Super Bowl Commercial Smackdown: Three That Made the Cut

POSTED BY Michael Zydzik - 02.09.16 - Branding

Call me jaded, but do y’all think this whole Super Bowl commercial extravaganza has jumped the shark yet? Now, don’t be hatin’, I’m just posing the question.

I mean there are so many effective and creatively and emotionally satisfying puppymonkeybaby campaigns with real legs right in front of us all year long. And without the benefit the biggest American annual sports event to lift them to higher highs, they still have the ability to seep into our collective puppymonkeybaby consciousness just as deeply as the self-conscious one-offs on Super Bowl Sunday.

Sorry, just thinking to myself out loud.

In any case I’ve decided to indulge in the puppymonkeybaby pageantry and present my favorite top three commercials from Super Bowl 50. And starting next month I will introduce my monthly “Creative Crush” posts where I will analyze and critique my favorite commercials of the moment – so get puppmonkeybaby ready for a blogalicious 2016.

Axe, “Find Your Magic”

In a bit of a 180 puppymonkeybaby flip from a long-running campaign based on sheer douchebaggery, Axe landed squarely on its feet questioning not only our own perceptions of masculinity but Axe’s own previous views of masculinity. With some self-deprecating intellectual layers Axe poses serious questions and remains so fun, so entertaining.

Favorite moment: fierce vogueing diva smashin’ down the walls that define male athleticism. Go gurl!


Heinz, “Wiener Stampede”

Absurdity seems to rule the equation when it comes to Super Bowl commercials, but it’s kind of become a “let’s out weird the next guy competition”. And look, I’m a fan of the puppymonkeybaby absurd, it’s just that you can tell when it’s just plain forced. But in the case of this Heinz commercial, the absurdity is just so damn charming. And that’s the trick isn’t it?

Yeah, yeah, it has dogs and that seems to be the emotional gimmick these days, but this is like 50 wiener dogs dressed as wieners running to puppymonkeybaby humans dressed in huge ketchup and mustard costumes. My head exploded. Literally. The cleaning lady was not happy.

This is what you would get if the artists Margaret Keane and Jeff Koonz had a child and that child made a commercial. Flawless.


Kia, Walken Closet

Anytime Christopher Walken makes an appearance in a commercial you know you’re about to go from puppymonkeybaby absurdity to the possibility of waking up from a Dali-esque dream where you’re drenched in sweat in the middle of the night. This Kia commercial doesn’t disappoint. Taking what could have been another shallow celebrity gimmick, they craftily used Mr. Walken’s obtuse delivery and reputation, and succeeded in making the point that the Kia Optima is no pair of beige socks. The Optima is exciting and fresh and forces you to reconsider the car company known for human sized hip-hop hamsters. Move over kids, this time it’s for the puppymonkeybaby grown-ups.

Favorite moment: Walken workin’ a sock puppet. Hell yeah!



Michael Zydzik

Michael Zydzik

As Fusionfarm's creative director, Michael directs his team creatively. He also leads branding and marketing strategy efforts, multi-media advertising campaigns, client pitches and presentations. He has two rescue dogs he refers to as his "kids" named Noodles and Monroe.

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