Okay, Let’s jump right in with the best and then pop down to the worst.
Amazon – “Alexa’s Body”
It’s not right to judge people on looks alone, unless those looks happen to be attached to Michael B. Jordan. Hubba hubba. Somehow this ad manages to literally objectify him and somehow remain charming. It could have been a major fail, but they pulled it off. The real unspoken MVP of this ad is Dwayne Colbert, who plays the husband. Note perfect.
Anheuser-Busch – “Let’s Grab a Beer”
Maybe it’s because of how much we all miss grabbing a drink with a friend. Maybe it’s just the women in the funeral reception line. Maybe it’s because of the cinematography. Maybe it’s because this was a collaboration between David Fincher and Atticus Ross. I don’t know why, exactly, but I liked it.
General Motors – “No Way Norway”
This was my favorite comedy ad. It just felt like a professional spot from start to finish in the best possible way. Great editing, great writing, great camera work, rock solid directing. You can’t do it much better than this. Will Ferrell punches a globe and then keeps it on his arm the whole spot. Magnificent. Plus, everyone loves Awkwafina and Kenan Thompson.
Toyota – “Jessica Long’s Story”
This one hit me right in the feelings and with good cause. It might have been the best overall ad of the night. Powerful stuff.
Rocket Mortgage – “Certain is Better”
My fam didn’t love this, and it is fairly one note, but I love me some Tracy Morgan and I was just kind of blown away by the production value.
These aren’t really the worst. In advertising terms, any exposure is good exposure, so people talking about how bad you were is actually a win. The ads that truly lost are the ones that we’ve already forgotten. That said, these ads were pretty rough.
Bud Light – “Legends”
Self-referential and just milquetoast and kind of a shoulder shrug. I don’t even remember a Posty Bud Light ad, but then again I’m a dinosaur from the era of ‘gimme a light, Bud Light’ so maybe that’s why.
Oatly, ‘Wow, No Cow’
Yeaahhhhhhhhh. A brutal miscalculation. I guess this video had been around for six years and in that time no one had the balls to tell the CEO, who is the one singing, that it’s grating. Still, Oatly immediately spun it into a PR bonanza. All exposure is good exposure.
Cheetos – “Evidence”
There’s a real danger to people who think that if they can do one thing well they can automatically do another thing well. I think singing is wonderful and everyone should do it. Privately. Ashton Kutcher shouldn’t really do it in public.
Cure Auto Insurance – “Whip it out”
Ohohohohohoho! Sexual harassment is such a funny gag, you guys! Listen, it’s important to be able to laugh at things that are funny, and I like bawdy humor as much as the next red-blooded troglodyte, but there’s nothing even remotely funny about sexual harassment.
State Farm Insurance – “Drake From State Farm”
Paul Rudd is amazing and almost saves this. But I may be the only person who is super creeped out by Jake the State Farm guy. There’s something really off about his body proportions. Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes are cardboard standees trying to make jokes and while Drake is good, Jake messes up the button. It’s like, what? What is this?
What was your favorite ad?