Stranger Things 2, Zelda, And The Best Super Bowl LI Commercials

Super Bowl LI was quite a spectacle. Crazy conversions, impossible catches, and a record-breaking overtime period. Not to mention a wild performance by Lady Gaga, which only further reminded us that we need a staff of drones to help us with our jobs. But I digress.

We all really love the Super Bowl for the food, friendship, and the commercials. What makes the commercials so great? Simply put; These 15-40 second spots have to be meticulously planned out and crafted to properly pander to & entice their target audience very quickly. The fact that so much has to be accomplished in their given window of time really shows in returned quality. And not to mention the fact that just to get that minimal show time requires an insane amount of money. Like…INSANE. This year topped records, as a 30-second spot cost advertisers a whopping $5 million. Let that sink in. So with all this taken into consideration, these companies have to really bring their A-game. But not all Super Bowl commercials can be winners, so here’s a brief list of what we believe were the best picks!

2017 Kia Niro | “Hero’s Journey”
Starring Melissa McCarthy

We start the list with an ad for the 2017 Kia Niro. Starring Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters), the minute long commercial pits her in a variety of life-threatening situations in order to save the planet. Some perils include giant whales flipping her miles through the air and falling off a cliff while she’s tree hugging. Not to mention that Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler is playing throughout the entirety of it, which only enhances the fast-paced mood. Kia really had an agenda with this one. McCarthy learns the hard way that it takes a lot more strength and courage to be an eco-warrior than she anticipated. The message: You can do a lot less to preserve the environment. Kia’s 2017 Niro achieves an EPA-est. 50 mpg combined and a near-600-mile range. Great use of slapstick humor.

Squarespace | Calling
Starring John Malkovich

Squarespace reminds us that if you have a business idea, whether it be a custom woodwork shop or a pet supply store, that you should immediately register a domain for it. John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich, Rounders) spends the 30-second slot arguing with the current fictional holder of because…well, he’s the real John Malkovich. And he deserves the domain to advertise his new line of fashion. Which is real. He actually has his own line of clothing available for purchase. The real site brings you to a false splash page of a fishing site and then proceeds to knock down to reveal the true domain. Simple, yet effective marketing.

Avocados From Mexico | #AvoSecrets

Let’s be honest here; Who truly dislikes Avocados? The #AvoSecrets commercial by Avocados From Mexico takes a stab at propaganda and subliminal advertising as a means to leak “secret facts” to the viewer about these delicious fruits. Right, as if we didn’t already know. Even though a mere reminder of its health benefits and good fatty content, the banter of the secret society is enough to keep you laughing while craving another few chip fulls of that homemade guacamole your friend Morgan made. She calls it “GuacaMorgan”.

Nintendo | The Nintendo Switch; Extended Cut

Nintendo has been one of the leading video game companies in the business for the past few decades. Originating as a gaming card company, the creation of their many beloved franchises (Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong) solidified their name in the gaming industry. Their newest console, the Switch, takes mobile gaming to a whole new level. Handheld gaming has been a staple among the gaming community, becoming popular with the original Game Boy and eventually evolving into the Nintendo 3DS. But never have you been able to take a home console out and about with an experience like this. Waking up on that lazy Sunday morning, but don’t wanna leave bed just yet? Grab the Switch and play in handheld mode. Waiting for your laundry to dry at the local laundromat? Go ahead and game! Meet up in the park with friends for a multiplayer experience up to 8 people. The possibilities are endless. This commercial featured gameplay footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Arms, and Splatoon 2, which will all be launch titles. The Nintendo Switch releases for retail on March 3rd.

Netflix | Stranger Things 2

So unless you’ve been living under a giant football for the past year, you are aware of the Netflix original Stranger Things. A science fiction-horror web show which takes place in the 80’s, The series follows the events surrounding the disappearance of 12-year-old Will Byers. Upon investigation of the missing child, Will’s friends Dustin, Mike, and Lucas come across a girl with psychokinetic powers who claims to know Will’s location. A cynical government agency tries to cover up the kid’s findings, while an even greater threat lingers below the surface. The show’s first season averaged ratings around 14.07 million in the US. And that was in its first month. Stranger Things has been met with amazing reviews and numerous accolades, easily becoming an overnight hit. The teaser for its second season aired during the Super Bowl, and raised a plethora of questions. But I won’t give it away, simply watch above and see for yourself.

Of course, there were other fantastic advertisements, but these 5 kept it short, sweet, and to the point. Strong messages with great casting, perfectly appropriate tones, and just the right touch of modern comfort. What were your favorite Super Bowl commercials? Let us know in the comments!

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