Best of Super Bowl 2015: Ad Showdown

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest annual sporting event in the world and while some on our team take a little more interest in the game itself than others – ahem Bart – there is one thing we can agree on; the entertainment value of the commercials. As marketers, we get to indulge our inner creative geek and make a sport of discussing and debating which ads missed the mark and which ones scored a touchdown.

While many may disagree on whether the cost of a Super Bowl ad is worth it for only 30 seconds of air time, you have to admit they have become a spectacle of their own. This year, we have called upon each teammate to share their favourite commercial from last night’s sport spectacle.

Do you agree with our choices? Let us know which commercial is your favourite by tweeting us @TORQUEstrat.


Bart_Given_Web101 Bart Given, Managing Partner & Chief Innovator

Wix “#ItsThatEasy”

My personal favourite ad this year is Wix. I’ve always enjoyed ads, movies or songs that incorporate alternate storylines, or make reference to other genres. Case in point – I get my nerd on when I hear Tolkien references in Led Zeppelin songs.

So an ad (in the full version) where Brett Favre talks about playing in the CFL, Franco Harris immaculately receives a bouquet of flowers and Emmitt Smith manages to tie-in:

  • His jersey number;
  • Dancing with the Stars; and
  • The most-aired-Sunday-afternoon movie of all-time – Roadhouse.


From an effectiveness standpoint, I do question what percentage of fans watching the Super Bowl on Sunday were able to make all the connections that I did. I’m a football fan, but on a day when there are millions of people viewing their only football game of the year – so many inside jokes certainly had to have a certain segment confused and/or indifferent.

Having said that, regardless of your avidity to the NFL, as a viewer you’re now well aware of the fact Wix makes starting a website easy…even if you’ve never heard of Larry Allen.

My favourite ad professionally is BMW. The premise and delivery were brilliant, and the theme of innovation is a great halo for the i3.  I’m sure it emotionally connected with a much broader audience  – regardless of their level of avidity toward the NFL.


Peter_Gardner_web101 Peter Gardner, Senior Partnership Architect & Insight Development

Esurance “Say My Name’

It’s pretty clear from this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials that brands of all kinds are trying to appeal to emotion.  Although I didn’t see all of this year’s ads, I think this appeal falls on a spectrum somewhere between Budweiser and Always. Personally, my preference is for the latter because I like to see brands that are bold in forming a purpose and participate in solving real issues.

Spectrum aside, Esurance wins my vote for the best ad. It’s not that I think it’s a superior ad to the others, I just love that they created a $4M+ parable for research! The lesson you say? Hyphen everything. Shared characteristics among huge groups is great but real insight comes from understanding sub-groups and cultures, and the individuals that make them up. You can bet I’ll be dropping Walter White into some future presentations this year.


Auburn_Sigurdson_web101 Auburn Sigurdson, Senior Partnership Architect & Brand Builder


This year’s roundup of Super Bowl commercials was hit and miss for me. The sadvertising trend was out in full force, with the Twitterverse lamenting about how these ads were making them “feel feelings”. Yet many made me laugh (bravo BMW i3 and Fiat Blue Pill), a few made me want to cry (loved Dove Men Care #RealStrength), sew some wild oats (Dodge Wisdom), and hit the gym – pronto (Reebok), but one in particular felt more timely, necessary and poignant than the rest… NO MORE’s chilling spot addressing domestic violence. Given the unsettling number of domestic violence related news stories coming from the NFL’s ranks this year, this ad left its mark with an exceptional and well executed concept that had me leaning in from start to finish.


Veronica_Watson_MacDonell_web101 Veronica Watson MacDonell, Consultant & Brand Builder

Always “Like a Girl”

While many brands use big budgets and explosions to make impact during the Super Bowl, the best one of the night was Always ‘Like a Girl’ commercial.  it is nice to see a brand using their time in the spotlight to make us think, not only as consumers but as citizens. The brand is addressing the issue of self confidence in females and drawing attention to the fact that young girls aren’t born with low self esteem, it is something that develops as they age. According to Adobe Social the ad also resonated online with over 400,000 mentions, the most of any of last night’s ads, and also scored the highest in positive sentiment. This year as Canada’s female athletes, like Genie Bouchard, the women’s rugby sevens team and women’s soccer team, are rising to the top of their respective sports, we have the perfect opportunity as a country to change what it means to ‘run like a girl.’


Rohaan-web101 Rohaan Sethna,

mofie “All-Powerless”

I think this was a clever and quirky way to address a very apparent problem people have with their mobile devices. I love the simplicity of the advertisement and how easy it is to understand, regardless of the viewers culture, nationality or language. They also found a way to make the ‘end of the world’ a bit comical – definitely chuckled at the scene where the dog is walking his human owner. Lastly, the commercial has a social component – #StayPowerful ties in well with their primary product benefit.


Monica_Whiteley_web101 Monica Whiteley, Coordinator

Reebok “Be More Human”

Fitness doesn’t just help you stay physically fit, it helps you stay both mentally sharp and socially strong. Reebok’s Be More Human campaign shows fitness helps shape who you are, for the better. The brand’s ad fits seamlessly with current fitness trends like CrossFit and the Spartan Race, appealing to fitness enthusiasts who are trying to be strong in their everyday lives. The ad was a refreshing change from the usual showcasing of a professional athlete. It made Reebok relatable to the every man, those who want to push their limits not just in the gym but beyond.


Nicole_Headshot Nicole Wong, Intern

Doritos “Middle Seat”

As a frequent traveller I have a strong appreciation this commercial. It is relatable, entertaining and has a good twist. I also love Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest because it is a great way to engage consumers and provides for a lot of exposure.