In Super Bowl Advertising the Biggest Plays Are Off the Field

Last night, the New England Patriots landed their fourth Super Bowl victory by beating the Seattle Seahawks in an epic comeback, rallying from a 10-point deficit to win the game 28-24.

But for advertisers, of course, the game is played between plays. With its 100 million plus audience, marketers swoon at the chance to showcase their creative during one of the game’s highly coveted breaks from the action — at a price tag of 4.4 million dollars for 30 seconds. This year will probably not go down in history as one of the best for Super Bowl ads. Humor wasn’t as prevalent as in previous years and Nationwide’s spot about dead children was beyond depressing. That said, here are a few Super Bowl ads that stood out.

Esurance Brings Back Walter White

While many in the CBS office still collectively mourn the loss of Walter White, this spot gave us a collective glimmer of hope and made us laugh really, really hard.

Mindy Kaling Thinks She’s Invisible, Tries to Kiss Matt Damon

After being treated like she’s invisible, Mindy Kaling decides to act like it in this Nationwide spot. After a rampage of bad behavior, she tries to get in a smooch from Matt Damon before realizing everyone can, in fact, see her.

Liam Neeson’s Revenge

It’s still a little weird to see ads for mobile games featuring Kate Upton, but it looks like they’re here to stay. This Clash of Clans commercial nabbed Liam Neeson to emulate his role in Taken and swear revenge on his internet enemies.

Always #LikeaGirl

Always decides to take back the phrase “like a girl.” After asking people what it means to “throw like a girl” or “run like a girl,” the commercial raps up with some great female empowerment. There were a lot of female celebrities and influencers using the hashtag on Twitter, which was really cool to see.

Danny Trejo Stars in the Brady Bunch

The Snickers / Brady Bunch ad was probably the best of the bunch. Featuring a new take on the ‘you’re not yourself when you’re hungry’ Snickers campaign, Danny Trejo steps in as Marcia Brady on the set of The Brady Bunch, while Steve Buscemi makes a surprise cameo as Jan. Hilarious.

Pierce Brosnan’s Perfect Gig

Pierce Brosnan may not be getting as much action roles these days, but this Kia spot hilariously plays off over-the-top expectations in car commercials as the aging James Bond gets pitched to do a car commercial. Entertaining and smart.

Fiat’s Little Blue Pill

Fiat took a new approach with Viagra. One man’s tragedy is another car’s treasure?