by Jack Cederberg, Nolan Reilly, and Will Pipicelli
Super Bowl LIII was watched by an estimated 100.7 million people on Sunday night among all available viewing and streaming platforms, as reported by Variety. Although that seems like a massive number, the earliest Nielsen projections have the big game being watched in 44.9 percent of all television-equipped households in America, which is a five percent decrease in viewership from last year, resulting in a 10-year low. Of all recorded markets, the lowest ratings came in from New Orleans; an average of 26.1 percent of households tuned in to watch the showdown. No surprise there, of course.
Some fans and viewers may argue that it wasn’t the most exciting Patriots Super Bowl in recent history, but the game isn’t the only reason that viewers tune in to watch. People all around America turned their TVs on for the entertainment value of the evening, specifically to get a
1. Verizon (Jack) Verizon did not fail to tug on the heartstrings this year. The ad featured their #AllOurThanks campaign to highlight the incredible work of first responders. In 2005, Anthony Lynn was in a vicious car accident that nearly claimed his life. He thought he was on his way to a firehouse to thank some random first responders, but little did he know, the ladies and gentlemen in uniform standing before him were some of those on the scene of his devastating accident years before. He has credited them in the past for saving his life, and on that very day, he was finally able to thank them. Because of their contribution to his life, Lynn was able to lead the Chargers as their head coach back to Los Angeles last season, where they tied first with the best record in the American Football Conference. In addition to this scenario, an additional commercial aired, specifically aimed at those responders on the frontlines of the intense wildfire season in California. #AllOurThanks to all of first responders in this country, fighting each and every day to control our safety.
2. NFL 100 (Will) Finally, something the National Football League got right. They sponsored their own advertisement in this year’s Super Bowl in order to celebrate 100 years of professional football, and it did not disappoint. In the commercial, there was a loose golden football on the ground, where stars like Tom Brady, Odell Beckham Jr.
3. Bud Light/‘Game of Thrones’ (Nolan) Everyone remain calm. The show of the decade only dropped one of the best previews of the entire Super Bowl. Although we only got the Mountain crushing the “Bud Knight,” and a dragon razing a jousting festival to the ground, I’ll take any “Game of Thrones” teasers I can get. This commercial was a genius ploy by Bud Light to use the likeness of a couple of Thrones characters to make sure people were paying attention to their commercials. This commercial was the fastest I got out of my seat the entire game, not including the Stephon Gilmore sealing interception.
4. Pepsi (Jack) Is Pepsi okay? That has got to be one of the most commonly asked questions in restaurants around the nation. With the help of Steve Carell, Lil Jon and Cardi B, we are now able to answer that question with pure dignity. Not only can Pepsi make a great ad, but they know how to sponsor a halftime show like true entertainment professionals. Pepsi is more than okay, okurrr?
5. Amazon Alexa (Nolan) I’ll admit I’m a sucker for anything Harrison Ford, so this commercial definitely stood out to me. Anytime a company can get Indiana Jones and Han Solo to endorse their product I’ll hop on that bandwagon. Blending humor and the cuteness of a dog was a perfect way for Amazon to get people talking about their commercial. I’m not sure this commercial would get Jeff Bezos out of the “Dog House” with his soon to be ex-wife though.
Honorable Mention: Michael Bublé in Bubly Seltzer, Audi guy choking on peanuts, and Democracy Dies in Darkness for The Washington Post.
Worst Commercial: T-Mobile
No offense to T-Moblie, but I’d much rather enjoy an entertaining ad than have to read it on the screen. SOS to the T-Mobile marketing team.