So, like many of you out there, you found yourself watching the super bowl this past weekend. Some of you root for the Pats and some of you root for the Rams and most of you just wanted to eat good food, hang out with your friends, watch a good game, and most importantly: DRINK. While many of us were disappointed on one or more of those fronts, there’s no reason to let that stand between you and what the Super Bowl is all about… Ads. Below, I’ve ranked (And linked) and commented on all of the Alcohol related ads from this years BIG GAME.

#1 – STELLA ARTOIS

You know, this was by far my favorite alcohol commercial for this years Super Bowl. I think it just had it all… cultural icons, light humor, non-outlandish situations… they just nailed it. If you are somehow less in the loop than I am, this spot features Sarah Jessica Parker as her classic character Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City. This character is notable both for her promiscuity as well as making the Cosmopolitan one of the most well known drinks to come out of the 90’s… and while the drink was never exactly super popular among men, this show certainly put the nail in the coffin for any man wanting to order one without someone questioning his sexuality. Also making an appearance is Jeff Bridges as “The Dude” from cult classic The Big Lebowski, a character that also has a famous drink: The White Russian. This drink is pretty much synonymous with the character and it’s appearance in the movie has almost certainly kept it alive this long. This commercial was a simple, well executed plan to work Stella into the ‘associative memory’ of the general public. Next time you are at a bar, you hear someone order a Cosmo, you think of Carrie Bradshaw, you think of this commercial, you think of Stella. Similar for the White Russian. Not only did it make me laugh in the moment but I think it was the best commercial by far both in execution as well as in actual consumer potential.

# 2 – Bud Light Game of Thrones

So let me walk you through my thoughts as I first saw this spot…

  1. Wow Bud Light, is this really a re-used commercial for the Super Bowl? Haven’t I seen this? Can’t you do better than that?
  2. Wait… that looks like the mountain? Is that The Mountain? Did they really get him in a Bud Light Commercial?
  3. Oh wait shit this is a Game of Thrones commercial! Well hot damn, they really got me… good job Bud Light… good damn job.

There’s really not much more to be said than that… Game of Thrones is certainly not averse to partnering with alcohol brands and creating their own labels, perhaps we can look forward to some GoT branded Bud Light in the near future? I wouldn’t drink it but I’d be very interested to see how it performs commercially!

#3 – YELLOW TAIL WINE

This one is a little bit different in that it’s actually advertising for a wine brand, something you really don’t see to often, especially not in such prominent TV spots. I think the concept and the execution were both done very well here. The idea behind it is pretty simple: our brand tastes like happy moments. Once you drink this brand during happy moments, then you have intense sensory associations between their distinct flavors and the special moment that you shared, so really, if you do drink it when they say to, they are actually right about that at least. I don’t have any particular pre-conceived negative associations with the Yellow Tail brand other than I know it’s cheap wine that I think I see at Walgreens and CVS mostly so at least if you’re about to have a special moment with your loved one, you know you can engineer it conveniently. With the execution I think maybe there was just a little bit too much talking but not by much. I probably only noticed because I just watched it three times. I did quite like the way they used the two yellow brackets to simultaneously direct your attention to the part of the screen they wanted and to give you the ‘shape association’ so even if you don’t remember Yellow Tail, next time you are shopping, you will definitely gravitate towards the two yellow brackets since subconsciously you do remember those and associate them with the (very positive) commercial you watched.

#4 – BUD LIGHT CORN SYRUP

In another exciting edition to their medieval themed commercials, Bud Light took this opportunity to directly call out their competitors for using the dreaded “C” word in their beer… Corn Syrup. Yet again, Budweiser looks to capture the hearts and minds of the more health conscious parts of the country… or at least those who are susceptible to buzz words. I mean sure, Corn Syrup is bad for you, no doubt, but the reason Bud Light doesn’t use corn syrup isn’t because it’s bad for you and they’re protecting you… it’s because it’s made with Rice as the main sugar source and there aint shit cheaper than rice. Loved the little references to Lord of the Rings though, that was actually quite enjoyable.

#5 – BUDWEISER – Wind Never Felt Better

Look, any ad that starts with a happy dog going for a ride is going to be a win with me, and with most people probably. With this one Bud was certainly trying their hardest to meld demographics. The Old-Timey-ness of the horse drawn delivery cart and the thriving grassy field and the song playing throughout was a clear pat on the back to the Midwest and south and generally non-urban communities. It works, everyone goes for that, everyone yearns for a simpler time and the desire to get away and get some fresh air on a nice ride with their dog, etc. etc. The other side of that coin was, in my opinion, a desperate attempt to make California love Budweiser again. See, if you don’t know, California is absolutely stuffed to the brim with craft breweries. I won’t say it’s one of the largest communities in the country, or that it’s one of the best, because every time I say things like that some rando pops up to tell me that they have nothing on New York or Portland or Colorado or wherever the hell he came from. I won’t say that, I’ll just heavily imply it, cause I don’t want that guy to show up right now. All I’m saying is that California has an awful lot of wind farms and a huge love of companies that utilize alternative power sources and also drink a lot of beer that has steadily not been Bud… I think I can see why they might try to change their image with this particular move.

#6 – BON & VIV SPIKED SELZTER

First thing I noticed as we kicked off this years testosterone party was how… not written for men the first few commercials seemed to be. See, I’m actually doing some research on how apparently 80% of shoppers are women and so the advertising world is scrambling to figure out how to get women to buy things without being all weird about it. Certainly then, it caught my attention when the very first commercial they showed featured two totally not scantily clad mermaids, apparently the founders of this company, selling a product that is VERY MUCH associated with female drinkers…. and to top it off, they are literally pitching the product to a group of sharks that, judging from the voices, are primarily male. **Upon looking closer at their website, Bon and Viv are the names of the mermaids. The guy who stared the company is named Nick. It is also owned by Anheuser busch and I think I saw that it was on shark tank, hence the sharks. Perhaps I jumped to conclusions, but perhaps that was their intention…** While I am generally not a fan of the Spiked Seltzer category (just make your own vodka soda you lazy twats), I have to admit, this commercial really got me with the ‘business owning women’ line. I just wish every damn thing selling to women didn’t have to list the calories. At this point I’m surprised they’re not listing calories on mid-size sedans…. I really wish this entry could have been higher up for me, but I just don’t really care for the product or mermaids or sales pitches. Maybe it’s just a personal thing but this one fell far short for me.

#7 – MICHELOB ULTRA – The Pure Experience

So like… did somebody tell an Exec at Mich Ultra that ASMR was super in right now? Or did he like weirdly insist that it was totally a thing everyone wanted? Cause this Commercial felt like a really large company decided to do an ASMR video and just… went for it? The visual at the beginning was a bit much for me, and it made me want to watch some sort of calming nature documentary rather than this incredibly boring match up and it certainly did not prompt me to think about beer. While I can appreciate Mich Ultra trying to change their image to a more natural, organic, exotic experience, I think they really missed the mark on this one. I don’t even think they got much sex appeal out of it either, though I do appreciate that there was no attempt to “T&A” the monkey part of our brains into thinking that drinking this beer will make pretty, ambiguously foreign girls want to sleep with you.

#8 – MICHELOB ULTRA – Robots

So my first impression of this one was something along the lines of… “Haha, suck it Robots! You may be better than us at everything, but at least we can get drunk!” I actually had to watch this one twice to get what I think they were getting at… so the tag line at the end is “It’s only worth it if you get to Enjoy it” Followed by “No artificial colors or flavors” So I guess… working out is good, but you can still have beer everybody so screw your new years resolution…. and also some sort of correlation between artificial colors and flavors in the beer and the artificial person both being inferior. I dunno, I actually felt bad for the robot. He seemed like a cool guy, I’d buy him a glass of motor oil. I actually had a hard time deciding which of the Mich Ultra commercials I liked less. I think that I enjoyed this one more than the ASMR lady in the forest, but at least I understood what she was saying the first time I watched the commercial, so I had to kick this one down to the bottom of the batch!

FUN FACT! The average super bowl ad costs over 5 million for 30 second slots. To bring you these messages it was roughly 6 minutes in total and cost over 30 Million dollars just to show that one time. This is not accounting for what it cost to make them or what ad spots they have bought for other times around it… Hope it’s worth it!

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