Haworth College of Business News

Super Bowl Ads

For almost 10 years the advertising and marketing professors at Western Michigan University have ranked the Super Bowl ads. Each year we would gather and painstakingly rate the ads for their creativity, strategy, execution and production values on a 10-point scale. We’ve debated the best and worst of the ads and loved it! Other universities and consumers across the country have also weighed in and polls abound on Super Bowl ‘Ad’ Sunday.

But then we got to thinking–What do our students think about the Super Bowl ads? We ask them before the game; we ask them after the game. But what about during the game? So this year the WMU faculty will tackle something different. We’ve put together a great group to share their immediate uncensored reactions to the ads in real time–from WMU professors to current students studying advertising, as well as recent ad grads, and our advertising alumni working in industry.  They’ll all be adding their comments here. As the moderator I’ll try to keep the comments on track and “clean”; but the idea is to get everyone’s first thoughts and not the scripted statements you normally see in a news release.

So let the Ad Games begin!

~Dr. Karen Lancendorfer, Associate Professor of Advertising & Marketing


Audi using vampires doesn’t seem like a good strategy since Volvo is already tied into the Twilight movies.–Dr. Kelley O’Reilly, Assistant Professor of Sales and Business Marketing

The Audi commercial is a little too “Twilight-y” for me… but I guess it gets the headlight/daylight message across.–Rachel, alumni working in Chicago.

I agree with you here Rachel, I think the vampire phase is getting old.–Hayden, recent advertising grad.


Clara, recent Marketing graduate–I still wouldn’t consider purchasing a Hyundai.

I’m in the market for a car. Hyundai Veloster’s ad grabbed my interest. Love the touch of humor at the end. Didn’t expect it.–Hariz, International MBA student.


Naked M&Ms–too funny! Definitely got a huge laugh in the room! –Dr. Karen Lancendorfer, Associate Professor of Advertising.

And Hariz, International MBA student agrees–”I can’t stop laughing on the floor.”

Nice humor M&M… Well done–Kyle, current advertising student.

The M&M’s commercial cracked me up- “so it’s THAT kinda party”… great use of a popular song too- I think that ad can attract a wide target.–Rachel, WMU alumni working in Chicago.


I thought the Pepsi commercial with Elton John was funny. The use of recording artists also reminded me of the older Pepsi commercials back when Britney Spears was in her prime. As a millennial, I enjoy a little celebrity association.–Hayden, recent advertising grad.

Chevy Truck

Chevy apocalypse commercial was a downer! Why are they bringing up the end of the world???–Rachel, WMU alumni working in Chicago.

But Lindsay (current ad student) disagrees–I like this ad for Chevy but I don’t get the frogs at the end. Liked the whole play on it being tough enough to survive the end of the world.

Bud Light Platinum

Kyle–current ad student–We have seen two Bud Light Platinum ads and still they have not told us the differences between platinum and original… One of them being a much higher alcohol content.

Tax Act.com

TaxAct commercial was a little gross?–Rachel, ad alumni.

I thought the TaxAct commercial was clever, however right after I saw it I forgot what it was for until I read Rachel’s post.–Hayden, recent ad grad.


I’ve always found GoDaddy commercials to be tasteless- that one was no different.–Rachel, ad grad working in Chicago.

Mike, current advertising student–GoDaddy needs a new strategy… Sex only sells to a point. They don’t even advertise who they are anymore or what they really do.


Classic Clydesdale spot–well done–Kyle, current ad student

Rachel, ad grad, Hmmm… interesting historical take for Budweiser. May have something to do with the popularity of the HBO show Boardwalk Empire?

Robby, current ad student–Well done, Budweiser, well done.

Awesome Budweiser spot–Mike, current ad student.

Budweiser commercial just made at least five people at the bar get a Budweiser.-Megan, current ad student.


Really liked the dog/Volkswagen commercial. Humor and puppy love, great combination.–Lindsay, current ad student.

I want a dog!–Robby, current ad student.

I really liked the VW ad with the dog trying to getting in shape! So cute! I don’t know if I would immediately connect that to a car, though- maybe a dog food?–Rachel, ad alumni.

Haha I liked the ending of the VW spot, I was semi-grossed out at first with the monster people around the bar, but I liked the reference from last year’s Super Bowl ad.–Hayden, recent ad grad.


Cute dog, but I can see how the animal rights activists are angry showing the greyhound racing–Dr. Karen Lancendorfer

Lindsay, current ad student–AWESOME SKETCHERS COMMMERCIAL! So funny and made the point they are for running now. Every single person I am with just cracked up.

Hayden, recent ad grad–Hahah great sketchers ad. My cousin has a dog that looks just like that which made it extra funny for me.


Hariz, International MBA student–Great! Coke is running ads in accordance to which team is leading? I think I see a pattern there!

You do know that these ads are being used in real time right? Depending on how the game goes they are using different ads–Mike, current ad student.

Okay… so this Coke polar bear commercial was better- more football oriented… I think they are trying to bring back the polar bear image- which is nice, because like the M&M characters we grew up with them… but their implementation just isn’t impressing me yet–Rachel, ad alumni


Clint Eastwood gave me the chills doing the Chrysler commercial at halftime–Alex, ad alumni working in Pennsylvania.

Gorgeous Imported From Detroit/America ad… beautiful message! Could it have been done in a shorter slot and had the same effect? I’m afraid it may have lost the attention span of some viewers.–Rachel, ad alumni working in Chicago

Big fan of the Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial. Being from Michigan I love the imported from Detroit campaign in general, but I felt the quote at the end was strong. Great commercial.–Hayden, recent ad grad.

The Chrysler spot didn’t give me the same goose bumps as last year’s intro of ‘imported from Detroit’, but it still hit home for all the metro Detroit natives.–Robby, current ad student.  More on Chrysler’s campaign, I believe that the ‘Imported from Detroit’ ads are one of the key factors in improving America’s opinion of Detroit.


“Grab Some Buds” …Budweiser is doing it right!!! –Megan, current ad student

The Budweiser through the generations commercial made me want a Budweiser. I can’t say that about the other beer commercials so far.–Hayden, recent ad grad.

Really digging the new campaign. Reminds us that Bud is the all American beer without having to say it–Kyle, current ad student.

I don’t like them shortening their nickname to “Buds”. Sounds ugly and desperate–Mike, current ad student.


Fiat…you’re doing it right.–Hariz, International MBA student.

I don’t care how sexy the Fiat model is… I’m still not buying that car.–Kyle, current ad student.

Fiat-Thank you for the new creative. Didn’t quite understanding the other language at first, but the dream to reality brought it all together at the end, good job.–Robby, current ad student.

Finally a Fiat commercial without J-Lo pretending she lives in the ghetto still.–Hayden, recent ad grad.

Bud Light

Another reason why I want a dog.. What was the first dog commercial even about? Bud Light is all I remember–Robby, current ad student

OMG…. I want a dog called We Go… that was cute! AND I liked the affiliation with rescuing dogs brought up and the end!–Rachel, current ad grad working in Chicago.

I said the Budweiser generations ad was the only beer commercial that made me want a beer. I need to take that back after seeing that Bud Light commercial with Wego the dog. Maybe I’m just thirsty?–Hayden, recent ad grad

Herewego… Someone train my dog to do that!–Kyle, current ad grad.

Career Builder

Clever monkeys are so 1995–Mike, current ad student.


Love the Kia ad. Car looks really good. The ad gave a fun way to express the driving experience.–Hariz, International MBA student.


Wow- this Samsung commercial really exploded… loved that they acknowledged that at the end! Just a comment on the product though- who wants a phone with a pen? One more thing for me to lose! Isn’t that regressing back to PDAs?–Rachel, ad alumni working in Chicago.

Love how Galaxy Note referenced Apple “cultists” in their ad. I might get this phone.–Hariz, international MBA student.


The game is over and as we conclude our blog tonight, we leave you with this question–which ad was the best?

Here are our students’ predictions/thoughts:

Kyle Piazza (current ad student)–Best: M&M. Budweiser generations and Bud Light Here We-Go were close seconds. Worst: GoDaddy.com

Mike Klok (current ad student)–Best: probably M & M.., worst… GoDaddy…

Hayden Thompson (recent ad grad)–If I had to pick one it would be the M&M ad, but to be fair it was close call. This would be my top 3 best ads:
1) M&M- THIS kind of party
2) Chrysler- Imported from Detroit Clint Eastwood
3) Budweiser- Through the Generations
Worst: All of the GoDaddy.com ads.

Scott O’Neil (current ad student)–The M&M’s commercial was the best in my opinion. I did also like the Bud Light Wego spot and the Kia Sandman ad. As usual, the GoDaddy commercials were just plain terrible.

Megan Trout (current ad student)–Best: Doritos (with the dog) and M&M. Worst: GoDaddy (for their stupid advertising with no reasoning behind it). Also bad–COKE!!! Thought they could do SOOO much better.

Robby Roediger (current ad student)–
Best: Generations of Budweiser: good tie-in to America’s past time.
Naked M&Ms: good humor while remaining tasteful.
Chrysler’s Imported from Detroit: not as good as the original intro with Eminem, but had the same good vibes about Detroit’s culture, giving America a new opinion of the city.
Fiat: just because the J-lo campaign was so awful anything could be an improvement.
Coca-Cola: I feel like they weren’t very creative this year. They could have done much better.
GoDaddy.com: it’s time they come up with a better campaign. They don’t even mention what the company actually doesn’t anymore.