The Definitive Ranking of the 2015 Superb Owl Ads

Needless to say, 2015 has been a pretty sad year when you really stop to think about it. Let’s have a quick recap about the misery so far:

  1. The Patriots won the Super Bowl.
  2. The dead Nationwide kid.
  3. The continuing ravages of ISIL in the Middle East.
  4. Measles taking over the happiest place on Earth. Side note: VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN.
  5. An oddly serious and gloomy Grammys.
  6. The Patriots won the Super Bowl.

And all joking aside, the Chapel Hill Shootings.

Needless to say, the ads were interesting this year. But before the ravages of time lead them to be forgotten forever–let’s count down to find the best ads of all time. Starting with number

66) Lexus NX

Meh. Just meh. The ad isn’t any different from a regular luxury car ad. Which lately have been overrun with nonsense (here’s looking at you, Matthew McConaughey). I mean, the ad is pretty. But there’s no real aim or goal here apart from some sexy action shots of the car. Cool.

Glitzy, useless, yawn.

65) Understanding What’s Important, Chris Dambach | M&T Bank

I understand that Mr. Dambach has a military connection. And the brave men and women that fight and die for American values worldwide deserve to be respected–especially for an event as quintessentially American as the Super Bowl. That being said: really? Is this the best you can do to show respect for our servicemen and women? SMH.

Pandery, Boring, Could have done better.

64) Dig | USA Network

There’s nothing wrong with this ad per se, it sorta did pique my interest–but only when I was watching it to write this article (read, when I was giving it undivided critical attention). During the game I’m sure I didn’t even notice it–least of all anyone else.

Meh, mildly interesting, like any other show trailer.

63) Terminator: Genisys

I mean, yeah. It’s a pretty cool trailer for a movie that’s coming out soon. That’s just about the extent of my opinion. Needless to say, I’m not all that amused by it.

Redundant. Yawn. Another one?

62) Ted 2

I appreciate the timing of Tom Brady being in both an ad and in a movie during the very game in which he’s playing. That being said, do we really need another one?

Nice coincidental timing. Pretty decent trailer. Yeah.

61) Proof of Life | NBC Odyssey

It’s simple, quick, and by not telling us much it really got my attention.. Thing is, it wasn’t all that entertaining for being a Superb Owl ad.

Interesting. Cool-looking. A tad too mysterious.

60) Understanding What’s Important, Fred Jackson | M&T Bank

Better than the other ad to be sure. It’s still a pretty boring concept for an ad. Still, using a football player is still a stronger touch since it ties the ad into the occasion.

Still boring. Could have used a better idea. But football player.

59) Working | GoDaddy

First off. Really? They have a history of sex ads and you all choose to get salty over THIS ORIGINAL AD? I call beyond BS. Y’all need to take a chill pill.

salty

But back to the broadcasted ad. It’s pretty simple to tell that it was a rush job based on how shitty it was. There was one redeeming line: “He will be eating zero-layer dip.” That’s just about it. I’m HEAVILY disappointed both at all of you for getting mad at an ad that was nonoffensive–AND at GoDaddy for caving into useless pressure and releasing this terrible excuse for a commercial.

Rush job. 10 times crappier than the original. GoDaddy will be eating zero layer dip tonight.

58) Furious 7

There’s nothing really wrong with the ad as a whole. To be honest, it’s a pretty good ad. Thing is, it’s all gimmick. There’s no real substance to it. But MAN is it had to not really want to see that movie.

Flashy. Aggressively American. Damnit, it piqued my interest.

57) Fifty Shades of Grey

I’ll admit, the ad was a little bit braggy when it brought up the number of hits on the trailer. But it seems like 50 Shades is about to become a mega franchise. What that say about this nation, I’ll leave to you. I will say that everyone is low-key obsessed with this movie regardless of whether we support it or not.

Not much different from other movie trailers. 50 Shades of sex. Sultry.

56) Au Naturel | Carl’s Jr.

The use of double entendre was mildly clever, but seriously overdone. And while no one eats a burger like that, I admire them for trying to keep up with the times. Still, I’m sure there was a cleverer way to sell burgers during the Super Bowl.

Clever in an overdone way. But Boobs! Butts!

55) Who Am I | Game of War

*sigh* Let’s start with the name. Could you get less creative? Game of War? Really? But I digress. The use of Kate Upton is deliberately pandering to a very specific subset of American culture. This was neither funny nor special; and while you can argue it was epic you can also argue that it wasn’t.

Pandery. Sex. TV Tropes out the wazoo.

54) The World Has Changed | Redfin

It’s informational, and has elements that kinda resemble humor? I would expect this ad airing during reruns of NCIS, not of one of the largest games of the year (during a non-World Cup and Olympic year).

This ad’s a thing. It happened. Moving on.

53) Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect was a pleasant movie–any by pleasant I mean pretty darn enjoyable. This movie promises to keep on delivering on that comedy with some good lines. As a trailer, it’s pretty average. As a concept? WIN.

Average. Funny. Cool.

52) Middle Seat | Doritos

Yeah, this is a pretty classic Doritos ad. I’ll admit, it was a little predictable–c’mon, we all knew that the man in the seat wouldn’t completely win  in this situation. Karma has to balance somehow!

Predictable. Enjoyable. I want Doritos now.

51) #KimsDataStash | T-Mobile

Get it, Kim has a stash. Get it?

I love that Kim Kardashian acknowledges her reputation and takes in in great stride! The use of the ASPCA’s “save the puppies” trope is beautiful. All in all, not a bad ad, but a little too understated to compete against some of the other heavy hitters.

Nice. Clever. Not really memorable.

50) Up for Whatever, Real Life Pac Man | Bud Light

I love that Bud Light is consistent with its Up for Whatever campaign from last year. This year’s ad was WAY better than last year. Yet somehow, the acting was still TERRIBLE. Despite all that, admit it, you REALLY want to play live Pac Man now. Like, really really badly.

Flashy. Bad acting. Still awesome.

49) Estella’s Brilliant Bus | Microsoft

This is a good ad with a pretty good message. It’s not particularly inspiring or impactful. Still, the charity that got featured more than likely got some more donations pouring in after filming. Cute kids are always a plus!

Relatively cute. Standard. Not too special.

48) Come Back to the Sea | Carnival Corporation

This ad is ranty. The spoken word is very hipsterish and very highfalutin’. Apart from that, let’s be honest, the ad was average. Still, it was chock full of some absolutely stunning shots of the sea and its ships.

Beautiful camerawork. Boring. Artsty.

47) Victoria’s Secret

We all know that sex sells–and we all know that Victoria’s Secret sells. This ad works simply because it’s tastefully done. Very tastefully done. There’s no hiding that it’s about sex; but in terms of ads it’s sultry and exactly what you’d want an ad for lingerie to be. The best line? “Let the real games begin.”

Tasteful. Sultry. The Patriot’s game balls weren’t all that was deflated that night (wink wink, nudge nudge).

46) All You Can Eat | Weightwatchers

There’s no denying that the camerawork here is pretty nice. As a concept, it’s a bit mediocre. Thing is, it still works somehow. Let’s be honest, its message rings true; it can be hard to control our eating and there are hints that it might be generational.

Cliche. Mediocre. Still pretty effective.

 45) Hangar | Northrop Grumman

Let me admit some bias here. I wrote my high school senior exit on blended wing body aircraft like the ones featured in this ad. I could pick out the YB-49, B-2 the instant they appeared on screen. So this ranking is a bit elevated. But c’mon! Look at that airplane porn. Look at those sexy angles on the B-2. How can you not fall in love with this?

Airplaney. High tech. If you’re not all that into planes, a mite mediocre.

 44) Braylon O’Neill | Microsoft

I’ll say this, there was a definite trend of highlighting prosthesis this Super Bowl. Compared to the Brilliant Bus ad, this one is much, much stronger, inspirational, and emotive than the other one. Seeing the kid’s progress and smiling face just make you want to go “awwww.”

Cute. Inspirational. All-around swell.

43) Jurassic World

My childhood dreams are REAL! And terrifying! Jurassic World’s trailer gets bonus points for evoking nostalgia and more for getting my interest up. This was one of the better trailers of the year.

Scary. Interesting. Roar.

42) Real Strength | Dove

Let’s face it, most of the people watching the Bowl are men. And of those men, a large chunk of those men are dads. The ad was lighthearted, memorable, and made me want to call my dad to tell him how much I love him. Then it had to go and ruin the whole thing with the detached narrator at the end of the ad. C’mon. You ruined the moment.

Light. Cute. Sterile.

41) When Pigs Fly | Doritos

When pigs fly has been done so much. It’s dead. It’s so dead, it’s bacon. That much. Still, this was a fun take and the better of the two Doritos ads–if only because you knew it was going to be predictable right from the get-go.

Fun. Funny. Bacon.

40) How Great I Am | Toyota Camry

More prosthesis this time around. Hey, this ad is simple but gets the message across. The car’s good, and highlighting someone who’s pretty damn great is a pretty good way to honor someone. Sadly, it’s not a good way to sell a car.

Kinda boring. Nothing really special. But kudos for supporting special athletes.

39) Epic Confrontation | NBC The Voice

This is too much. Real talk, this show isn’t all that special. The ad makes the show seem like way more than it actually is. Still, you can’t deny that if the judges actually flew backwards and fought until one remained to get that person to join their team–you’d watch that show in a hearbeat.

Overdone. Overdone. Overdone.

38) Data Vulture | T-Mobile

Hey, comparing carriers to vultures work (cause carriers feast on the carrion of your data! ZING!). But really though. This is a clever way of getting a message across and really showcases how crazy T-Mo is in relation to the other carriers.

Smart. Iconoclastic. Raptors.

37) Dream Fearlessly | American Family Insurance

See, this is what a Super Bowl ad should be. This isn’t too serious, this isn’t too gaudy. It’s simple, it’s touching, and it’s lighthearted. Getting undiscovered talent to do an ad must have seemed like crazy talk at the time. But they all looked really happy to be on screen.

Touching. Lighthearted. Broadway.

36) My Bold Dad | Toyota Camry

See? It’s possible to make an ad about dads that features the military without being overly dramatic, pandery, and fake. This ad hits all of those notes and turns them into a symphony. It weaves a story of the love between a father and her daughter. And best of all, there’s no detached narration at the end like in the Dove commercial.

Tear-jerking. Bittersweet. Loving.

35) Tomorrowland

I wanna go. I’ll be honest, I didn’t lend this movie much attention when the trailer first came out. But as time went on I really began to like this more and more and more. This trailer hits the Goldilocks spot right on the money and refuses to come out until you’ve seen the movie. So what are you waiting for?

Futuristic. Magical. Goldilocks.

34) Pay with Lovin’ | McDonald’s

There’s so much winning in this ad that Charlie Sheen gave up on everything and started selling biscuits outside of a monastery. Mickey D’s finally stated living up to its “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan and began making people pay with acts of love and compassion. While the cynic might say that its encroaching into Coca-Cola’s territory (more on that later) I say screw em! The world needs more loving and more happy.

Loving. Light-hearted. Epic winning.

33) It’s that Easy | Wix

THIS IS WHAT SUPER BOWL ADS ARE ALL ABOUT! Using athletes in comedic settings, getting the message across in a light-hearted way. I literally have no complaints about this advertisement.

Funny. Simple. Yes.

32) The Return of Reed | NBC The Blacklist

Juxtapostion is a word that we learn about in English class in high school. It means

the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.

That is all you need to know.

Clever. Understated. Juxtaposition.

31) Get Fired Up | NBC Undateable

True, this ad doesn’t really have any substance to it. Thing is, some can get away with it because they don’t need any substance. If you want to see firemen dancing to the tune of “Turn Down for What”, so be it. I’ll be watching them get sprayed.

Sexy. Flirty. Is actually a Victoria’s Secret ad in disguise.

30) Neil Patrick Harris | NBC

Fifteen seconds. A lot can happen in 15 seconds. In 15 seconds at 65 miles per hour, you will have traveled 1429.95 feet or 476.75 yards or 4.7675 football fields. Take that, Patriots.

Yet, in those 4.7676 football fields, Neil Patrick Harris tells us everything we need to know about his show.

Fun. Frenetic. 95.33*15 = 1429.95/3 = 476.75 / 100 = 4.7675.

29) Like a Girl | Always

First off, that little girl who literally runs across the screen when they ask what it’s like to run like a girl is FRIGGIN adorable. This is one of those ads for a newer Super Bowl generation–one where the audience isn’t just made of men testosteroning over 10 total minutes of action. This ad empowers girls to aspire and work towards being the best they can be. So kudos, Always.

Added bonus, this ad pisses off meninists. And that’s a really good thing.

Empowering. New Age. Go jump off a cruise ship in international waters, meninists.

28) Make Safe Happen | Nationwide

Here’s my reaction: “D’awww, poor kid. You can do it kid! Don’t give up! Wait what? *Stunned silence*

**

**

**

**

Daww+except+for+the+fact+_a98355508d9a9206f6c722c1cc579a3c

In one of the largest shocks in Super Bowl history, Nationwide slapped an entire people about the face and neck with a gonad called stark reality–and we’re still trying to figure out how we feel about that. This ad is real, maybe a bit too real. Nevertheless, it worked. Nationwide achieved it’s goal: getting people to think about child safety in the realm of the mundane.

Sad. Really Sad. Check out makesafehappen.com for more advice.

27) Minions

On a happier note, Minions! This is everything from tailored to the sporting event to short enough to really speak volues about the movie. This is gonna be a cute one!

Cute. Silly. #swingthosepantsbaby

26) Together We Make Football | National Football League

This basically covers most of America. Let’s recap who was featured here:

  • Many sports teams
  • The Penguins of Madagascar
  • The LEGO Movie
  • Bronies
  • Astronauts
  • The British
  • The US Military

Yeah, this works.

Fast. Cheerful. Energetic.

25) Settle It | Skittles

Yeah, ok. I see what you did there, you clever marketing team you.

Fast. Colorful. Steroid violations.

24) Newfangled Idea | BMW i3

This is a little more nuanced. But its use of parallels between the past and present made up just about all the humor here. That’s not to say that it wasn’t completely un-funny for all. The “can you twerk?” “Maybe.” line was 100% bona fide ADORBS. The best part is, it makes the audience receptive to the sales pitch at the end.

Cute. Critical. Smart. 

23) Beautiful Lands | Jeep Renegade

This ad is local. This ad is global. From the lovely angles, to the beautiful lighting.

This ad was made for you and me.

But seriously. Everything about the commercial is beautiful. There’re so many images from around the world that are so beautiful. I almost want to pause every time the scenery changes just to take it all in. Also, that last line is amazingly introspective: “The world is a gift, play responsibly.”

Gorgeous. Simply stunning. Inclusive.

22) First Draft Ever | Avocados from Mexico

This ad being tailored to the Super Bowl, it’s perfection. Because get it! The dodo bird is extinct! Still, I can’t help feeling sorry for the polar bear here–all he wanted was the beach.

Delicious. Clever. I want guacamole.

21) The Perfect Getaway | Kia Sorento

Somehow I get a feeling that this concept isn’t quite new. But even if it isn’t, there’s a reason why it workd. Pierce’s face when he hears he’s facing a moose is PRICELESS! The last line really boosted the ad when he asks “Can I keep the car? Ok I’m in.”

Funny. Winner of most moose feature in the 2015 Super Bowl Award. My cabin.

20) Make It Happy | Coca Cola

See, this is a company that’s stuck to its guns–and has made some really nice changes around the world based on its Open Happiness campaign. So what did the masters of happiness do this time around? Rocked the house. In an age where cyberbullying is beginning to take the national stage, Coca Cola takes a positive spin on it, and urges us to be kind to others online. If you’ll excuse me know, I’m gonna go open some nice, ice cold happiness.

Smart. Timely. Refreshing.

19) Push It | Geico

Here’s another great continuation of an awesome campaign. Bringing back Salt and Pepa was a much-needed blast from the past. It seems like, with Geico, 30 seconds could save your 15% or more on car insurance.

Funny. Not really different. I’m pushing it real good.

18) Let’s Play | Lexus RC

Admit it. This ad is impressive as hell. No, no as hell. This ad goes beyond impressive as hell (WARNING! CONTAINS FLASHING LIGHTS AND IMAGES.). I want to learn how the RC guy did that. And just as I was blown away by the RC magic. BOOM. There came the real car. It was a one-two slap in the face of pure, unadulterated awesomeness.

Hands down, this is one of the best car ads I’ve seen in a while. And the RC Lexus RC is clever wordplay.

Impressive. Impressive. I see what you did there.

17) WiFi Calling | T-Mobile

There’s literally nothing to hate here. From a practical perspective, it did a good job of informing us what was going on. From a practical perspective. It was funny as all heck. Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler’s oneupmanship is hands-down hilarious! That and the rabbit line.

Funny. Effective. Not a rabbit.

16) NO MORE

Things took a turn for the serious–both with this ad and at the Grammys. Thing is, this turn is needed. Rape, attempted rape, domestic abuse, frankly that whole gamut needs to stop now. This ad took a real dialogue and brought it back to life in front of millions. We needed that and we need more of that.

For more information about No More, click here.

Serious. Appropriate. Pledge now.

15) EAT24

If you hate this ad. Then you hate childhood. Because you hate Iago. Probably because you’re hangry. C’mon now. But seriously, Gilbert Gottfried and Snoop are perfect together. Frankly, I really want to have dinner with them both. They’d make for great companions. And who knows, we might just end up using EAT24.

Hilarious. Hangry. Magical Disney Parrots.

14) Invisible Mindy | Nationwide

Misleading. This was was just misleading. And I’m still trying to figure out if I’m mad, sad, or emotive at all about the cruel, cruel bait and switch they pulled by showing the kid that dies after this one. This ad was so happy, so non-offensively pleasant. It almost convinces me that they wanted to butter us up before going in for the kill shot. Literally.

Fun. Nice. Evil.

13) The Brady Bunch | Snickers

Another continuation, another high rank. We’ve all come to know and love the Snickers commercials featuring Betty White–and they keep that momentum more than alive with this one. This time, though, there’s something special. There’s something about seeing Machete wielding an ax that’s just…calming. Well, that and Steve Buscemi.

Marsha. Marsha. Marsha.

12) With Dad | Nissan

Many a wee lad wants to be like his dad–and that’s a great thing. However, when dad is an international racer…trying to be like him might get a kid in trouble on more than one occasion. But it also serves as inspiration to soar. With no words, Nissan painted a picture that showed us a cross-section of real emotions: fear, love, anger, disappointment, real joy. There was no pandering. There was no overly dramatic acting. Just clean, simple emotions.

Clean. Simple. Emotions.

11) Revenge | Clash of Clans

I used to think that Liam’s scariest scene ever was this one in Taken. Boy was I wrong. The way that Liam Neeson just half turned off the scary to pick up his scone was legitimately terrifying. Like, scarier than his scene in “Taken.” On the basis of casting decisions alone, this takes the scone.

Scary. As f*ck. AngryNeeson52.

The WMAC Top Tens.

10) Because Burrito | Grubhub

See? Ads don’t need much dialogue to be good. After watching this, I feel like I witnessed a religious moment that will forever change the way I see everything in my life. Let me rephrase this. I’m Mexican. Burritos are mundane as all heck. And yet this flying burrito changed my life for the better. The only other strange flying thing that changed my life that much is Kapo, the Haiwaiian Goddess of Fertility and her flying, detachable…er…Watch this video for a ukulele-based musical lesson in Goddess Kapo. Warning. This video comes from Cards Against Humanity. If you offend easily, you’re better off watching this educational video about Coal.

It’s just the thing I need to take down the patriarchy, satisfaction guaranteed.

–Molly Lewis

Back on the topic of burritos, Grubhub’s slogan, “Click. Click. Food,” perfectly explains what the app does and how easy it is. Win win for all.

Click. Click. Food.

9) Wisdom | Dodge

People tend to respect you when you’re existed for darn near a century. So when Dodge turned 100 in 2014, they celebrated by getting some bona fide American nonagenarians and centenarians and had a party the only way they knew how: going fast. The ad has some good advice if you only listen, and the camera work is, dare I say it, on fleek. Congrats to Dodge on getting so serious and ranking so high on this list.

Well-done. Simple. Oddly extreme.

8) Tea Party | TurboTax

Let’s be honest. We all hate taxes. It was one of the major causes of our war for independence against Great Britain (to my British readers, Americans love you and your accents. But we won’t stand for any taxes whatsoever! Unless we do it to ourselves…)

Still. the warping of American history presented by Intuit wasn’t iconoclastic–but rather funny. The woman pulling the bayonet from the soldier was ironic enough for both Hipsters and the general population. All in all, I like it.

Historical. Funny. Alright then.

7) Fable | Mercedes-Benz AMG

We’re all familiar with the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. By this point it’s become such an overused metaphor that it’s kinda stopped being a metaphor. But despite the overdone-ness of the material, it managed to be funny in almost every way possible. The self-censorship of “Funny my ass *engine roar*,” the rabbit doe in the passenger seat. This is a fable for a modern generation. For all of those who love the game, Tay Tay has a lesson for you. 

Clever. A tad overdone. Funny nonetheless.

6) Band of Brands | Newcastle Brown Ale

Does this make fun of the consumerist culture that has pervaded throughout America and turned us all into mindless zombies?

No, actually. This is a refreshing approach to advertising that will probably only work for Newcastle a few times. I’ll let Aubrey Plaza explain their brilliant idea.

Football is a team sport, and now advertising is, too.

~Aubrey Plaza

Unique. Hilarious. Money-saving

5) Brewed the Hard Way | Budweiser

This ad’s just entertaining–and to a lesser extent–true. Beer culture in America is shifting towards craft breweries. And believe me, that’s a good thing. But for macro-breweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev, losing market share is a bad, bad thing. So this retaliation just works. They made fun of craft beer culture in a harmless way.

The best part is, when the craft beer culture uproared about being offended, Budweiser stood by its claim and didn’t issue an apology. Quoth Brian Perkins, Budweiser VP of Marketing:

The prevailing discourse in beer is that small must be good, and big must be bad. We don’t accept that. Lager is one of the most difficult styles to brew well, and we have the highest standards of care to get it right. We are owning who we are without apology.

Well, on one hand he’s right. They should not apologize.

Brash. Bold. American.

4) Positive Feelings | Loctite Glue

Can you hate this ad? It is physically possible for any self-respecting human being to get mad at an ad as wonderful as this? The answer is no. There’s nothing to hate here. This tells us what the product can do in a spectacular manner (I really want to try to glue beer to the wall and open it that way now) and is more entertaining than an Ylvis music video.

That last line, too. “Loctite saved our marriage.”

Flashy. Frenetic. Can save marriages.

3) The Blue Pill | FIAT

Let’s begin with a lesson. If you’re going to take that little blue pill with an…ahem…long effect, don’t throw it in your mouth. You risk feeding into a small, Italian hatchback and will subsequently suck at the Horizontal Tango. There were so many innuendos here that I don’t even know where to begin.

We know that it’s “Coming this Spring” 😉

We know that we should “hold out a little longer.” 😉

The ad, at least was pleasureable.

Fun. Flirty. 😉

2) Super Apology | Sprint

Despite bringing back memories of Taylor Swift’s goats, this ad sells me on its simplicity. Sprint just called Verizon and AT&T jackasses in front of millions of people. And that’s just too much funny to pass up. Let’s just hope they keep their promises, or we’ll say we should have known they were trouble when they walked in.

Using Bruno Mars at the end, perfect touch on a perfect ad.

Simple. Fun. Verizon and AT&T, get ready to get uptown funcked up.

1) Lost Dog | Budweiser

tumblr_lvhuuq55N71qhoyauThis was almost unbearably cute. The CLYDESDALES! Are protecting the sad, scared puppy! The song! Perfection incarnate. These puppy ads work, and I hope that they keep that momentum going for next year. The storytelling was on the ball and the emotions were all there. #bestbuds. #bestbuds for life.

I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more. Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles to fall down at your door cause that ad is SO FREAKING ADORABLE I CAN’T CONTAIN MYSELF.

__

See the 2014 Ad Ranking

Cover Image by New Old Stock

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