The Good, The Bad and The Just Plain Silly of SuperBowl 51 Adverts

Sorry guys we’re English – we’re going to call them adverts not commercials, but last night was Super Bowl 51. So, that means it was two things, one of the biggest events of the year for sport and the biggest event of the year for advertising. There were roughly 189 million Americans watching (with clusters from other nations of course. That means there were ‘roughly’ 378 million eyes watching all the adverts and of course the sport. Last night was a force to be reckoned with, so it’s no surprise that a single thirty second advert spot was selling supposedly for a whopping fee of $5.5 million. The top companies were clearly shelling out to secure but also produce their ads, but it’s not fair that us Brits across the pond miss out. We thought we’d make a list of a couple of our favourites and some less favourable ads from the evening of sport (even though some of us in the UK refuse to call American Football anything other than Hand Egg). Let’s catch up!


Bud’s always been known for their Super Bowl ads, whether it’s their puppy love advert of 2014 (which is about a puppy and horse who are best friends) or their ’95 classic about frogs croaking the syllables of their name. They’ve always invested in the occasion and usually produce something quite light and heartfelt.

Well that went out the window this year…. This year’s advert focused on the fictional immigrant struggle of their founder, coming from overseas (Germany) to be met with quite a lot of hatred and to be told by the people of America “You don’t look like you’re from around here.”.

Only just days after Trump’s travel ban on some predominantly Muslim countries, you can imagine it’s been slightly controversial no matter what side of the pond you’re on, with many parallels being drawn. It’s going to be one of the most recognisable of the year, so it’s worth the watch even if it’s just because it’s a very cinematic experience! It was poignant and beautifully shot

*GOLD STAR Budweiser*

84 Lumber:

The controversy linked to America’s new commander in chief continues with this building suppliers’ advert… yes building suppliers… They originally made an advert showing the epic struggle of a Mexican mother and daughter trying to cross in to America only to be met with a quite literally Trumpian concrete wall… You can only imagine how that meeting went down. It got watered down by Fox to include a wire fence instead. The slightly less overt advert still created a social media storm, highlighting an important fact. In an America with people feeling like they can’t speak out or be free as they used to. There are some corporations willing to speak out for them and literally spend a fortune to do it.

How about one we’re not such big fans of then? It’s boring to like everything. Meet…

Michelob Ultra:

Just for us Brits, this is a beer brand (we hadn’t heard of it either), and we really don’t have anything against them! The advert just felt a bit silly to us… So, they’re advertising a ‘light’ beer, you know, low calories and carbs… yada yada yada. A more healthy beer. What do we think they should go for?  A cute animal story like Bud normally does? Or an overly dramatic montage of LA cross fit with sweat-filled scenes of exhaustion followed by incredibly beautiful people sitting down and sipping their ‘healthy beer’ with a tagline of “Brewed for those who go the extra mile,”. You can guess which one they went for… Maybe it’s just our natural British cynicism, but we like adverts which make you think a bit more than ‘beautiful people work hard and drink our beer so you should drink our beer so you’re a person who is beautiful and works hard’.

And now for one that is just plain silly…

Mr Clean:

Everyone’s favourite cleaning product avoided the clichés and politics for something a little different… A house wife cleaning/dancing with the animated bald mascot of the brand to the point where things get slightly… heated shall we say because ‘everyone loves a man who cleans’. It’s a silly one, but we enjoyed it none the less, especially when this year’s ads have been so controversial. 

There’s a selection of the good the bad and the just plain silly of this year’s Super Bowl.

Do you think there’s any ads we missed out? Tell us on Twitter!

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