Originally Published: February 8, 2016 10 a.m.
Super Bowl advertisements are not what they used to be.
With 30-second Super Bowl ads in 2016 costing as much as $5 million, it's a huge gamble to advertise. And, as my Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, there were winners and losers off the field, too. For some of these advertisers, the gamble paid off, and for some, ... well, they dropped the ball.
Hyundai, "First Date"
Hands down, this was the best of the lot - not just because I am a dad, but also because of its simple humor!
Heinz, "Weiner Stampede"
A close second was this ad. This Heinz ad had me laughing even only at the sight of the dachshunds dressed like hot dogs frolicking in a field to the tune of Harry Nilsson's "Without You."
Third place goes to Audi's spot, in which a depressed, aging astronaut is reminded of his joy for life by driving an Audi sports car with his son to David Bowie's "Starman." It put a huge smile on my face.
Mountain Dew "Puppymonkeybaby"
This not only bizarre, but also stupid ad left me hating that commercial break. The "creature" - part puppy, part monkey and part baby - was easily remembered; however, I had to look up what the ad was for (a soda).
Axe, "Find Your Magic"
Axe left previously juvenile ads behind with a spot that urges teens to "Find Your Magic" and celebrate uniqueness and diversity.
Bud Light, "Bud Light Party"
Capitalizing on election-year buzz, Bud Light enlisted Amy Schumer and Seth Rogan to canvass America to promote "The Bud Light Party."
Three pharmaceutical ads struck a jarring tone. One promoted an anti-diarrhea medication Xifaxan and showed a small-intestines mascot trying to watch a football game. Another sought to raise awareness about "opioid-induced constipation." A third tackled toe fungus.
Henkel, "America's No. 1 Rated"
First-time advertiser Henkel had a tuxedoed spokesman telling viewers that Persil ProClean detergent beat rivals in a test - a generic-feeling ad people have seen many, many times before. Really?
Quicken Loans, "What We Were Thinking"
Quicken Loans, another first-time advertiser, imagined a world where it's as easy to get a loan on your smartphone as it is to buy music and plane tickets.
Colonial Williamsburg, "It Started Here"
The tourist destination created an ad that showed historical events going in reverse to illustrate the idea that American history started with Colonial Williamsburg.
Yes, they cost as much as $5 million per spot! Remember when they were less than $1 million each? Heck, consider that in 1967 they cost $42,000 for 30 seconds, and in 2016 the rate was $166,666 per second.
Knowing that, what was your favorite or the most-effective use of so much money?
Give me the Dodge "farmer" ad or the Clydesdales of old any day.