The UNO Ad Club presents its annual “The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials,” featuring five panelists within the field of communications in a virtual setting this year.
Panelists included Rachel Kent, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at The 712 Initiative; Dr. Whitney Gent, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Civic Engagement at UNO; Douglas Storch, Wholesale Marketing Rep at Sinclair Oil Corporation; Olivia Graham, Associate Director and Employee Communications at Cheer Partner; and Kevin Olive, Founder and Owner of Olive Kickz and Account Executive at Verizon Media.
The nominees for “Most Heart-Warming” were “Toyota: Upstream,” “Indeed: The Rising” and “NFL: It Takes All of Us.” The majority ruled as the Indeed commercial because of its authenticity, empathy to its audience and connection of its product to its people.
Nominated for the “Laugh-Out-Loud” category was “General Motors: No Way Norway,” “Cheetos: It Wasn’t Me” and “M&M’s: Come Together.” Dr. Gent made a point that this category is hard to judge because people have different types of humor. However, most of the panelists voted the M&M’s commercial for its use of pop culture references happening today. Although, some panelists also expressed their bias with the use of prominent actors in the others, including Will Ferrell, Shaggy, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.
The “Biggest PR Flop? Nominees” included “Oatly: Milk Made For Humans,” “Robinhood: We are all Investors” and “Pringles: Space Return.” Given the current climate of Robinhood and its current public relations issues, panelist Kevin Olive said, “I don’t know what the return policy is that close to the Super Bowl on $5 million for an ad, so I don’t know if they could withhold it in time.”
Pringles took the lead as the winner for the “Biggest PR Flop” because of the lack of understanding and effectiveness. A couple panelists felt the Oatly ad was in fact very effective and “brilliant” and should not have been included in this set of nominees because of its intentionality to be simplistic, minimalistic and no cows in sight to produce their milk.
“I think the Oatly ad is amazing, in that it is not only hilarious, but it understands its audience better than any of these other advertisers,” Dr. Gent said. “Oatly is not an ‘over-simplistic’ ad, it’s an ad that’s simplistic on purpose. The point is that the product is simple, and that people want something that is natural, that feels like milk but involves no cow.”
Last but not least, each panelist was asked to crown the best Super Bowl commercial overall. The results were all across the board, from M&M’s that took the lead, to Oatly, to Cheetos and a couple of outside nominees including the Bud Light Seltzer’s commercial.
Ad Club at UNO is led by faculty advisor Dr. Nicky Bi, student president Ana Bellinghausen and student vice president Alexa Blase, and they are looking for new members to join.
Benefits include monthly professional development events and workshops, eligibility for free admittance of the $135-valued “Meet the Pros” event to increase your talent and recruit hires, taking place March 1-March 2 and opportunities for mentorships, internships, honors, scholarships and job listings available with American Advertising Federation (AAF). Contact Dr. Nicky Bi at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.