While we can all agree that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira nailed this year’s halftime show, the beer and hard seltzer ads were more touch-and-go. From Tide pods to “Typical Americans,” here is our ranking of the best and worst booze ads of Super Bowl LIV.
Honorable Mention. Tide: Super Bowl Now, #LaundryLater
Though ostensibly marketing a laundry detergent, when the presumed-deceased Bud Light Knight suddenly showed up to get his beer stolen by Charlie Day, we couldn’t help wondering, “Is this a beer ad?” The Bud Light Knight reappearance was kind of cool, and we were very grateful the “Dilly, Dilly” catchphrase remained consigned to history, but ultimately this spot went on for too long.
4. Michelob Ultra: Jimmy Works It Out
This ad feels like an extended “Tonight Show” skit, with Jimmy Fallon getting his famous friends to show up and do some wacky stuff. While beer and exercise go surprisingly well together, the commercial failed to really make the combination work. The tagline felt tacked on, as if even the ad’s producers forgot they were promoting a beer until the very end.
3. Budweiser: Typical American
Budweiser’s “Typical American” is a successful aspirational ad, and did a better job of showing diversity than other beer commercials this year. Did we miss the Clydesdales? Yes, but at least we got stirring direction courtesy of Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow.
2. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold: 6 for 6-Pack
There are some good details here — the fraying on the farmer’s baseball cap, anyone? — but the simplicity of the message (buy beer, support organic farming) gets muddled slightly in the sudden turn for the extravagant. Overall, it’s a positive initiative and one we hope drinkers embrace. But had this ad been half as long, it would probably have been twice as effective.
1. Bud Light Hard Seltzer: Inside Post’s Brain
Bud Light is finally jumping on the hard seltzer train, and it’s using advertising’s biggest night to make sure everyone knows. In the aired spot, musician Post Malone gets the “Inside Out” treatment when he has to choose between Bud Light or Bud Light Seltzer. The physical humor drives the message home rather than distracts from it, and the decision to have him buy both at the end is a savvy move aimed at anyone who might still be on the fence about the hard seltzer phenomenon.