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February 2, 2015
Super Bowl Recap: Dads and Dark Reigned Supreme
 
The NFL lucked out with a game that was decided in the last 20 seconds of the fourth quarter. You cannot get much better than that. People were glued to the TV to see if one of the teams was going to make a run, but the game lived up to the hype that either one could have won.

As for the ads, some were definitely a little more interesting than others. Lexus went a little boring, Nationwide went dark and disturbing, and Toyota went with the Dads. Here's our recap.

Pre-game
We figured it was going to be an odd day of ads when we saw Mountain Dew's "Start With a Kick" ad. With Pepsi being the halftime show sponsor, we figured they got an opportunity to showcase one of its newer brands in a weird way without much risk.


The McDonald's "Pay with Lovin' " commercial was nice, but we've been so tired of the reality-show style ads. McDonald's was a little late to the party.

First Quarter
Our favorite ad in the first quarter and overall is the ad from Turbo Tax. The Tea Party, reversing the crossing of the Delaware, all because you can do your taxes without a fee, was absolutely hilarious.


One of the letdowns of the game was Carnival’s "Salt of the Earth.” We get it — we all came from the sea, so using Carnival is our way to get back to it. Using poetry and fancy stock photos probably didn't arouse the Super Bowl population.

Second Quarter
The "Avocados from Mexico" ad was very funny. It was cool to see a brand use humor on a touchy subject like the Bible. Also, Fiat's "Blue Pill" ad was fantastic — straight to the point, and it introduced its new offering. 



Then came that bizarre Nationwide ad with the kid telling us that he would never experience any of the thrills in life because he was dead. This ad spot was to promote awareness of preventable accidents, but it seemed way too forced. Did it get the point across? Definitely.
 

Halftime
The halftime show was saved by Missy Elliot. That's about it.

The ads, on the other hand, were OK. The NoMore.org ad was extremely powerful, and it showed how astute a 911 person needs to be when it comes to domestic violence and how fearful the situation can be.


For sports fans, one couldn't help but adore the Sketchers ad with Pete Rose being "in the hall." The ad was cheeky and showcased the shoe. It was clever, and showed Pete's sense of humor. Besides, everyone knows that Pete Rose deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Third Quarter
Here we saw Clash of Clans using the popularity of Liam Neeson. It was a fun ad, but we're sure many people still wondered what type of game Clash of Clans was. Our second favorite overall came here, with Budweiser's toast to being an unabashed macrobeer. Though we're still not a fan of the actual beer, we loved the attitude they were putting out.


Fourth Quarter
In the fourth, we saw the premiere of Lochtite with a weird ad featuring several situations that glue helps keep together.

Also, we saw another dark ad with Mophie, a company that focuses on making sure your phone has enough juice to get through the day. Interesting take on it, for sure.


Overall
Overall, we thought the ads were much better than they were last year. Brands were taking risks — incredible! Though we didn't agree with some of the creative direction, we thought that some of the ads were powerful, funny, and even moving.However, the game was also much better this year than last year, so maybe our attention and bias could have been affected.

Your thoughts?

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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