Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH — NFL commercial is a winner, even though Super Bowl was a snooze

TODD SMITH — NFL commercial is a winner, even though Super Bowl was a snooze


The NFL scored big time in Super Bowl LIII, despite the lowest scoring affair in the history of the game!

While the game may have been a snoozer, the NFL’s commercial celebrating its 100th anniversary – the Spin Cycle’s fave – scored big time by winning USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, which asks online volunteers to rate ads with a score of one to 10.

“The 100-Year Game,” from 72andSunny, moves the league up from its No. 2 spot in the ranking in 2018, when it lost out to Amazon Alexa, at No. 1. It pulled a score of 7.69 out of 10. This is the first time the NFL finished first in USA Today’s Ad Meter.

More than 40 current and former NFL stars at a banquet hall celebrating the 100th anniversary of the league stole the show in this year’s spot, which aired during halftime.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall is giving a speech when Marshawn Lynch eyes the cake and reaches for a taste, knocking over the golden football at the top. “Fumble,” a player shouts, and the ceremony instantly looks like a football field, with the players diving for the ball.

Amazon Alexa fell to the No. 2 slot with a score of 7.34 for its Super Bowl commercial “Not Everything Makes the Cut.” In the spot starring Harrison Ford, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Forest Whitaker, and more, Amazon tests out various new uses for Alexa. It’s hilarious!

Rounding out the top five of USA Today’s Ad Meter were:

3. Microsoft’s “We All Win,” 7.07 – In this inspirational Microsoft ad, young gamers with limited mobility use the new Xbox Adaptive Controller.

4. Hyundai’s “The Elevator,” 7.05 – Jason Bateman plays an elevator operator who brings passengers down to the most uncomfortable experiences in life – including buying a car. Things change when a couple says they’re purchasing a Hyundai.

5. Verizon’s “The Coach Who Wouldn’t Be Here,” 6.95 – Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn meets the first responders who helped save his life when he was hit by a car in 2005.

Others in the Top 10 as ranked by ad meter:

6. M&Ms “Bad Passengers,” 6.51 – Christina Applegate nearly has to stop her car due to the bickering of her colorful passengers – who are stuck together in a new M&M’s Chocolate Bar.

7. Bubly “Michael Bublé vs. Bubly,” 6.43 – Singer Michael Bublé is perturbed when he finds out that sparkling water bubly is not pronounced like his own last name.

8. Budweiser “Wind Never Felt Better,” 6.41 – Starring the famous Clydesdales, Alice the Dalmatian, and scored by Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad touts the brewer’s commitment to renewable energy.

9. Google “100 Billion Words,” 6.39 – In this ad, the remarkable capabilities of Google Translate are on display.

10. Audi “Cashew,” 6.37 – A man having an out-of-body experience imagines the perfect car in Audi’s Super Bowl spot, which announces that a third of all of the automaker’s models will be electrified by 2025.

Ads for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl cost an average of $5.25 million, according to CNBC. Ads cost $40,000 for the first Super Bowl in 1967 – before the game was even called that – which is more than $300,000 adjusted for inflation. But advertisers are willing to pay the price because the Super Bowl offers one of the last places to find a mass audience watching an event live, commercials and all.

Music Mic | Harold Bradley Was Father of Nashville Sound

The recent death of Harold Bradley – the Country Music Hall of Famer, gifted guitarist and whose family was a major force in the ascent of country music in Nashville – leaves a gaping void in Music City!

He was 93, and lived a long life strumming the sound and growing the genre to incredible heights.

Bradley was an original member of the famed A Team, a group of studio musicians who played for artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Loretta Lynn.

This team helped build a strong foundation for the country music industry’s meteoric success. Bradley literally helped build Music Row into the iconic music strip in the heart of Nashville. And perhaps one of his crowning moments was developing RCA Studio A, where the major stars went to get noticed.

As a rhythm guitarist, Bradley popularized the six-string, plucky style of playing that defined the genre’s ascent. Once the Nashville sound was established, he became a noted advocate for musicians, and helped create the Nashville chapter of the musicians union, which he later led.

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Bradley was a successful businessman, studio manager and music industry advocate. He was also the first president of the Nashville chapter of the recording academy.

Because of his accomplishments as a musician, business leader and advocate, Bradley was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, becoming the first musician to earn that honor.

“For decades, Harold Bradley went to work doing something that he called ‘playing.’ He surveyed every sonic situation and determined what he could do to make things better, more melodic and more harmonious,” Hall of Fame CEO Kyle Young told The Tennessean. “There are lessons in Harold’s approach to playing that go far beyond music. He lived his life with kindness, gentility and discretion. On hopeful days, I will try to view Harold Bradley as an inspiration and not an aberration.”

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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