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On Super Bowl Sunday, an estimated 98.2 million people tuned in to either watch the Rams take on the Patriots, Maroon 5 tackle the Halftime Show or see what delights advertisers had in store for us this year. By most accounts, it was a disappointing performance on all fronts. Still, several members of the team at Woodall Creative Group stayed glued to our HDTVs to select our personal favorites from the world of advertising. By our estimation, here are our picks for the best ads of Super Bowl LIII:

Tracy Woodall (company founder): Microsoft’s ad for the Xbox Adaptive Controller

This commercial shines the spotlight on physically challenged children who share the same desires as most kids their age… to have fun and play video games. To that end, Microsoft introduces the Adaptive Controller to help level the playing field. I am impressed that Microsoft used the large and diverse Super Bowl marketplace to promote a product that will meet the needs of a smaller audience. Microsoft focused on what is right and not what is most lucrative. Demonstrating a blend of innovation and compassion, this commercial will no doubt bring bigger dividends. Their slogan at the end of the commercial sums it up… “When everyone plays, we all win.” Watch Microsoft’s “We All Win”

Jim Balke (senior graphic designer): TIE… Burger King’s Andy Warhol Ad and NFL’s 100th Season

The NFL ad hit a lot of different demographics with historically noteworthy and legendary players spanning multiple generations of fans. It’s an entertaining “who’s who” of football that held my attention from beginning to end set against the fun backdrop of a tuxedo event. Watch SBLIII’s “The 100-Year Game” I also loved the Burger King spot featuring the late great Andy Warhol. Just like him, it was unexpected and different from all the other ads with its low-profile production. Its effectiveness may be questionable, but it was a gutsy move for BK marketing. Probably most importantly, I remember what was being sold, which wasn’t the case for most of the overly produced Super Bowl ads aired. Watch Burger King’s “Eat Like Andy”

David Wynett (senior strategy consultant): Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut”

What made this ad so memorable was that Amazon poked fun at itself by showcasing failed Alexia launches. It was hilarious to see the Boston Terrier ordering dog food again and again. Appropriate humor in advertising is always memorable.  Tie that with a leading brand, Hollywood legend Harrison Ford and you have magic! Amazon was successful in creating an ad that was not only talked about at the water cooler but was shared tens of thousands of times.  Humor in advertising can make ads quickly go viral spreading your message to millions who need a light-hearted break during the day. When your advertising budget is low look to humor to spread your message. Watch Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut”

Nonni Csoka (client relations): Budweiser Clydesdale Ad

OMG – where to start… this ad was an amalgamation of so many elements, so let’s break them down: 1 – the pooch with the wind blowing his flappy jaws… I was expecting to see his head sticking out a car window as the camera panned out, to find he was on top of the wagon – made us all giggle; 2 – the wheat fields that looked like fields of melted gold – was a magnificent way of communicating the purity of the wheat used for making their beer; 3 – Then of course the Clydesdales — they radiate beauty, strength, resilience, power and are a long-standing symbol for the brand; 4 – THEN the fact that they are utilizing wind power as a supplement goes straight to the heart for those of us who care about our earth and energy usage. It felt like a departure from Budweiser’s Super Bowl ads of old but was still highly effective. Watch Budweiser’s “Wind Never Felt Better”

Kasie Bolling (content specialist): Hyundai’s “The Elevator”

Call me shallow, but I really LOVE Jason Bateman. I also really HATE the car buying process. This ad resonated most with me because it combined those two things and delivered them with a healthy dose of good humor. Shot inside an elevator and likening the act of car buying with the pain of a root canal, the drudgery of jury duty, the discomfort of the middle seat on an airplane and the awkwardness of “the talk,” Hyundai holds your attention – without ever showing its product until 45 seconds in. A risky move but it paid off. Used as a “vehicle” (forgive the pun) to introduce its new Shopper Assurance program, the ad ends with a ride to the top of experiences where it’s all classical music, blue skies, feng shui, a top-of-the-line Hyundai SUV and some well-delivered messaging served with the promise that “it’s car shopping made better.”  Watch Hyundai’s “The Elevator”

Do you have a personal fave from Super Bowl Sunday?  We want to hear about it!

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