Best Super Bowl Ads | MDRG

Best Super Bowl Ads – Market Researchers Reflect

Margaux Fisher

Ethnographer and Qualitative Analyst

As market researchers, we are in the fortunate position of getting a sneak peek at creative campaigns before they are launched. We get a look behind the curtain at concepts before they are vetted and tested, scripts that will continue to be scrutinized by clients and edited by patient, discerning copywriters, and storyboards that will become carefully crafted scenes by visionary directors.

This behind-the-scenes perspective gives us a particular kind of passion for great creative. With “Ad Bowl” 2018 around the corner, this passion has fueled tons of water cooler chatter about what each of us thinks the greatest Super Bowl ad of all time is.

Surprisingly, not one of these market researchers requested performance data to make this call…

Here are the spots that bubbled to the top (in no particular order).

1. Always 2015 #LikeAGirl

Given the current cultural movement this ad takes on even more meaning and we think there will be even more commercials surrounding political and social issues in 2018.

2. Fiat 500X 2015 Blue Pill

“This one had me from the first frame of the countryside – Italy?? And kept me watching to see where the pill landed.” – Barbara Read

3. Snickers 2015 Brady Bunch

“Because Steve Bushemi as Jan…” – Christine Carll

4. Budweiser 2015 Lost Puppy

‘Cause puppies

5. Budweiser 1995 Frogs

An iconic ad campaign that lived through frogs, lizards and ultimately a ferret… Dilly Dilly!

6. Apple 1984 “1984”

Come on…we are marketing professionals – you would have to throw serious shade on a list that didn’t include this ad.

7. Volkswagen 2012 Darth Vader

Cute kid + Star Wars = marketing gold

8. Google 2010 Parisian Love

This one kind of came out of nowhere… Ann Marshall Tilton explains her choice: “Maybe I’m just a really sappy person/ a total Francophile, but I love this Google ad from 2010…” in her defense, she almost picked the Volkswagen ad.

9. Doritos 2014 Time Machine

What’s a super bowl ad listacle without a Dorito’s ad?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results of this compilation pull out a truth about advertising that has always been true but is sometimes forgotten. It’s not just about selling units. All of these commercials play to emotion. Whether humor, nostalgia, fear or empowerment, these are memorable because they evoked feelings from the viewers (and francophiles).

And while brands and market researchers attempt to measure the impact these ads have on brand affinity and perception – what is the metric for becoming part of a cultural conversation every single year? Further, how do you measure making MDRG’s first ever Super Bowl Ad listacle?