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Around the Web: Super bowl ads left much to be desired

From the disappointing SpongeBob SquarePants tribute at halftime to the boring and frustrating game between the Patriots and the Rams — the lowest-scoring game in Super Bowl history — it is easy to see why fans were excited for the next round of commercials. However, fans should have been equally disappointed by the ads that were neither funny nor clever.

Many commercials this year tried to make a statement, but only a couple of them really hit home with the viewers. Statements aside, even fewer were actually funny, especially when comparing them to hits like Doritos’ “Time Machine” and Mountain Dew’s “Puppy Monkey Baby.”

The ad, “Can I Have a Bublé?” from sparkling water company Bubly was one of the few entertaining commercials of the night, receiving an A- from the Chicago Tribune’s ranked list of commercials. The ad shows singer Michael Bublé incorrectly pronouncing the sparkling water’s brand name to match his last name’s pronunciation and tries to get everyone else to say it his way. In the end, he marks over the “y” in Bubly and replaces it with the “é” of his last name. The childlike nature of Bublé and the funny banter from the others makes this ad unforgettable.

A more relatable take for an ad came with the chain of commercials from T-Mobile. In one of the four ads, a dad is trying to ask Google how to make eggplant parmigiana but keeps texting his daughter on accident instead. All of these ads are funny because they are depicting common situations that much of the audience can relate to.

Other commercials appealed to the climate and demographics of society today. The Bumble commercial starring Serena Williams, which promoted the company’s dating app on which women make the first move, delivered a message of female empowerment. The Microsoft commercial called “We All Win” — featuring the new Xbox Adaptive Controller for people with challenges using normal controllers — was heartwarming and appealed to a more diverse audience. While not memorable for being funny, they provided a creative take that inspired viewers.

Then there were the flops of the night, which made the biggest impact on the companies who ran them. There were the ads that just didn’t make sense, like Budweiser’s “Wind Never Felt Better” commercial, which attempted to show old methods of transportation like horses in a scene with wind turbines. The audience Budweiser was trying to appeal to wasn’t really clear, and its overall message wasn’t really either.

Doritos let all of its fans down with its ad “Chance the Rapper x Backstreet Boys,” which was supposed to be promoting Flamin’ Hot Nacho Doritos but was actually just a collaboration on the Backstreet Boys song, “I Want It That Way.” The hashtag #NowItsHot also doesn’t make sense with the context of the ad.

Companies that usually make their mark with memorable ads during the Super Bowl did their companies a major disservice and possibly lost them a lot of money. Companies that did have a memorable effect on audiences were companies that usually aren’t known for impactful Super Bowl ads, so they are the true winners. For everyone else, the goal is not to make a statement but to produce a funny or relatable advertisement that is relevant to their brand.

Charlotte Caldwell is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Charlotte? Email her at

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