#SuperBowl50 Ads: What Worked and What Didn’t


By Bill Cochran, AAF Dallas Member & Creative Director, Richards Group

Here’s what worked at #SuperBowl50:

Avocados in space 

I really didn’t think I was going to like this spot as it started, kind of goofy alien costumes we’ve seen all too often. But the pop culture references, The Dress, etc… the writing, the Scott Baio. Fun. And for what it’s worth there was like 9 bowls of guacamole at the party I was at Sunday. So…it’s working.

NFL Babies

Made me smile. I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do with this information. Hey NFL, I already use your product. My almost 4 year old son was running around wearing his 49er uniform half the day yesterday. People are paying millions to advertise on your game. But fun concept. Fun spot.


TJ Miller talking smack with a beer logo. It was really well done… I have to confess to having seen the 90 version online before the game, and it’s great. Really funny writing. Usually don’t see a celebrity insulted. Really great positioning “unfiltered”.

Kind of have to lump 3 more serious commercials together.

NFL Texting against violence


Budweiser Helen Mirren  Don’t drink and drive.


Colgate Palmolive – Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth. Okay. I’m sorry. I’ll stop. 

All three of these had a very simple. Very powerful premises. And I thought they were generally more effective than most others. Hard to disagree.


What on earth was that intestine doing? And why did they spend $5 million dollars for us to see it? 

Quicken? Are they assuming we didn’t see The Big Short?

Extra credit goes to Squarespace with Key and Peele

The spot was fun, not too memorable in and of itself, but if you happened to check in with their Squarespace.com during the game. Key and Peele were doing like 4 hours of improv in character. And, frankly, now I know what Squarespace is. And can’t help but like them.

About the Author: Bill Cochran is a writer and creative director at The Richards Group since 1993.  He’s had two big spots on the Super Bowl in the past several years, including one that has been named as one of the best of all time “Reply All” for Bridgestone. He has been honored by The One Show, Communication Arts, Cannes, Adweek’s Best Spots, Ad Age’s Top 50 Super Bowl Spots of All Time, Time Magazine’s Top 10 Commercials of the Year. 


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