AAF Asks: Favorite 2021 Super Bowl Ad?

Well folks, 2020’s football season was one to remember for many reasons. The Buffalo Bills won their first playoff game in over twenty years, fans were largely not allowed in stadiums to cheer on their teams, and Tom Brady (finally) left New England for greener pastures. Although the Bills didn’t make it all the way, the board still tuned in to watch the big game this past Sunday. Check out their favorite ads from throughout the night.

As always, GO BILLS.

McKenna Murray – Alexa’s Body, Amazon

Maybe I’m a book nerd, or simply a romantic… but anything with Michael B. Jordan’s dulcet audiobook tones has my vote. As someone who has never been interested in owning an Alexa, I sure thought about it. 

Noteworthy mention of Come Together by M&M. They did a great job of incorporating relatable and timely pain points: Karens, gender reveal parties, even mansplaining “mansplaining” — and did so in a funny way. Throwing in Dan Levy was icing on the cake (or, peanut butter in the M&M?)

Jeff Quinn – Wayne’s World & Cardi B, UberEats

Playing off an old school bit from Wayne’s World was a great combo. There were more than enough great advertisements to choose from, but UberEats leads the charge. I was also fond of the Paramount+ commercials!

Adina Pera 5 to 9, SQUARESPACE

Over the last few months, I have discovered this newfound obsession with Dolly Parton, so when I saw this spot I immediately loved it. The message speaks to so many and provides the nudge to continue to pursue your dreams and embrace the side hustle. Also, let’s not forget about those great M&T Bank spots that Crowley Webb shot and produced!

Maura Noonan – Certain is Better, Rocket Mortgage

Normally I lean more towards the commercials that make me cry, but this Tracy Morgan spot had me actually laughing out loud. Morgan on his own is awesome, but I also loved the cameos from Dave Bautista and Liza Koshy. I think Rocket did a great job of balancing the humor, while ultimately still getting their point across and marketing their new app. When buying a home, certain really is better. Honorable mention would be the Paramount+ Sweet Victory commercial because I love a good Survivor torch moment with Jeff Probst.

Mary AmentaThe Neighborhood, DoorDash

Nothing like bringing back some childhood memories and the iconic characters from Sesame Street and mixing it with the modern days of delivery food services! Personally, I thought they did a great job in tying in “the neighborhood” theme highlighting the different things you can get delivered, which is pretty much anything at this point in time. Nice little mention at the end too that for every order, $1.00 would be donated to Sesame Workshop!

Katie Hazel Last Year’s Lemons, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade

I like the way that Bud Lite Seltzer Lemonade played off of the “When life gives you lemons” expression and showed people being bombarded with lemons raining down from the sky. It was funny and timely for how people feel about 2020. 

Second Favorite: Certain is Better, Rocket Mortgage

I also really liked the Tracy Morgan Rocket Mortgage spot. It was funny and really did a great job of being humorous while still selling the app the entire spot.

Third Favorite: Jessica Long’s Story, Toyota

The Toyota Team USA spot was captivating and gave me chills. You were engaged from the start and it kept your attention while bringing awareness to this special family and Olympian, Jessica Long. The art direction was beautiful as well.

Alex KeoganWill Ferrell, General Motors

Although it was a very close call, I have a soft spot for the comedic genius of Will Ferrell. The focus on sustainable energy, American made, and millennial comedy got me hard. There were some fantastic clap-back commercials from Norway, go watch!

Cody Andres- Wayne’s World & Cardi B.,UberEats

Playing off the vintage Saturday Night Live “Wayne’s World” skits, Uber Eats, “Eat Local” ad calls for communities to support their local restaurants during these challenging times. I felt like this ad really hits home with our strong food community here in Buffalo. I found the ad to be absolutely hilarious with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey re-take of a classic. Rapper Cardi B. was the perfect feature, as it really helped expand the audience age range in my opinion. I think they really hit the mark with this one. Excellent!

Samantha Lonczak – Certain is Better, Rocket Mortgage

Tracy Morgan Rocket Mortgage spot was one of the highlights of the game. Well first who doesn’t love Tracy Morgan? He planned to behave recklessly because he’s “pretty sure” everything will turn out okay, I think this was funny and a creative way to sell the app. The pandemic has brought new meaning and significance to the place where we live. Honorable mention goes to General Motors’ “No Way, Norway” spot where Will Ferrell hilariously sets out to give Norwegians a piece of his mind.

Caroline Jette – Let’s Grab a Beer, Anheuser-Busch

Although not a funny one, the Anheuser-Busch ‘Let’s Grab a Beer’ commercial really stuck out to me this year. It touched on a lot of low points of 2020, as well as highlighting what a lot of us still miss, something as simple as grabbing a beer with anyone. Anheuser-Busch found a creative way to subtly incorporate a multitude of their beer brands throughout the ad, keeping the focus on the experience more than the brand you choose. Overall, I found it relatable and welcomed the realistic approach to the ad during our socially distanced Super Bowl.

Josh GumulakLast Year’s Lemons, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade

Paying homage to all that was 2020, as well as an all-around great phrase, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade put together a great ad for the Big Game. Funny, candid and sarcastic – the ad was extremely on-brand for a beer that doesn’t take itself too serious, even when expanding into one of the most competitive categories there is in modern-day alcohol shenanigans. 

What made it even better was the paid placement coming back from commercial break when they commissioned @dudewithsign to be spotted in the stands, beverage in-hanCd, holding a homemade sign sporting the tagline. Great complimentary placements!

Shannon Polvino – Alexa’s Body. Amazon

I needed some serious humor after all that was 2020, and the commercial for Amazon’s Alexa accomplished just that. The spot was very well-produced and featured the incredibly attractive Michael B. Jordan portraying himself as Alexa. I was in stitches the whole time and am absolutely purchasing an Alexa. I also appreciated the Drake from State Farm commercial. State Farm commercials have been a staple this football season, so adding stars to the mix (Paul Rudd is my favorite human) added a freshness to the series.