Super Bowl Sunday can be considered the mecca of entertainment. From the big game and halftime show to the parties and commercials, it really has something for everyone. And, 2023 did not disappoint. For the first time in years, both the game and the commercials had us glued to the TV from kick-off to the trophy presentation.
This year, we had so many favorites, we couldn’t narrow it down to just our top five. Instead, we grouped them into four categories: overall favorites, top humor, top strategy and honorable mention. Read on to see what made our list and why.
Google Pixel – Fixed on Pixel
From removing background photo-bombs to completely cutting people out of your camera roll, Google Pixel can fix your photos. Google gave us humorous and practical takes on their phone’s photo-fixing capabilities, which include object removal and unblurring. Upbeat music and appearances by Amy Schumer, Doja Cat, and Giannas Antetokounmpo kept us engaged throughout the full 90-seconds. Strategically, we noted Google’s trademark commercial template of alternating vibrant imagery and video with white text on a black screen.
Dunkin’ Donuts – Live Your Best Life
Ben Affleck disguised as a Dunkin’ drive thru operator? You betcha. Taking a play out of the Sam Adams playbook, this hilarious Boston-accent filled commercial had us all smiling. Marketing-wise, we felt it was a smart move on Dunkin’s part to align the brand with pop culture power couple in Affleck and J-Lo. Honestly, the only flaw with this commercial is that it’s only 30 seconds, but thankfully, the outtakes are just as good.
Ram: Premature Electrification
A top pick by the women of the office, Ram’s “Premature Electrification” was clever from start to finish… if you know what we mean. We enjoyed the double-entendre messaging and the production reminded us of an SNL spoof. Ram still found a way to include close-up detail and action shots of their 1500 REV that we are accustomed to in vehicle ads.
The Farmer’s Dog – Forever
The “tug at our heartstrings” award went to the Farmer’s Dog on Super Bowl Sunday. The love and life-long friendship between a girl and her dog stuck with our team well after the game ended. The Farmer’s Dog promises that a healthy life comes from healthy food and that messaging came through loud and clear to us, viewing at home next to our four-legged friends.
Michelob Ultra: New Members Day
Mich Ultra drilled a hole in one with their commercial take on the golf classic, Caddyshack. The beer brand really knows its audience and continues to lean in. We enjoyed this for the immediately recognizable set-up and tastefully-placed branding throughout the spot.
Pepsi Zero – Great Acting or Great Taste?
Of course by selecting Ben Stiller and Steve Martin as the leading roles Pepsi was going for laughs – which they got. But our favorite part of this commercial was the compelling call to action, “Great acting or great taste? Only way to find out is to try it yourself.” Props to Pepsi for giving us a two-part series that delivered. (Bonus: check out the teasers [1 & 2] Pepsi released ahead of the Super Bowl, we think they might be just as good as the real thing.)
Busch Light – The Busch Guide: Cold + Smooth Survival Skills
Busch Light gave us an incredibly on brand commercial, mixing dry humor and the great outdoors with a down-to-earth feel. A cameo from Sarah McLachlan really pushed this spot up on our list.
Uber One – One Hit for Uber One
Memorable music strikes again in this Uber One ad. Our team liked the “anti-jingle jingle” angle and the creative use of top hits that resonated with all demographics. Thinking back to last year’s “Uber Don’t Eats,” it seems like the company is really coming into their creative element.
Blue Moon: Miller Lite vs. Coors Light
By joining forces and fitting three beers in one commercial, Coors, Miller, and Blue Moon all made an efficient impression on our team at Callis. Action-packed and full of branding for Coors and Miller in the bar, the two actors also exchanged dialog in the form of well-known messaging for both beer brands. We’ll cheers to that strategy!
Workday – Rock Star
No, you’re not really a rock star but with Workday you can feel like one. Ozzy Osborne, Joan Jett, Billy Idol and others rocked our world with this feel good commercial. Workday took the mundane – HR and finance services – and turned it into something fun. That’s always a great strategy.
GM x Netflix – Why not an EV?
Here’s the pitch: Will Ferrell drives an EV through top-rated Netflix shows. Yeah, we would have bought it, too. Similar to the Coors, Miller, Blue Moon commercial, we felt this was a well-done collaboration with the right type of humor.
Tubi – Interface Interruption
Tubi had everyone at the party scrambling to find the remote with their Super Bowl ad. In only 15 seconds, and with no star power, Tubi captured audience attention and got everyone talking. Proof you don’t have to go big to be brilliant with your advertising.
T-Mobile – New Year. New Neighbor.
John Travolta moves in next door to Scubs’ comedy duo turned T-Mobile spokes-neighbors, Zach Braff and Donald Faison. The men charmed us with a parody on the hit song from Grease, “Summer Nights”, while selling us on the benefits of choosing T-Mobile for home internet.
As a brand known for its outside-of-the-box and quirky creative, Doritos encouraged us to “try a different angle” in this year’s spot. Starring Jack Harlow and supported by an ensemble cast of miscellaneous musicians, this was a well-executed commercial for everyone’s favorite triangle-shaped chip.
Bud Light – HOLD
Leaning on performances from Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller and his wife, Keleigh, Bud Light used the inconvenience of waiting on hold to spin their “easy to hold” beer message. We liked the simple and relatable feel from one of beer’s biggest players.
Jeep – 4xe Electric Boogie
Dancing animal commercials are hit or miss, and this year Jeep hit it (almost) out of the park. Recognizable music that strengthened their electric vehicle message was a smart move. We also felt the animals were more cute than cringe. The downside to this commercial was showing the product stopping for a charge in the middle of nowhere, which has become a major issue for the EV revolution.
Amazon – Saving Sawyer
Similar to The Farmer’s Dog, tech giant Amazon went heartfelt this year with an ad that got the Callis staff in our feels. We liked the nod to the cultural phenomenon of transitioning back to the office and the plot twist at the end. The only con we had for this commercial was the length. While we were captivated, a 90-second spot can increase the risk of your audience tuning out.
Pop Corners – Breaking Good
Like Netflix, Dunkin’ and Bud Light, PopCorners also opted for a “pop” culture heavy strategy. We liked this one for the recognizable characters and the clear messaging (“Breaking Good”/“Break Into Something Good”). They also found a way to sneak in the fact they have seven flavors through the character dialog.
Pringles – Best of Us
Pringles gave us a continuation of their self-deprecating humor campaign where chip eaters get their hands stuck in the tube-shaped packaging. While we liked the “it happens to the best of us” messaging and use of Megan Trainor, we would have liked to see something a little more original for the Super Bowl.
If you missed out on any of our top picks, you can catch every ad from Super Bowl LVII in the compilation below.