Super Bowl Commercials – Winners
Genesis: John Legend and Chrissy Teigen might be the only celebrity couple that could help sell products in an otherwise uninspired commercial, so more props for the casting than the creative, although the "sexiest man alive" reference was a nice touch.
Jeep: Bill Murray in a "Groundhog Day" spoof -- reunited with co-stars like Stephen Tobolowsky -- on Groundhog Day? The closest the day came to advertising perfection.
Amazon Alexa: An excellent ad -- funny, shows off what the product can do, and what we couldn't do without it -- while incorporating Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi in an organic way. Plus, a timely Watergate wrinkle for good measure.
Google: This one gets major points for its ambition, with a man remembering his late wife. Deeply touching, it was like the opening sequence of the movie "Up" distilled into a commercial.
Hyundai Sonata: "Smaht pahk" -- featuring a Boston-accented Chris Evans, John Krasinski and Rachel Dratch -- made good use of its celebrities, proved genuinely funny and, not incidentally, demonstrated what looked like way-cool technology.
Doritos: The cowboy faceoff between Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X -- using "Old Town Road" as a backdrop -- might have ended in a draw, but it produced a winner for Doritos.
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans: Jason Momoa revealing the 98-pound weakling underneath his skin in the comfort of his home was perhaps the best visual gag of the day.
Walmart: The massive retailer wove together scenes from familiar science-fiction films in a manner that piggybacked on all the movie ads we see during the Super Bowl.
Toyota: How roomy is the Highlander? Very cleverly, you can use it rescue people from perilous movie situations.
T-Mobile: Anthony Anderson's real-life mom gets around -- and calls him a lot -- in an ad for the phone service's 5G that mostly connected.
Microsoft: It's always smart to tie into football in some way, but especially so in featuring Katie Sowers, the first woman to coach in the Super Bowl. Olay offered a similar message in its star-studded "Make space for women" ad, but the creative wasn't quite as good.