We’ve seen the great commercials from 2016, and we’ve seen the pretty good ones, but now it’s time to get into the fun stuff – the bad commercials from Super Bowl 2016.

There are five strong candidates for “bad” commercials this year, because we had such strong contenders for the “ugly” category – but we’ll get to those next week. I’m sure you can guess what they are. With so many mediocre commercials this year, the biggest issue is that many of the spots were just flat out forgettable. I took notes on every commercials, and for the most part, it was the name of the spot, followed by “eh.” As I said on Monday, if you’re spending Super Bowl-sized money on your advertising spots, you should be spending Super Bowl sized money on the advertising itself – and that means at least evoking *some* reaction from the viewing public.

The following commercials did just that. They weren’t the worst of the worst, but they were fairly terrible. Let’s take a look at each of them, and discuss why they failed.

LG Man from the Future


Oh boy, did I want to love this commercial. I mean, it’s Liam Neeson. And, for you eagle-eyed viewers out there, yes, that’s his son appearing with him in the spot.
Continue Reading Superbowl Commercials – The Bad of 2016

Picture, if you will, the Staples commercials that aired a few years ago, with the parents sailing through the aisles as they got ready for their kids to go back to school as “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” played jubilantly in the background. For me, that’s what Super Bowl commercials are like.

While football is all right (these days, I’d much prefer to watch the Six Nations, where it seems that the men are men), to me, the Super Bowl is really about the ads. If a company is going to spend up to $5 million for 30 seconds of ad time (yes, you read that right), then they should really be bringing their A game to the ad game.

Unfortunately, I’d have to say that this year overall was a bit of a letdown. While I did have some standouts and so will be able to do a “best of” as well as my “good, bad and ugly,” in general, the commercials were at best, mediocre. And that’s just not okay.

Companies (and firms, this goes for you, too): if you’re going to be investing in a marketing project, invest in it. Don’t spend the money on the advertising dollars, only to go cheap on the ad itself. Some of the ads were misses for me, but at least I could tell that the agencies tried. Most of them felt like an afterthought. And I see more and more of that in legal marketing these days too – we have some brilliant and talented people in our industry, who are, unfortunately, being asked to do more and more and are spread very thin. As a result, there’s less and less creativity being seen because there’s only so much time in the day.

But I’d love to see more from all of us. Bring back the days of thoughtful, smart marketing that gets people excited about what they’re going to see. We don’t need the budgets of these big companies to learn and apply the lessons that their commercials can teach us!

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at my five favorites from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads – along with a couple of Honorable Mentions:

Prius: The Longest Chase

https://youtube.com/watch?v=MYeM-8hO3hMContinue Reading Super Bowl Commercials – The Best of 2016

With this year’s crop of commercials, there actually weren’t too many that fell into the ‘bad" category – the commercials were either pretty good or really terrible. But I did manage to find a few that I wasn’t happy with. 

The first one on my list will surprise many people, because it made a lot of "good" lists and seemed to be a popular favorite: 

Snickers: The Brady Bunch

https://youtube.com/watch?v=rqbomTIWCZ8Continue Reading Superbowl Commercials – The Bad of 2015