The Alchemy of Ads Special: The Best Super Bowl 50 Commercials

6 min read
Feb 11, 2016
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best commercials super bowl 50

Super Bowl 50 is now officially a thing of the past. Denver Broncos took down Carolina Panthers, Lady Gaga sang the national anthem (and nailed it), Coldplay rocked the Levi's Stadium at halftime. But of course, Super Bowl is not only about the NFL and entertainment, it’s also about commercials.

Check out the special, Golden Bowl edition of Alchemy of Ads and witness the best Super Bowl 50 commercials!

The Blonde Bombshell

Do you remember last year’s Snickers Super Bowl spot with Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi?

This year, for the occasion of Super Bowl 50, the company decided to raise the bar and hired Marilyn Monroe (yes!) and Willem Dafoe. This short, 50s inspired commercial almost looks like it was directed by Scorsese and is a crowning achievement of the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign.

For some people this ad can be controversial, but for me – it’s one of the best ads I’ve seen in my life.

I guess it might be because I’m Willem’s great fan.

Audi R8: The Martian Commander

Here’s how this ad is described by Venables Bell & Partners, the agency that made this spot:

Surrounded by memories of the Space Age’s golden years, a retired astronaut has lost his zeal for life. But when his son shows up and hands over the keys to the new Audi R8, a rocket ride under the stars stirs newfound life within the Commander.

I can describe this ad with only one sentence: marketing done great. Everything about this ad is awesome: from the visuals to the marketing strategy.

The commercial refers to the latest pop-culture events. “The Martian” broke the box office two months ago and in a background we can hear “Stardust” from David Bowie, whose death is also it’s still fresh in the audience’s minds.

Emotions, emotions, emotions!


Remember Dodge “Wisdom”? It was made to celebrate Dodge’s 100th birthday.

Now, Jeep turns 75 and makes a quite similar spot. It stitches together more than 60 curated photos which tell the story of Jeep's history, and its drivers' role in it.

The idea might be somewhat secondary, but still – it’s a beautiful idea.

A new truck to love

What’s the best way to show that the truck-bed audio system is something you must have? By showing how much your sheeps would love it, of course!

This new Honda Ridgeline ad was twisted enough to draw the attention of the Super Bowl audience, but did not cross the line of weirdness. Queen’s “Somebody to love” is a hit that sticks to the head so picking it was a good choice.


After a huge hype around the commercial that was aired during Super Bowl 2015, Avocados from Mexico is back with an even more crazy commercial.

You already know that I love the ridiculous side of humor, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I fell in love with this funny and insightful spot.

Get ready to visit the Museum of Earthly Wonders!

An interesting fact was that the hashtag #AvosInSpace that accompanied the ad campaign, has outpaced all of its competitors when it comes to buzz on Twitter. It’s a proof that Big Game spots are just cherries on top of pre-game PR blitz and a post-game social media strategy.

It’s also a proof that everyone loves guacamole.

“Perfect! Here are the changes”

T-Mobile teamed up for this spot with Drake, a Grammy award winning musician. The commercial is funny and insightful, but I seriously doubt if it will make people switch their carriers.

The funny thing is that many people think that T-Mobile’s offer sucks and the spot made people kidding about switching carriers.

best super bowl 50 commercials


I have to confess that once I’ve finished watching this spot, I was like: Uhm, it was a commercial, wasn’t it? A car commercial, right? Uhm, what was the brand?

Luckily, Hyundai Elantra was presented in another spot, not as distracting as the previous one.

An interesting fact about those two commercials: the one with Ryan Reynolds seems to be destined for success. We have a hot celebrity appearance (Deadpool!) and a well known song (Salt-N-Pepa’s “What a man”) but the ad was watched “only” 11 million times on Youtube.

It’s the second ad, “The Chase”, that was played over 23 million times! Wow!

There's an explanation thought. I heard rumors that one of the two bears starring in “The Chase” partnered Leonardo DiCaprio in the “Revenant”. I guess in this case we can say that there was a celebrity starring in each of these commercials!

best super bowl 50 commercials


Do you know that feeling when something is so bad that you actually start to like it? Yup, that’s the Mountain Dew Kickstart commercial.

The idea was to combine three cute things. Sounds lovely, looks horrendous.

It’s ridiculous, weird and stupid. And yet, although the opinions about this ad are mixed, the spot was played 20 million times on Youtube. It’s a good example for controversy paying off – the ad got people talking so the Super Bowl mission is complete!

Honorable mentions

You may not know what the Turbo Tax is, but – hey, it’s sir Anthony Hopkins! And he’s not selling out.

Another honorable mention comes from Amazon. Its first-ever Super Bowl ad focuses on the Echo speaker, Alexia (the virtual assistant) and Alec Baldwin alongside American football legend Dan Marino.

Hall of shame

I know that there is no point of showing you the worst Super Bowl commercials but I just couldn’t help it. SoFi’s commercial is so bad that I cannot leave it without a comment.

I guess it was supposed to be funny (or something), but it’s just ridiculously bad. The commercial focuses on the fact that the bank gives loans to great people only, which means probably most of us wouldn’t get it. Take that, suckers!

I understand that Super Bowl spots should be controversial, but that might be a bit too much. When I’ve finished watching this spot, I was like “f*** you, SoFi, whatever you are!”

I guess that’s not the kind of reaction SoFi was hoping to get.

What are your best Super Bowl 50 commercials?

This year’s Super Bowl was all about celebrities, music hits and crazy humor. It was also about numbers. A 30-second spot costed $5,000,000 and its audience was third largest in TV history: the game was watched by an averaged 111.9 million TV viewers.

I wonder what are your thoughts about this event.

What was your favourite commercial? I liked Snickers the most, but maybe you liked the Pokemon and Doritos commercials better? Who was your favourite celebrity? Was it Christopher Walken or maybe Amy Schumer?

Let me know in the comments and see you in the next episode of the Alchemy of Ads!

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