Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials – 2016

(Editor’s Note: Some videos below are no longer available.) 

Super Bowl 50 came and went with the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning winning his second Super Bowl trophy while the mood in Mayberry is quite somber (we’ll have more when I write up the ratings post.)

Of course with the Super Bowl comes Super Bowl commercials, with advertisers spending upwards of $5 million for a half-minute spot. And it’s worth it: the game always draws the biggest audience of the year, thus the potential for the greatest reach.

This year’s batch focused on a lot of talking dogs, talking razors, and whatever talking thing Mountain Dew had in its commercial. Overall, most of the ads were shitty beyond belief and it was difficult to put a top five best list as opposed to a top ten worst list.

Here are this year’s five best and worst:

– Best Super Bowl Commercials: Watch these ads:

5. Coca-Cola, A Mini-Marvel (Hulk vs. Ant-Man.) Maybe a little biased here, but anytime Marvel shows up in a Super Bowl ad, it’s a win. Hulk, by the way, wasn’t played by Mark Ruffalo, but by Paul Rudd instead.

4. PayPal, There’s A New Money In Town. This spot proved out with the old, in with the new. Disclosure: yours truly is a PayPal customer.


3. T-Mobile, Drop The Balls. Redemption for Steve Harvey, after last December’s Miss Universe gaffe.

2. Toyota, The Longest Chase. Former cast members of The Wire rob a bank in downtown Chicago, carjack a Prius, and become famous. Go, Prius Go!

1. Hyundai, First Date. A reminder – if you borrow Kevin Hart’s Hyundai, you better bring it back in one piece. Oh, and his daughter, too.

– Worst Super bowl Commercials: Skip these with your DVR:

1. Mountain Dew Kickstart, Puppymonkeybaby. There are no words. Really.

2. Dollar Shave Club, Keke. You know, I have an idea – Puppymonkeybaby and Zeke in a cage deathmatch. Put it on PPV and make millions!

3. Xifaxan, Valeant (?) A character who looks like Jar Jar Binks is featured in a diahrrea commercial. Sounds about right.

4. Skittles, Portrait. Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler rocking those Skittles in a not too well thought out ad.

5. NFL, Super Bowl Babies. “Honey, We won the Super Bowl! Let’s do it!”

USA Today’s Ad Meter: Kevin Hart’s Hyundai ad not only topped T Dog Media’s Best Super Bowl Ad list, but also USA Today’s 28th Annual Ad Meter – a first. The commercial scored a 6.90 rating, followed by Heinz’s “Winer Stampede” and Doritros’ “Ultrasound”, despite the critical thrashing. The worst rated? “Jublia”, followed by Xifaxan. To see the complete rankings, click here.

Social media: Proving popularity sometimes doesn’t equal quality, the horrid Mountain Dew spot did receive 11.5 percent “share of voice” of Super Bowl ads, topping Kevin Hart’s Hyundai ad by four points, according to iSpotTV. (share of voice is the percentage of social media actions the spot generates, including Twitter posts, Facebook likes, etc.) The Pokemon spot won for most TV impressions generated.

Other reviews: Eric Deggans of NPR has his thoughts on the ads and the Halftime Show. And Ad Age’s Nat Ives obviously has a more upbeat review than I do.

Halftime Show: Speaking of the Halftime Show, Coldplay was supposed to be the headlining act – and they were upstaged (or saved) by Beyonce and Bruno Mars. Otherwise, a rather standard halftime show – nothing really groundbreaking like we’ve seen before. Grade: C.

Further Reading: This is the 10th consecutive year T Dog Media has reviewed ads during the big game. For past Super Bowl Ad reviews dating back to 2007, click here.