In this 'always on' world we live in, it's pretty amazing how the Super Bowl brings back the tradition of communal consumption. When that commercial break begins, everyone on the freaking planet (or at least it feels that way) focuses in on that moment of time as a collective, rather than in their hyper-targeted bubble. For me, that global pause is really something special. When this rare unification occurs, it makes jokes funnier; we all know laughter is contagious. It amplifies drama, makes tearjerkers more emotional, and most importantly, celebrates a sense of community. I love watching a moving piece of work and then having a conversation about it, especially while it's still fresh. Creativity thrives in a collaborative setting, and if a particular piece of creative can elicit a collective stimulus, you know it's done an excellent job. I truly love it, and it's why I got into this game...pun intended! The Super Bowl allows us to celebrate coming together in a collective consciousness, which feels fantastic. Here are a few of my favourites from this year...
Hellmann's - 'Mayo Tackles Food'
Agency: Wunderman Thompson
Director: Kris Belman
Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Music: JSM Music
This one straight-up made me laugh my arse off, and did so by shining a light on food waste. Hellmann's idea here is to make taste, not waste; you can add mayo to your leftovers instead of tossing it. What better way to drill the concept home than a 300lb linebacker's devastating tackle? I love the build-up of all the vignettes of unaware people getting sacked, even grandma! And, of course, the most hittable person on TV, Pete Davidson, for the grand finale. Man, I can totally use a mayo doused turkey club right now. Good for you, Hellmann’s, you made me laugh, and I'll definitely be more food-waste-conscious.
Budweiser - 'A Clydesdale's Journey'
Director: Chloé Zhao
Post: The Mill
Music: JSM Music
Sound: Wave Studios
There's just something that hits home with me when I watch the ever-developing unconditional relationship between that adorable lab and majestic clydesdale. It might be the fact that I have the world's cutest cavapoo, Wolf, who's always there for my wife and I. Or maybe it's the '90s nostalgia that kicks in from when Budweiser started making these epic shorts? What I do know is this slice-of-life utilises beautiful cinematography, temporal editing, and MY GOD, the closing shot of that steed charging at full speed gives me goosebumps.
Amazon - 'Mind Reader'
Agency: Lucky Generals
Production: Hungry Man LA
Director: Wayne McClammy
Ok Amazon, what am I thinking now? Is it that I'm semi-freaked out that you probably know more about me than I know about me? Is it the fact that you're always listening and available to do my bidding until we break one of Asimov's rules of robotics, and you go 2001 on me and max out my Whole Food's account on organic passionfruit? Alright, maybe I'm being a tad dramatic and a little sarcastic. I think the writing is excellent and the dialogue works so well with impeccable delivery and timing from Jost and Johansson. I chuckled more than a few times, watching scene after scene of brutal awkward honesty.
Uber - 'Don’t Eats'
Agency: Special Group LA
Director: Jake Szymanski
Ok, I'm not going to lie, after watching this campaign, the thought 'what does my deodorant actually taste like?' crossed my mind. In all transparency, I did not take a bite. Uber Eats has done a great job disrupting what we know as a food delivery service and repositioned it as an everything delivery service. I only knew them for food delivery before these spots, it's in the damn name, but I will consider other types of delivery now. These spots are funny, pack a quick punch and are well-casted.
FTX - 'Don't Miss Out: Larry's Cut'
I can't make commentary on this year's Super Bowl without making mention of the focus on crypto. Two spots stick out for me, and one of them isn't much of a commercial at all. The first is from the crypto exchange FTX, starring Larry David. You couldn't cast a funnier, less crypto fluent person than David, and this is exactly why the spot works so well. It pokes fun at crypto doubters and how haters of the past judged emerging technologies. With the world being unsure about blockchain, Larry David takes us through past inventions that probably had a lot of doubt, but in the end, became life-changing innovations. We'll see what the next few years bring to crypto and decentralisation in general.
Coinbase - QR Code
Agency: Accenture Interactive
The second I'd like to mention is Coinbase's bouncing QR code. I mean, talk about less is more. What a genius, simple and interactive idea that just works! I totally fumbled for my phone when that code popped up on my screen, and I was truly engaged. Great work, Coinbase. You win the crypto Super Bowl trophy in my eyes.