February Event Recap | A Look Back at the Most Expensive Ads of the Year


What’s so exciting about the Super Bowl? The football game, the half-time show, and the commercials! You can put those three in the order of importance that best suits your preferences. For us – the hardcore, the dedicated, and the die-hard marketers – interest in the commercials could easily rival our interest in the game. For some of us, it does. Super Bowl commercial space is the Holy Grail, the most expensive, and the most sought after. It’s where the big dogs come to play and we wanted a front row seat!

Ad Analysis at its Finest

Ad Analysis at its Finest


The Big Event
On Thursday, February 4th, some of the brightest marketing minds in the Tampa Bay area gathered at Raymond James stadium with one purpose: to view the most famous and the most highly scrutinized adds in the country and to select the best of the best! The group started off by watching 24 of the commercials that aired during the big game. After viewing, each table broke into groups for lively discussions and dissected each of these commercials. Marketers considered different categories of commercials.

There were those involving brands that shifted away from their normal identity (Weight Watchers: All You Can Eat!), brands that we feel missed the mark (Toyota Camry: How Great I Am), and brands that left us with mixed feelings (McDonald’s: Pay with Lovin’).


The Results
The results? Well, there was no landslide win. However, after voting, AMA Tampa Bay determined that the top three commercials of this year’s Big Game were:

1.)   Weight Watchers: All You Can Eat!

2.)   BMW i3: Newfangled Idea

3.)   Tied for third place: Avocados from Mexico and No More PSA


Our Analysis: What made the winners winners?


There are so many ads to consider!

Weight Watchers
This ad related well to potential consumers by focusing on a constant struggle they face: effort to fight temptation while living in a society that encourages large portion sizes and junk food. This ad also related exceptionally well to Super Bowl audiences in particular by focusing on the consumption of junk food as a social event: something that happens at most Super Bowl gatherings. The commercial addressed real struggles on a deeper level and ended by offering a solution. Rather than focusing on the transformation of a celebrity spokesperson, this ad handed control to the viewer. Weight watchers earned a thumbs up!


In this ad, BMW brilliantly compared itself to the Internet in the early 1990s. In doing so, it forced the audience to consider BMW i3 as an entity that will be as significant in the audience’s future as the Internet is in the present day. This historical reference also coaxed the audience to reconsider the future potential of products they don’t yet understand. Any ad that reframes the audience’s thinking is a success in our book!



Brilliant Marketing Minds at Work

The draft concept incorporated into this commercial was brilliant and obviously relevant to the Super Bowl. This ad captivated us with its humor. Also, showing Mexican avocados as the “draft pick” repositioned these avocados as a top grade product. The ad also tied the identity of Avocados to Mexico in such a way that an avocado from Mexico is, in the context of the ad, considered more authentic and better.


Domestic Abuse PSA
The PSA engaged us emotionally and mentally. First, the ad was a serious portrayal of a very real issue, which means that the mood here was a complete departure from that of the other Super Bowl commercials. This alone made it stand out. Another factor was the rawness of it. The ad featured a real 911 call from a real victim of domestic violence. She called 911, but pretended to order a pizza while skillfully masking the fear in her voice so her abuser wouldn’t discover she was calling for help. Hearing this woman’s voice is enough to give anyone chills. The knowledge that this call was real increased audience engagement and, therefore, increased the likelihood that the message made an impact.


Final Thoughts
The event, sponsored by MNI Targeted Marketing Inc., was certainly one for the books. It engaged us intellectually and emotionally and we were fortunate to partake. We are already looking forward to next year!  Maybe the Bucs will even make it to the Big Game! Please visit us on Facebook to see more pictures of the event <https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152538068796114.1073741836.155686821113&type=1>!

About the Authors

Annaliese Sergent

Annie 2

Annie is the Director of Chapter Luncheons for AMA Tampa Bay. Professionally, Annie is the Director of Market Development and Client Relations at Auditwerx, a boutique CPA firm specializing in SOC reporting. Prior to this role, Annie was a marketing professional at Grant Thornton. Annie has over 8 years of marketing and sales experience and has excelled in areas such as event management, lead generation, direct marketing campaigns, account management, market research, and digital marketing. Annie earned a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of South Florida and a Master of Science in Marketing from the University of Tampa.

Chiara Tedone


Chiara is Digital Content Creator and Blog Manager for AMA Tampa Bay. She is Co-founder and Director of Winning the Fight, a non-profit organization specializing in neurodegenerative disease research. Chiara is also a freelance digital marketer for small businesses and is finishing up her MBA with a specialty in marketing from the University of South Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Chiara lived in Washington, DC. She earned her BA in International Studies from American University’s School of International Services in 2007 and worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and the Department of Defense thereafter. Her hobbies include obstacle racing, running, swimming, kayaking, SCUBA diving, and opera/classical singing. She also loves country music and chocolate!

Contact Chiara

Email: Chiara at [email protected]

Social Media: LinkedIn