Amazon Alexa wins Super Bowl top ad from MSU professors

Super Bowl LVI proved to be an exciting game, with the Los Angeles Rams beating the Cincinnati Bengals, but for a group of professors, the main show was the ads.

For the 25th year, professors in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations ranked the ads that aired during the Super Bowl.  

Due to the pandemic, rather than meeting in person, the professors texted back and forth with one another during the game to determine which ads made the mark – and which didn’t. 

Robert Kolt, professor of practice and creator of the ad-watching tradition, said the professors look for creative messaging, strategy, production quality, branding, ad execution and if the ad is unique and memorable. 

“Every ad can contribute to brand recognition, but we also want to see ads make a sale,” he said.

He says a good ad should contain a few key ingredients, namely animals. Humor, celebrities, uniqueness, animation and simplicity also contribute to a winning ad. 

With those criteria in mind, the professors’ top three ads were: 

1. Amazon Alexa

2. Rocket Mortgage

3. Uber Eats

The ones that missed the mark were: 

1. DraftKings

2. All the movie trailers

3. Coinbase QR code

“We watched a great game with terrific ads,” Kolt said. “There were a lot of good spots to like.”

As advertisers begin to think of next year’s ads, Kolt gives this advice: 

 “Keep the ads happy and humorous,” Kolt said.  “Super Bowl viewers and football fans just want to have fun.”

By Jennifer Trenkamp