The Winners and Losers Of Super Bowl 50 Advertising and Commercials

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Super Bowl 50. The golden anniversary of The Big Game. Panthers vs Broncos. Newton vs Manning. The biggest game of the year had the eyes of the world on every moment. And in the end, Von Miller and the Broncos defense shut down the Panthers and helped to secure a 24-10 victory at Levi Stadium.

With all of the exposure, brands once again paid some big bucks to get exposure on the biggest stage. With all of this, they needed to be on their A-game, both on TV and online. Some brands won. Some brands lost. Here are my winners and losers from Super Bowl 50.



By my count, there were NINE movie trailers to air during the game and one that received a little love from Turkish Airlines in the postgame. Four of them used hashtags to directly engage with fans online and one that had a voting contest between its two main characters.

  • Captain America: Civil War made an appearance in the first quarter with a dramatic, haunting trailer that showed the majority of its major players in one scene at the end. Also, Marvel took to Twitter and had fans vote for who they want to win the “Civil War” between Captain America and Iron Man.
  • The Jungle Book debuted a new ad that let us hear Bill Murray speak for the first time. The animals also were shown in 3D, expanding beyond the frames of the widescreen ad at times. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it, and I’m sure many more will be encouraged to see it in 3D after today.
  • Jason Bourne is back. No more needs to be said. The next chapter of the Bourne series showed itself for the first time during the 2nd quarter. There were no trailers or social media hype prior to tonight.
  • The next edition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted tonight as well. The movie, partially filmed in my hometown of Buffalo, combined humor and action as only TMNT can.


Doritos started off strong and ended the evening strong. Before the game began, they ran a social media contest where they would push the top tweets. In the end, the #Doritos hashtag was one of the top trends in the United States well before the game began.

During the game, they had two different ads air during the game. Both aimed to be funny and both hit the mark. They were fan-submitted and aired on Youtube before the game but still generated lots of social buzz during the game. Another big win for Doritos.

Mountain Dew

The ad was weird. Very weird. I personally was not the biggest fan of it. However, it won in the social chatter realm. The wacky piece about a “Puppy Monkey Baby” was released prior to the Super Bowl & was aired in the 1st quarter.

It did not feature a hashtag in the ad but eventually, #puppymonkeybaby became a thing and Mountain Dew ran with it. During the first half, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence, the ad generated more than 50,000 tweets. With that kind of exposure, it will be interesting to see what MD does with it down the road.


The car company released THREE ads during the beginning of the game, all of them with a different star and different style of message. This spread-out approach caught fans when they were the most engaged in the game, and it also came with one of the best ads from the game.

  • In the pregame, First Date with Kevin Hart shows Kevin as an over-protective father while highlighting some of the additional features of the car, like car tracking.
  • The Chase with talking bears shows voice-controlled features that can be done with their new models.
  • Ryanville with Ryan Reynolds shows auto-braking with the vehicle when pedestrians are in front of it.


Last year, I mentioned that T-Mobile were one of the losers from the Super Bowl as I was not impressed with their ads at all. This year, that changed as both of their commercials were funny and poked fun at their lead actors in a funny way.

  • Steve Harvey poked fun at his blunder in the Miss Universe pageant and said how Verizon was using outdated numbers and facts in their commercials.
  • Drake popped up in the 4th Quarter and showed how other carriers besides T-Mobile (especially Sprint I’m guessing because there seemed to be a lot of yellow) have hidden fees and charges when calling or using data.



Health Issues

Last year, Jublia made an appearance and tried to make tackling foot fungus cool. It didn’t really work, as many felt this was an awkward place to put it. Well… they came back this year and it had the same effect on me and many others.

Next, OIC showed up and talk about constipation and digestive issues… while people are probably eating. This made for some comedy on the internet but it might not have necessarily been worth the ad buy.

Lastly, Xifaxan had an ad about how to stop diarrhea. In a day with Quesalupas from Taco Bell and chicken wings galore, the right thought was there. However, the goofiness of the main character was the main takeaway from the commercial and not necessarily the product itself.


Budweiser had at least one ad with puppies in the previous two Super Bowls. This year, they went away from the puppies, and it was a strikeout.

  • Their first ad, an intense look at the “ruggedness” and the drinkability of the beer, continued their trend of taking shots at craft beers and that whole industry, while Anheuser Busch is acquiring more and more craft breweries as they become more popular. A little hypocritical, don’t you think?
  • Their second ad, which was featured in Twitter ads before the game, showed Helen Mirren scolding drunk drivers. While the intentions are there, I think their drunk driving ad with the dog drove home the message better.


The first-time advertisers in the Super Bowl had to take out lines from their original ad because they were deemed too offensive. Even with that, they still essentially called some people “losers” and that they wouldn’t be great enough to use their services. With Paypal talking about the “new money” and how it could be used by all, SoFi missed the mark.


During the game, Squarespace had comedians Key and Peele on one of their sites doing live commentary of the Super Bowl in a very goofy way. They also had an ad during the game with a commercial of Key and Peele pushing this website.

While the ad was funny and the stream was entertaining, I feel they wasted the millions of dollars it cost to air it. They could’ve invested that money in ads on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc as they want to get fans that are online to load up their stream and talk about it. I think when they look at this, they will find this wasn’t worth it in the end.

Mobile Games

Last year, mobile games were one of the major players in the ad space, thanks to Clash of Clans and Game of War. This year, Mobile Strike had an ad that blended in too much with the marketing it already does on TV. That was it. No one else came to play. Did the others not benefit from having ads last year?


Just like last year, social media played a massive role in brand marketing during the game. Here were some of the examples of what was done during the game.

  • From pregame to postgame, I counted 85 ads. 37 of them used hashtags to help guide fans to social media & help them react in a way in which they could track.
  • Brands were sure to engage with each other, not just with fans, as the game went along. Some of it was friendly conversation. Some of it, like Shock Top and Verizon, were not so friendly.
  • Snapchat was supposed to play a major player in the social media game during the Super Bowl and they did just that. There were three live stories about the Super Bowl that could be viewed around the world. Companies like Bud Light, Amazon, and Lands End all bought ads that were integrated in these live stories. Brands like Gatorade and each of the teams had their own filters for selfies.
  • Peyton Manning has a large number of endorsement deals and those companies made the most of these chances as soon as he won. Nationwide not only celebrated Peyton’s win, but the Broncos as well. Gatorade had a video ready to go that was advertised on Youtube as soon as the game was over. Finally,Papa Johns and Budweiser got some nice exposure with what happened immediately after the game.
  • The top post from the game that might have gotten the biggest buzz was not from either of the teams, but from Marshawn Lynch announcing his retirement in the most Marshawn way possible. Needless to say, he got some good exposure for sharing this right in the middle of the biggest game of the year.


5. Honda

4. Doritos

3. Hyundai

2. Avocados From Mexico

1. Heinz

What were your favorite ads or social media posts? Feel free to share in the comments below!

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Social Media, Sports, Technology

One response to “The Winners and Losers Of Super Bowl 50 Advertising and Commercials

  1. Ah come on, the baby ad was the best ad hands down!!!! I bet you it has the highest recall of all tomorrow when I survey the students.


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