2014 Super Bowl Ads: The Good, Bad, and Adorable

by Creative Services | February 4, 2014

On any given day (Sunday or otherwise), advertising is a full-contact sport. But with 30-second commercials going for $3 mil a pop, advertising during the Super Bowl (or “The Big Game” as our intellectual property lawyers prefer) is more like a war.

So who were the winners in this year’s marketing melee? After much arguing discussion, a few of us from Creative Services are here to share our picks for the best and worst commercials from Super Bowl XLVIII. As you would expect, lots of opinions means lots of variety. Enjoy!

(If a movie player doesn’t appear under each category, refresh your browser page.)

Best Car Commercial

“From a FunnyWowWow standpoint, the winner goes to Audi’s “Doberhuahua.” It was cute and epic, resembling a modern, 3D-animated movie but still possessing enough adult humor to keep the rest of us smiling.”

– Jim Higgins, Avid Editor

Best Beer (Bud) Commercial

“The only beer ads for this year’s Stupor Bowl came from Anheuser-Busch Inbev. Regardless, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” proved more than able to continue the tradition of great beer commercials during the big game. The music (“Let Her Go” by Passenger), the visuals (extreme wide shots followed by close intimates ), and the story of two “Best Buds” all contribute to what I, and most viewers, believe is the best ad of the night.”

– Nekos Barnes, Sr. Multimedia Specialist


“Honestly, I was a little disappointed by the lack of sexy commercials this year. What’s up with that?! My vote for the Sexiest Super Bowl ad of 2014 would have to go to… yes, H&M. I can’t think of anything sexier than watching David Beckham zipline down the rooftops in his underwear. Not even Uncle Jesse getting yogurt licked off his luscious lips could sway me (although, that was a close second).”

– Megan Hayes, Producer


“The funniest spot by like 35 years was Radio Shack’s “The 80s Called.” Granted, my nostalgia meter redlined less than 10 seconds in, but it was the self-deprecating nature of the spot that made it brilliant. Kudos to Radio Shack for owning the fact that their stores are aesthetically challenged, and using their multimillion-dollar media buy to promote their new look. I would have liked to have seen MacGyver in the mix, though I understand why he wasn’t invited since Radio Shack doesn’t sell gum or duct tape.”

 – Cary Graham, Writer/Special Projects Coordinator

Most Heartwarming

“Cheerios brought back their innocuous interracial family that caused such a stir in 2013. Without any reference to its racist detractors or their diatribes, this heartwarming spot is the perfect follow-up. We find out little Gracie is getting a baby brother, and a puppy. An element of surprise, a dose of humor, and great acting all make for a lovely way to respond to ugly criticism.”

– Nicole Melton, Producer

Best Overall

“Unlike that actual football game, our contest for Best Overall was no blowout. Almost everyone in our department had a different favorite… almost.  In the end, Audi’s sequel-worthy “Doberhuahua” beat out Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”  by a wet (and ugly) dog-nose. Congratulations, Audi! We look forward to seeing more of your big-headed, K-9 monstrosity in the future.”

– David Rumsey, Sr. Scriptwriter

Biggest Flop

“When a commercial has to spell out the whys of what they’re doing, it means the ad can’t speak for itself. As James Franco explains in Part Two of this commercial, “we followed up that last commercial with one that’s double the length, double the awesomeness.”  Only it wasn’t awesome.  At all.  It wasn’t even amusing. I can only imagine how much money they spent to hire James Franco and Rob Riggle, shoot elaborate set ups, create visual effects, and buy the ad time for this flop. The two sentences in “The New Girl” episode immediately following the Super Bowl by a character raving about his Fusion’s ability to go “nearly double” was certainly cheaper and definitely more effective. FLOP!”

– Jennifer Floyd, Associate Director, Creative Services

Now that you know our favs from this year’s crop, comment below and tell us which Super Bowl ads you liked (or didn’t).