Hot Take on Super Bowl 2020 Spots

By Alixandra Rutnik Posted on Feb 05, 2020

Judges reveal their creative critique on their favorite ad from the Super Bowl

Every year Super Bowl ads are all the rage– there’s no surprise there. They are hyped up just as much as the football teams playing the game, maybe even more. It’s a tradition for companies to spend an upward of five mil to secure a 30-second space during the Super Bowl game. And the monstrous costs keep going up. If brands are going to be spending that much money for air-time, the spots better be extra, hilarious, heartfelt, and a slew of other captivating emotions. I wanted to get a hot take on what some of our senior creative judges for this upcoming award season thought about this year’s Super Bowl ads, so I asked them for their creative thoughts and business critiques. Forget football, the Super Bowl is only about the commercials… and the halftime performance, right?

Nicky Bullard
Chief Creative Officer, MRM McCann
One Show Direct Marketing Jury

"Ok, I can’t vote for my own Network (great job BTW). So, the winner for me has to be Jeep, "Groundhog Day." No day is the same as in a Jeep. What an ad. Congratulations to whoever thought of it, whoever sold it and whoever got it made. The Wonderful Mr. Murray, the perfect use of the classic film idea. Guess what? I just want to watch it again and watch it again and watch it again and watch it again…"





Karl Waters
Creative Partner, JWT Folk Dublin
One Show Direct Marketing Jury

"Many Super Bowl spots that use celebrities leave people thinking “just how much did that endorsement cost?” What I love about the Pringles spot is that it tackles this head-on, while managing to maintain the tone of Rick & Morty. Very clever, very funny and given this deprecating tone, sure to endear Super Bowl viewers to the brand."





Hector Fernandez
CEO, VMLY&R Mexico
ADC Advertising Jury

"The easy choice this year would be Bill Murray’s "Groundhog Day" Jeep Commercial. It’s fun, well written, and the product fits well in the story. To top it all, it plays well with the nostalgia of simpler times. Nevertheless, this year I’d choose Google’s "Loretta" Commercial. The same language Google developed so well with Paris, used to tell a very emotional story. Proving not every Super Bowl ad needs to be starred with celebrities or needs to be funny, but that good advertising makes you feel things you didn’t expect."




Marcus Wesson
Chief Creative Officer, Dailey LA
One Show Branded Entertainment Jury


"The best Super Bowl commercials make the client, production company and/or agency nervous. They involve some level of risk. Apple’s “1984?” The board of directors got cold feet and wanted to pull it. "The Old Spice Guy?" Wieden had to convince P&G to run it. "E-Trade Baby?" The creative team wasn’t sure if it was dumb or brilliant. All risky. With that said, the spots I loved this year took risks. Google’s “Loretta” is one of those. In a sea full of celebrities and CGI, it’s refreshing to see a heart-wrenching, emotionally-powerful spot heralding technology through storytelling. Risks work."





Kendra Clarke
VP of Data Science and Product Development, Sparks & Honey New York
One Show Creative Use of Data Jury

"I loved the Katie Sowers video. I was proud; I teared up. Microsoft did a fantastic job of honoring the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl (while she just happened to be using their product) and hitting me right in the feelings while doing it. Their spot casts a focus on a powerful moment for women and femmes who love sports, play sports, and have aspirations to do so at the highest levels. Microsoft's ad was a great example of what becomes effortless inclusion. You have a queer woman at the center of an ad, and it's reverent without browbeating a message. They allowed Katie to be excellent, in her element and didn't make themselves the hero of the story. It was simply great."




"Avocados on QVC... what will they think of next? This ad was absurd, and that's the point. This 60-second ad seemed largely premised on Millennials being avocado fueled Gollums who love their preciouses so much they need to put them in special-made baby avocado carriers. And then it took an extra turn by throwing Molly Ringwald in as a product giveaway. The ad poked fun at the unfunny and made a white slavery joke in the process. Truly odd."




Gabriel Araujo
Global CCO, Ogilvy Social Lab Brussels
One Show Social Media Jury

"Cheetos– “Can’t touch it,” for me was the best ad. The reason why is because the insight came from a human truth, as everyone knows your fingers will get dirty while eating the “controversial delicious” Cheetos. Second, because it is remarkable. You watch it and you will remember, not only the funny ad but the brand. Which makes it much more effective from a performance point of view. And third, I never saw so much fit with the music before. Its smart, funny, ironic and overall a brilliant ad."





Tahaab Rais
Regional Head of Strategy & Truth Central (MENAT), FP7/McCann Dubai
One Show Creative Use of Data Jury

"I love Star Wars and Han Solo is one of my top 5 Star Wars characters. I also love Pearl Jam and in my terribly adolescent voice, I enjoyed crooning to their very meaningful songs. So, when I watched the very meaningful Verizon Superbowl spot around "The Amazing Things 5G Can’t Do," after reading a tweet about it from Pearl Jam, I was hooked. While a few brands have talked about what their product can’t do i.e. what’s more important than their product, it was refreshing to see this point-of-view from a telecom brand in arguably the most cluttered advertising time of the year, and I wanted more. It was a worthy follow-up to their last year’s spot. And it’s also a good example of marketing a brand and its purpose in Superbowl vs. doing an ad for a brand in Superbowl."





Remy Merriex
Lead Creative Director, Facebook San Francisco
One Show Public Relations Jury

"Rocket Mortgage’s “Comfortable” Super Bowl spot landed in my top 5. Real talk, it’s hard as hell to make home loans be memorable or fun. Relating the brand to the instant feeling of relief coming back home and literally stripping down to your underwear was a great gamble for Rocket. Flipping expectations on what Jason Momoa is doing in the ad immediately made it discussion-worthy, outrageous, and it leaned into his rarely used but sharp sense of humor. Tough strategy to pin down, and even tougher to execute creatively, but the team behind this did an outstanding job."





Julia Neumann
Executive Creative Director, TBWAChiatDay New York
ADC Advertising Jury

"One of my favorite spots from this year was the Amazon "#BeforeAlexa" spot. From the moment that maid tossed the flaming log out of the window I knew I was going to be entertained until the end of the commercial. Every vignette was carefully crafted, and so was the look of the entire film. Not only was it fun to watch, but it also was a product demo from start to finish. Dare I say I even learned a thing or two about Alexa? I guess I did."




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