born,” viewers were left thinking about all the future mom and dads of Denver celebrating the win later that night with the conception of their Super Bowl baby-to-be.

This one had me and my friends squirming every time it came on the TV. I just want to know, what happens when your favorite team loses? Is there a commercial for that, too?

draft your roster of bests and worsts

Super Bowl ads are always a hot topic among all viewers, but us marketers eat it up almost as much as buffalo chicken dip. What were your picks for best and worst ads of Super Bowl 50? Let us know in the comments below! Click here to view and re-live your favorite spots from this year’s Super Bowl on


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