15 Super Bowl Commercials that Broke Through the Noise

Monday - February 4th, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

15 Super Bowl Commercials that Broke Through the Noise

As a marketing firm, the Super Bowl is kind of like another holiday season for us. We love advertising. And, when other marketers pay $3.7 to $3.8 million for a 30-second piece of advertising, it’s usually cool to see what they do with it.

I must admit, I felt this year’s crop of commercials was sub-par compared to recent Super Bowls. For example, Super Bowl XLV (2011) featured one of my all-time favorite commercials – Chrysler’s breakout Eminem feature. I didn’t feel anything from last night compared to that spot. Anyway, there were some highlights throughout the night. Here’s a list of 15 commercials I watched and felt did a pretty good job of grabbing America’s attention (for nearly $4 million, they better break through!).

#1 Coke Chase

In case you were living under a rock on Super Bowl Sunday, you may have missed the Coke Chase campaign, a great spot that combined some interactive elements. The Coke Chase featured a separate website to entice people to engage during the big game.

#2 Toyota

I liked the sassy wish fairy in this spot. The best part may have been the rejuvenated Skee-lo track (give this original video a view here).

#3 Speed Stick

Anyone who’s ever lived in a dorm or crappy apartment complex can relate to this commercial on some level. Well, part of it, at least! Short and to the point. This spot also had a Twitter CTA (#handleit) to bring more visibility after the spot aired. Actually, Twitter was mentioned in about 50% of the spots.

#4 Hyundai (#1)

This spot has been around for a little while, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling as a Super Bowl 2013 commercial! This spot hit home to me…the toilet papering of a neighbors house is amazing. It brought back memories when I did that in high school….except I escaped in a Hyundai Excel. I loved that car.

#5 Hyundai (#2)

Hyundai did such a great job this year that they get a second mention on this list. Plus, like we said, the “Don’t Tell Mom” commercial has been around for a little while! Hyundai’s “Team” spot appeals to all of those underdogs out there – which is the area Hyundai still fits into.

#6 Montana Miracle Stain

Well, this was my personal favorite. It speaks to how a small little “something” can go completely viral in a split second.

#7 Beck’s Sapphire

Not every commercial has to be laugh-out-loud funny. This spot for Beck’s Sapphire was well-placed in the third quarter. The “No Diggity” song brought back memories of hanging out to Blackstreet and drinking Milwaukee’s Best Light (Beast Light). I’m not sure if that was Beck’s intention, but that’s what happened.

#8 Mercedes-Benz

If you were watching the Super Bowl, then you only saw the 30-second version of this star-studded spot. See the full-length version of this wild piece above! The only downside of this spot, William Dafoe’s long fingernails….what’s going on with those things? The other interesting component of this spot is the target audience – it speaks to a slightly different demographic with a car “available for less than $30k.” I don’t remember Mercedes-Benz taking this approach before. I think it will be interesting to see how the CLA pans out.

#9 Kia

While we’re talking cars, can we bring up Kia’s hilarious baby fantasy world? This may have been my other favorite commercial. It shows what can happen to parents when they are asked those awkward, embarrassing questions. As a parent, I’ve caught myself going down a similar road a few times!


I couldn’t help but wonder, “Just how real is this commercial?” My suspicion is that it wasn’t. Either way, it was definitely a little different than other spots for Super Bowl XLVII. We’ve done quite a few focus groups and it’s always exciting to get real-time feedback (while looking through a one-way window). The “hidden camera” angle provided a break from some of the other overly produced commercials.

#11 Volkswagen

Volkswagen has always known how to create a great spot. It’s impossible not to smile while watching this commercial.

#12 Taco Bell

Probably one of my least favorites, this 60-second spot features old people doing everything you never expect them to do. “Live Mas,” indeed. The spot reminded me of the stuff Betty White is doing right now. For some reason, old people doing “crazy” things is resonating with audiences right now.

#13 Audi

Based on the promotions, I had big hopes for this commercial leading into the Super Bowl. Ultimately, the “Prom” spot from Audi shows what it’s like to make a bold move. I only wish the 18-year old underdog would have gotten the girl….and not the car.

#14 Go Daddy

Okay, we have to admit – we’re glad to see the Go Daddy girls go. This new spot plays off of some clichés that we can all relate to! I mean, how many domains have you purchased over the years?

#15 Dorito’s Five Spots

Only two of these commercials actually aired on Super Bowl Sunday, but we think all five are worth including. Plus, this is spot number 15 on our list, so why not give it a little extra? If you’re a fan of absurd commercials, you should probably check out the ones below. The Fashionista Daddy didn’t quite work for me, but Dorito’s definitely stands out with their brand.

Have a favorite from these five – or twenty – commercials? Maybe one of your favorites isn’t on this list?

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