Written by: Kworq Team on Fri Feb 17

The Olympics of Advertising: Super Bowl Commercials

a creative agency's blog header, advertisements, patrick mahomes, super bowl commercials, super bowl LVII, football

The Super Bowl isn’t just for football fans.

Written by: Rachel Clancy

Whether you’re there for the game, the wings, the commercials, or simply the good company, there’s something for everyone. For us here at Kworq, we can’t help but appreciate a well-executed commercial.

The Super Bowl has practically reached holiday status in America. This year alone pulled in 113 million viewers (which jumped to 118.7 million during Rihanna’s iconic halftime performance). When you consider all of the viewing parties, all the gatherings crammed behind one TV, there’s an astronomical amount of eyes on the program. Advertising on this platform translates to massive financial success for brands, so the commercial slots are highly sought after. A 30-second spot costs a hefty 7 million dollars.

All gas, no brakes.

Though the price of advertising has steadily increased alongside the increase in football viewership, the first Super Bowl’s price per spot started at $37,500. Needless to say, brands pull out all of the stops for their Super Bowl Ads.

Driven by competition, they top themselves each year in budget, endorsements, creative concepts, theatrics, and so much more. This has created a phenomenon that we’ll call The Olympics of Advertising. And the viewers eat it up. A 2021 study found that 43 percent of respondents said they tune into the game just to watch the ads.

To pay homage to the spectacle, here’s some of our team’s favorite ads aired during Super Bowl LVII.

Guy: Run With It - NFL


A sideline interview with Diana Flores, quarterback of Mexico’s world championship flag football team, devolves into hilarious chaos when she’s chased down by a mob trying to steal her flags. No one is to be trusted, even her mother takes a swipe. She demonstrates impressive footwork, unexpected parkour, and eventually a powerful message.

Successfully evading the flag-snatchers, Flores keeps running. She’s joined by Vanita Crouch (QB of US women’s flag football team) and Bella Rasmussen, the first female football player to receive a NIL (name, image, and likeness) deal in high school.

“To the women pushing football forward, we can’t wait to see where you take this game” appears on screen as the women run towards a more inclusive future of football. So badass.

Rachel: Breaking Good - Popcorners


Breaking Bad characters Jesse and Walt are in their trailer cooking up something good (wink). These 6 flavors of Popcorners are so good that they need to be distributed. They bring a sample to cutthroat kingpin Tuco, who’s so impressed with the flavors that he demands: “seven! You make seven!”.

The gang being fully in character gives the commercial spunk. The details, down to the lighting, set design, and shot composition feels as though it was pulled directly from the show. It creates nostalgia for fans of the beloved series that ended almost a decade ago.

The ad still has everything it needs to strike a chord with those who’ve never seen the show. It’s got humor, good dialogue, and weaves in the product in a cohesive and clever way.

Gabriela: Hold - Bud Light


Bud Light is a veteran when it comes to Super Bowl commercials. For decades, they’ve been producing smash-hits for the big game. This year, their formula was simple, yet effective. Popular celebrity couple Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry tap into the mundane human experience of waiting on hold. The whole thing feels so real, down to the frustrating fake-outs when there’s a break in the hold music.

The “it’s funny ‘cause it’s true” approach works perfectly. We’ve all been there, banging our heads against the wall and cursing whoever picked out that awful elevator music.

Also to their benefit, Bud Light leans into cuteness. Cute concept, cute dog, and a cute couple finding joy in the boring moments of life together. The ad leaves a wholesome and positive impression that won’t soon be forgotten. 10/10.

Matt: Why Not an EV? - Netflix x GM


A complete 180 from the minimalist Bud Light ad, Netflix & GM’s collaboration to promote EVs dives right into theatrics. Will Ferrell is dropped into the Netflix universe, shifting between their most “you just have to see it” shows. The references and cameos from Netflix’s top characters creates a pop culture mosh pit of sorts.

Beyond its fun nature, this spot demonstrates a cleverly constructed strategy. Netflix and GM have ingeniously united two completely distinct companies in a manner that appears entirely natural.

Chris G: They’re Back for Good - M&Ms


For those who don’t know, this one needs a bit of context. M&M’s go-to vehicle of advertising has long been their sentient, walking, talking, “spokescandies”. Last year, M&M made some progressive tweaks to their characters. Most notably, they swapped the green M&M’s “sexy go-go boots” for some sensible sneakers, and re-worked their personalities to create more positive and empowering relationships between the candies. Sounds innocent enough, right?

Wrong. The new M&M gang was like a gallon of gasoline thrown into the ever-raging inferno of the culture war. Right-wing pundits like Tucker Carlson heavily criticized M&M for being too “woke”, and inspired TikTok trends that poked fun at the controversy. Under fire, M&M announced an indefinite suspension on the self-aware chocolates.

This all came to a head the night of the Super Bowl in an iconic, mic-drop moment. M&M’s spokescandies double down, announcing in a press conference that “they’re back for good”. While it all might feel a little silly, M&M is making a statement, standing strong in their values. We are so here for the drama.

Jad: Great Acting or Great Taste? - Pepsi


Here we see yet another successful take on the celebrity endorsement. Steve Martin is in his element (acting), which gives the ad authentic charisma. Weaving in fourth wall breaks and comedic flair (“EAT IT KYLE!”), it’s charming and engaging from start to finish.

The ending is a playful call to action to try Pepsi Zero Sugar. Is it really that good, or is Steve Martin just acting? This “you’ll have to see for yourself” challenge is compelling, especially when it comes from such an adored public figure.

Though the celebrity endorsement is one of the oldest advertising tricks in the book, we see it succeed time and time again when it’s done right. This YouTube  comment says it all:

While giving out medals isn’t in our budget…

…we’ve had a lot of fun sharing our top picks. There’s so much to be learned from these massive brands competing to be seen on one of the biggest advertising nights of the year. We’re always keeping our eyes and ears open for inspiration, and this was no exception.

Football fans or not, we’ll be parked on the couch next year, excited to see what’s next.


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