This year’s Super Bowl commercial lineup received mixed reactions at best. In fact, some of the commercials were downright scary or depressing. We’re certainly not going to include any of those in this list, but we will share the ten best Super Bowl commercials for 2015. First, let’s address the elephant in the room: what on earth was Nationwide thinking with their dead kids commercial? You can see it here if you must, but we’re not going to embed it because of its disturbing content. If you put that in a room with Nissan’s absent dad commerical and the NFL’s powerful domestic violence PSA, it would suck the joy out of anyone faster than a Dementor.
We were also surprised at the number of dad-focused commercials this year. Yes, football is considered a “man’s sport,” but it seemed like advertisers really ramped that up this year. Some ads targeted dads directly with heartwarming stories; others, like the three we mentioned already, demand change from their audience. We’ve included a few of them in our list of the best Super Bowl commercials, but most of them missed the mark for us. If you measure the overall lineup by online engagement, iSpot.tv has already determined the top ten… but their list doesn’t represent creativity; it just shows the internet’s collective response to each ad.
Best Super Bowl Commercials – 2015
Our list is purely subjective, but we’re ranking these based on creativity and emotional response. Some are touching, some are hilarious; we’re happy with both. We’ll start with our 10th best favorite and work our way down the list to number one.
10. Always #LikeAGirl
This ad isn’t exactly new. They edited a longer version of the campaign to make it fit in a Super Bowl ad slot. That doesn’t mean the message is any less effective. It’s amazing to see the different ways we reference women just based on age. Watch the ad; you’ll see why it’s in our best Super Bowl commercials list.
9. Invisible Mindy Kaling by Nationwide Insurance
I actually can’t stand Mindy Kaling, but I recognize humor when I see it (manslation: my wife loved it). The scene with Matt Damon is what won me over. I still feel like this commercial tried a little too hard, but she sniffs Matt Damon. I repeat: she sniffs Matt Damon.
8. My Bold Dad by Toyota
Get ready to cry. This was one of the biggest tearjerkers of the night. It’s as if Toyota wanted all of the dads in the room to break down and have a kumbaya moment or something. Creatively, the storyline tugs on your heartstrings, so I had to include it in the best Super Bowl commercials list.
7. Lost Dog by Budweiser
Let the cuteness commence. Budweiser is known for writing great storylines around horses and dogs. This year was no exception. In fact, I felt like this 60-second commercial had more story than a M. Night Shyamalan movie. Considering GoDaddy’s controversial use of puppies, this wins for best dog ad.
6. The Brady Bunch by Snickers
The nostalgia is oozing out of my computer as I watch this commercial. I was never really into The Brady Bunch, but this remake of a classic scene was great: excellent casting, perfect editing. Sure, it plays off the same ad strategy Snickers has used for years, but it’s a funny commercial nonetheless.
5. #RealStrength by Dove Men+Care
Again with the heartstrings. This ad hit home with most dads in the audience… and then you realize it’s about Dove. Sigh. I still don’t see how “care makes a man stronger.” I’ll let that slide because it perfectly illustrates some of the best moments in any Dad’s life.
4. Say My Name by Esurance
Walter White!! I may be a little obsessed with Breaking Bad, but I swear, Yo… that’s not why I like this commercial. Actually, that’s a lie; that’s 100% the reason. Walter White is one of the best characters to reach the television screen. We posted the extended cut below. It makes this Super Bowl ad even better.
3. Scapegoat by GEICO
I don’t usually like GEICO commercials, but there’s one line in the ad that drove it home for me. The writers gave it the perfect amount of humor and the actor’s delivery was flawless. It still had me chuckling two minutes later. Watch it; you’ll see why I like it.
2. #FirstDraftEver by Avocados from Mexico
At first, this seemed like a lame use of celebrities to promote something… but then a polar bear started chanting “beach, beach, beach.” I didn’t get it right away. Once the ad finished, everything made sense and I laughed for a few minutes thinking about that polar bear. Those are some creative avocados.
1. Dear Kitten: Regarding the Big Game by Friskies (Purina)
If you’ve never seen the “Dear Kitten” series previously, I highly suggest watching them later. I absolutely love how the older cat interprets human life for the kitten. This ad continued the previous strategy and described Super Bowl Sunday to the kitten. It took the top spot without any trouble this year. Brilliant.
Pre-Game Bonus: Tough Dodger by Subway
I’m not really sure why this commercial didn’t receive more attention. It technically didn’t air during the Super Bowl but right before it started. For anyone paying attention to the pre-game show, this set a high bar for the rest of the night. Did the commercial leave a mark? “Not on the outside.”