A whole bunch of blah.

That was the general sentiment of a panel of advertising executives about this past Sunday’s Super Bowl commercials.

“It felt very safe,” said Marty Senn, chief creative officer of Minneapolis-based ad agency Carmichael Lynch, where the panel took place.

Monday night was the fourth time the Minnesota chapter of the American Marketing Association has hosted a review of national Super Bowl spots. There were more than 100 people in attendance.

“There were some zany things that missed the mark a little bit,” said Tony Rivera, the chapter’s vice president of programming who moderated the panel.

Overall, the panel said there were not any ads that really stood out. The only winner that they mostly could all agree on was Beyonce, who performed during the halftime show and announced her upcoming world tour in a following ad.

Below are some of the speakers’ thoughts on several of the most-talked about commercials:

Avocados from Mexico

Her favorite commercial during the Super Bowl because of the nuances and the directing - Erica Hanna, owner of Puke Rainbows Creative

Didn’t like the commercial because it felt like it could have been made for any client and the avocados were an afterthought – Marty Senn, chief creative officer Carmichael Lynch

She thought the avocados were tacked on at the end but she said that she liked that it wasn’t too aggressive with the product; “make it feel by BTW and not buy this” – Jen Boyles, content strategy director at Olson

Thought it was the type of ad that made him want to make ads – Mike Caguin, chief creative officer for Colle+McVoy


Thought the pacing was rushed – Erica

It was funny but nobody laughed – Marty

Not as good as their other earlier ads – Jen

“They are a victim of their own success.” – Mike


Not impressed – Erica

Thought it was funny but that the young actor was over-directed - Jen

No More (domestic violence)

Thought it was horrible and felt like it was written by men; didn’t think there was enough a human element – Jen

They should have talked to service providers; Could be unsafe to have victims text a hotline when their phone logs may be monitored by their abuser; Just a Band-Aid for a real problem – Erica

Liked its simplicity and its quietness helped it standout – Mike

Budweiser (Clydesdales)

Well put together, but the ad was a little alienating – Erica

Real niche but he was “pretty sure that Budweiser is 100 percent for everybody” – Marty


Just kind of a feel good thing – Erica

“It’s really hard to hate on puppies.” – Jen

Really glaring lack of diversity amongst the actors – Mike

Mountain Dew (Puppy Monkey Baby)

“The stuff nightmares are made of” but got a lot of attention – Erica

“It scared me.” – Jen

“It’s so memorable almost to a fault because it is going to be in your nightmare.” – Mike


Loved it because it was so inclusive – Erica

Huge 180 for the brand; liked that it was about confidence - Jen

Good intent but didn’t like execution – Mike

"Axe is still about 17 yr olds getting laid - but they changed the aperture of that. And they did it with style" - Marty

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