Congrats to the Kansas City Chiefs on their win over the San Francisco 49er’s during Super Bowl LIV. While most fans tuned in for some incredible football, members of the Woodall Creative Group team were dialed in to watch every glorious moment of advertising – each with an estimated price tag of $5M just to PLACE their spot during the Big Game. Here are our picks for the real winners of the Super Bowl – from a marketing perspective…

Tracy Woodall – WCG Founder and President

If there was a Super Bowl for the marketing industry, Tracy is the “coach” who would lead our team to victory. These are her picks for the most effective ads during SBLIV:

Watch: The Amazing Things 5G Won’t Do from Verizon

 “Using powerful still images and beautifully wrought messaging, this ad focused on the care, courage and sacrifice of serving others. While the benefits of the 5G product were effectively highlighted, the “Amazing Things” ad serves as proof positive that a high budget production is not required to create an impactful commercial.”

Watch: Be the One from Microsoft

 “How appropriate to highlight the 49ers female offensive assistant coach during this specific Super Bowl while subtly spotlighting the Microsoft Surface during coaching scenes. Using video and photos from Katie Sowers’ youth blended with sequences of her coaching the players and being “interviewed” in the locker room (a compelling image of a woman breaking the glass ceiling) with some terrific photos of young girls dressed out in football gear for a strong end, this is another example of an ad that didn’t require a high budget production to create an impactful message. As the leader of a woman-owned agency, I particularly love the powerful message, spoken by Katie herself: ‘I’m not trying to be the best female coach. I’m trying to be the best coach. All it takes is one. All it takes is one and then it opens the door for so many.’”

Jim Balke – WCG Creative Director

Our resident “quarterback” Jim offers up not just ONE, but two picks for best SBLIV ad as well as a couple of honorable mentions:

Watch: Typical American from Budweiser

“The best part about this for me is the cynical tone of the narrative in contrast to the good and heroic deeds visuals. Not just good and heroic but actual caught on video-put on the internet VIRAL good and heroic deeds performed by average folks (for the most part). Who drinks this average beverage but your average folks with whom they were connecting? Payoff product cap pop-off at the end with an inspiring common man exclamation point at the end, nice.”

 Watch: Password Paradise from Dashlane

“I’ve been on this boat. So relatable and kudos to an incredibly entertaining way of presenting the password predicament, covering all the usual PW blocks. Dashlane showed up big with a high quality, very entertaining ad for one of the few non-household named products.”

Jim also names these notables (because there were so many): AFM Shopping Network by Avocados From Mexico and Before Alexa from Amazon.

Nonni Csoka – WCG Client Relations

Our agency’s cheerleader, Nonni, also offers up two ads as her choices for the day’s playmakers:

Watch: Let it Rock from Facebook Groups

 “Displaying all the different ways to ‘rock,’I really liked the creative editing between scene transitions and superb timing on stopping – starting the song with what’s going on in the scene. This ad featured a great blend of ‘real’ types of activities that people may do along with some ‘funny/suggested’ types of groups. Great closing in bringing in Chris ROCK and ROCKy Balboa (aka Sylvester Stallone). The messaging was concise, and the SUGGESTIVE tone was ideal with just enough text appearing to let the audience know what’s going on and why. I was inspired to look through all the groups if for nothing more than for a light-hearted giggle.”

Watch: The Cool Ranch from DORITOS

“Always a contender, we can count on DORITOS to bring something new and fresh to the Super Bowl each year. The humor of this new take on a showdown featuring a dance off in place of a classic Old West gun fight was refreshing with a fun play on words with the ‘cool’ ranch. I particularly loved the quick humor from the horses. The theme ‘Cool Ranch Just Got Cooler’ works specifically for THIS commercial, but not seeing it long term. Maybe Doritos should have planned out a better slogan, that way they could have segued to future, less costly commercials. If that WAS their slogan, I can’t see it expanding to be very effective, seems limited. Not sure if it’s as memorable as Lays ‘You Can’t Eat Just One’.”

Kasie Bolling – WCG Content Specialist

In true Kasie fashion as the team’s “publicist,” her two picks evoke a variety of emotions:

Watch: Comfortable from Rocket Mortgage

“Featuring the ever so dreamy Jason Mamoa, this ad addresses what the concept of home means to all of us – a sanctuary where we can ‘let our guard down’, a place where we can ‘kick back and be completely comfortable in our own skin’… home is where you can ‘be yourself.’ As Jason utters each of these words, he sheds his boots – taking several inches off his height, sheds his signature well-muscled arms to reveal a couple of skinny little numbers, sheds his brawny torso in favor of a slender trunk, and – for the coup de gras – he removes his glorious head of hair. This ad proves that you can be hilarious while delivering a highly effective message: ‘Home is where you feel the most comfortable and Rocket Mortgage helps you feel comfortable financing that home with a personalized and convenient experience centered around you.’  What I liked most – besides Jason’s stunning set of peepers – is the staying power of this commercial. People were talking about it the next day, the day after that and so on. Between the price tag to land Marvel’s Aqua Man and the impressive CGI effects, it was an expensive gamble that likely paid off.”

Watch: Loretta from Google

“Okay, so it wouldn’t be ME if I didn’t include a tear-jerker on my list – and Google came through in spades with its Loretta ad. Featuring a widower seeking ways ‘to not forget,’ he asks Google to show him photos of his Loretta. As he looks through the time-worn images and videos of their life together, types a place they vacationed in the search bar and interacts verbally with Google’s search assistant as he reminisces the love of his life, my tears FLOWED. Not something one would expect from a Super Bowl ad. The final message was from Google… ‘a little help with the little things.’ This one will stay with me – and likely many of the 102 million total viewers who tuned in for Super Bowl LIV. Putting a personal face on what some might deem an impersonal search engine – well done, Google.”

Woodall Creative Group’s Picks for the REAL Winners of Super Bowl LII.

Regardless of whether your team won or lost OR if you were like the other 3.3 million people who simply tuned in to catch the halftime show, there were several clear MVPs during Super Bowl LII. An estimated 103 million people tuned in to watch the Super Bowl in its entirety this year, making it clear why advertisers are so willing to spend BIG BUCKS to not only cast and create, but also to place their ad during the game.

Members of Woodall Creative Group’s staff weigh in on their picks for the BEST commercials that aired during this year’s Big Game. Let’s see if you agree…


Tracy Woodall – Company Founder
Pick for Best Super Bowl Ad: Good Odds – Toyota
Why: For this year’s Super Bowl, Toyota pulled out all the stops by running not just one but three very different ads. The “odds on” favorite in my book for inspirational and emotional winner of the night had to be the Good Odds spot, spotlighting Paralympic Gold Medalist Lauren Woolstencroft. A soft, indirect approach is risky, but when well done it can connect with a brand. As it shows Woolstencroft beating the odds and breaking down barriers throughout her life, the ad ends by showing a number of Toyota creations to assist in mobility yet did not show a single standard car or truck. The tagline “When we are free to move, anything is possible” indicates to viewers that Toyota – like Woolstencroft – goes beyond what is expected. It was probably not the most talked about commercial from the Super Bowl, but very well done in connecting the Toyota brand with a winning attitude.


Jeffrey Love – Creative Director
Pick for Best Super Bowl Ad: Stand By You – Budweiser
Why: Emotional advertising is all the rage these days. Ads designed to elicit an emotion from the viewer – whether a tug at the heartstrings or a jab to the funny bone – are inherently engaging… making them more memorable. As expected, the production value of this ad is very high. Love the moment when the production line switches the highly recognizable beer can for water cans. Not only is that awesome product placement, but it drives home the point that this brand is not just about a lifestyle – it’s about peoples’ lives. That’s a really powerful message.


Kasie Bolling – Content Development
Pick for Best Super Bowl Ad: This Is Getting Old – E*Trade
Why: In addition to being hilarious (“Dropping sick beats – They call me DJ Nana” HA!), this ad uses a little-known secret weapon some savvy advertisers will occasionally employ… FEAR. As much as we love our jobs, no one wants to be 85 and still working! E*Trade positions itself as an unsung hero that has the potential to save us all from working odd jobs well into our golden years. While it could never live up to the former joy brought to the world by the much-loved and incredibly missed E*Trade baby of yesteryear, I believe this ad was incredibly well-done and highly effective. I’m seriously considering all of my own options for a retirement fund. A healthy dose of fear and funny goes a long way!


Honorable Mentions: A number of our other staffers had this to say about two innovative campaigns that extended their reach BEYOND the Super Bowl…


Skittles Ad Campaign
The “Super Bowl ad that never actually AIRED on the Super Bowl Award” goes to Skittles. They aired a video on social media stating that only ONE person would be able to view the Skittles Super Bowl ad during the Super Bowl – Marcos Menendez. This sparked a new take on their tagline “Exclusive the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.” The company also aired a series of “outtake” videos featuring David Schwimmer (Ross of Friends fame) as possible scenes from the actual ad. The company even showed an 18 minute video of lucky teenager, Marcos Menendez, WATCHING the commercial. His review? “One of the best commercials I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” While the ad never actually aired on TV and didn’t receive the viewership that many Super Bowl ads enjoy, it has received a lot of earned media – extending its reach far beyond the parameters of the Super Bowl. We love this concept for its sheer innovation – plus we love David Schwimmer.


Doritos/Mountain Dew Ad Campaign
There was a lot of buzz around the combined ads featuring a rap-off battle of sorts between two celebrity powerhouses, Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman – lip syncing the praises of two powerhouse brands, the heat of Doritos new Blaze flavor vs. the undeniably cool Mountain Dew Ice. Awesome casting, awesome song choices, awesome lip syncing and awesome production quality with some very impressive special effects. However, after the combined commercials aired, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi got a lot of extra “bang for her buck” by keeping the conversation going. Following her interview with Freakanomics in which she stated that PepsiCo – which owns both Mountain Dew and Doritos, along with about 20 other highly recognizable brand – is working on a lady-friendly Doritos. When asked how product development is being driven by gender differences, Nooyi suggested that women “don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.” She also added that ladies like to carry snacks in their purses. To that end, Doritos is developing a lower crunch chip in new purse-friendly packaging with the same signature Doritos taste profile. This set off a firestorm on social media, effectively extending the shelf life of the Super Bowl ad. Whether intentional or not, it was a gutsy move.


What was YOUR pick for best Super Bowl ad this year?

Check out some of the best 2018 Super Bowl ads – according to Time.

On January 11, 2018, Facebook founder – Mark Zuckerberg – announced a “major change” on his social media site. He conveyed that this change is intended to ensure that time spent on Facebook is time well-spent. To that end, the Facebook Newsfeed – a go-to resource for more than 2 billion monthly active users for the latest news, gossip, pick-me-up memes, hilarious videos and pictures of what your best friend had for dinner – will soon feature LESS content from businesses and news sources and MORE updates from friends, family members and groups. But worry not, business owners, CEOs and marketing managers – this is certainly not Facebook’s first algorithm change, nor will it be their last. Still, you may be wondering… what do these changes mean for your company?

Simply put… it’s means we’re all going to have to be MORE CREATIVE
(something we LOVE to do)!

That’s why it’s more important now than ever before to align yourself with a creative partner that can not only help you navigate the uncertain waters of Facebook’s latest evolution, but also to conceptualize and design content that’s intended to engage a more elusive audience. Social media marketing should always be intentional and strategic, rather than a fly by the seat of your pants approach – as one might employ in their own personal daily life. At Woodall Creative Group, we believe the key to continued social media success on Facebook will lie in the following:

  • The development of a more premeditated social media marketing strategy that involves engaging and interactive content. Facebook suggests that content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions – such as live videos and events – will receive priority in the News Feed.
  • The adoption of the 80/20 rule to make your company a valued member of the Facebook community. 80% of your posts should reflect shareable content, uplifting posts, interesting facts and positive news, while only 20% of your posts will be dedicated to truly marketing your company or its products.
  • Convince people to “love” your company. They already “like” you – there’s no harm in asking them to opt to add your page to the “See First in the News Feed” in their setting preferences. This will help ensure that you don’t see a drop off in impressions.
  • Strike a more inviting tone and adopt a “soft sell” to a “hard sell” approach overall. Stop selling products and start marketing a lifestyle. Instead of wowing them with facts, give them a user-friendly experience they’ll remember – and hopefully even share with others.
  • Set aside a portion of your marketing budget to Facebook ads to gain a larger share of the audience for important marketing moments such as a product roll-out, limited time offer, special discounts and more.

Woodall Creative Group is keeping a proverbial finger on the pulse of these latest changes to the social media landscape. Through it all, we continue to be an excellent resource for businesses seeking to maneuver these changes and successfully reach their target. One thing is for certain, social media will continue to evolve in the coming months and years, but we have complete faith that online marketing will remain a strategic and cost-effective method for growing your brand’s recognition and reach. To learn more about Woodall Creative Group and the many ways we can help your company promote its unique brand – both in print and in the digital space – we invite you to visit us online at