SuperSpots 2015

Posted By Tracy Thompson on February 02, 2015

No breakaways and no Danica Patrick slo-mo’s, but rather this year’s Super Bowl offered a refreshing crop of work that kept pace with a nail biter.

Here’s our Karma metric on the stand-outers.

Best in Show
Jeff Bridges Sleeping Tapes for SquareSpace made me noncynical for 30 cripplingly expensive seconds. A clear case of content inspiring engagement inspiring conversion, SquareSpace thought it all the way through. Making us use the product to find out what the product even was; ticking off no choice reasons to believe, but making sure we’d find them anyway; somehow consecrating a brand for The Dude that neither you nor he even minds. Just, bravo.

Wish We Did It
The campaign actually made me stand still in my living room with “Speechless” a month or so ago. And it was just the pre-roll before the intended footage? Forget it. That’s some restraint to scrap the budgeted stuff already in the can. Last night’s Pizza spot got completely under my skin, hours before learning the script was an actual 911 call. Minimal production, massive spine chilling. An instance in which authenticity trumps the brief.

Glad We Didn’t
The desperation of The Today Show crew rounding up the posse in descending order of pay grade through the streets around 30 Rock. Just, what? Not even Brian Williams could save this parade.

One During Which I Reluctantly Cried
Well, almost. But what I like about the Carnival cruise spot is that the strategy let it own its boat-ness, instead of selling a floating Vegas like other campaigns. The lure of the sea is primal, and, as Carnival would have it, as distinguished as if it pulled out of Hyannis Port itself. Forget that the spot’s anomalous to the weird site and its “Cruisinality” quiz. Hearing JFK woo us back to our piscine roots mimics the very bob of the tides themselves. Gush.

One I Watched Like a Regular Consumer
Kia. First, well, Pierce Brosnan. But second, the conceit of having the whole spot in the expository only heightened the joy for me. The perfect getaway car?  Man, I even forgot it was for a Kia.

Sneakiest Inclusion of a Liability-Prevention Point
Jenny-O’s pop-up taco shack, in which they dole out better tacos made of ground turkey cooked thoroughly to 165.” Geesh.

Great Way to Make Us Understand “New”
The BMW i3 Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel spot slid into the concept of new with a huge lift–about 45 seconds worth–yet resisted doing more with it than the line big ideas take a little getting used to. Really cool way to go. Plus, those suicide doors.

Don’t love the executions or have ever pondered a truck, but props to how Chevy goes for the throat with its “you know you want a truck” campaign and its unequivocal conclusion of, indeed, sort of wanting a truck–despite everything feminism, environmentalism, fashion and culture teach us otherwise. Them’s some powerful horsepowers.

Tracy Thompson is one of Karma’s creative directors and actually watched the entire game.