Super Bowl 2016 Ad Winners and Losers

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by True Media

The 2015-2016 Super Bowl is officially in the books. Everybody knows this annual event is more than just a football game. It’s more of an entertainment extravaganza. For a long time, the game was the only focal point, but throughout the years, commercials and halftime shows have more than proven to be co-main attractions. People who don’t even watch sports will tune in to the game in anticipation of the commercials and halftime show. Quite honestly, last year’s Pats vs. Seahawks matchup was underwhelming outside of the actual gameplay…and underwhelming is a generous critique. For the 50th installment of the biggest championship in American sports, the NFL went all out and advertisers/entertainers followed suit. Here are my winners and losers from the media aspect.

  1. The Automotive Industry

    Hyundai, Audi, Buick, Prius, and Fiat all had superb ads. They each had plenty of star power, but maintained focus on the product. There was a perfect mix of comedic content as well as creativity; just enough to give you a chuckle, but not over do things.

  2. Shock Top

    The bar ad with T.J. Miller and the Shock Top tap going toe to toe with the insults was hilarious to me. The 30 second roast session filled with back and forth jabs definitely reminded me of something my friends and I would do on a typical night out. The extended version (which can be found on YouTube) is even funnier!

  3. T-Mobile

    I think T-Mobile did a tremendous job with their advertising strategy for this year’s Super Bowl commercials. It was brilliant to take Steve Harvey’s Miss Universe mistake and spin it to their advantage. Perfect example of making the most out of a bad situation. Then there was the Drake collaboration. Let’s be honest…in 2016, you just can’t go wrong with a Drake appearance/endorsement.

  4. Halftime show

    When Coldplay was first announced as the headliner for the halftime entertainment, most people were scratching their heads in confusion (myself, included). I knew a lot of people who thought that even though Beyoncé was a co-performer, she would steal the show. I honestly didn’t even know that Bruno Mars was on the ticket until the day of the game. However, the three acts came together to give one of the most entertaining halftime shows in recent history. Each complimented the other perfectly and even combined parts of their routines so that they all contributed equal stage time. Well done.


    ‘George & Weezy’: I liked where they tried to go with this one, but they took too long to get there and then dragged it out once they finally did. One thing that irks me the most in Super Bowl commercials is trying too hard. Watching these ads, I felt like they were trying to force laughs out of viewers, and that’s exactly what happened here. The addition of Lil Wayne was a nice touch, but not enough to make me a fan of this ad.

  2. Mountain Dew Kickstart

    ‘Puppy, Monkey, Baby’: I understand that Kickstart was trying to emphasize the 3 things in one aspect with their puppy, monkey, baby ad, but it just wasn’t funny. I couldn’t even bring myself to crack a smile.

  3. Square Space

    ‘Key and Peele’: Aside from the fact that I’ve never found Key and Peele to be very funny, this ad made no sense to me. It was 30 seconds of bad jokes, and after watching, the average viewer probably still doesn’t know what services Square Space offers.

  4. Skittles

    ‘Steven Tyler’: Lacked creativity. Previous ‘Taste the rainbow’ ads have been very fulfilling. A Steven Tyler scream off was not only a tad bit annoying, but had nothing to do with Skittles.

All in all, I think the entertainment this year was solid. The great commercials and performances outweighed the terrible one, for sure. What were some of your bests and worsts of Super Bowl 50?