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.