HOUSTON - With an audience of tens of millions of viewers watching the Super Bowl, interest in the commercials often rivals the game.
After nearly 60 game-time commercials, priced an estimated $5.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of time, the conversation is no different this year.
By the time Tom Brady was celebrating another victory, advertisers were already talking about winners and losers among the commercials.
"For me, I would think it would need to be memorable; at least know who the brand is," says The Lee Group Advertising Creative Director Thomas Guerrero. He says he liked 'most' of the efforts, for different reasons. Some were predictably funny, while others pulled at the heart strings.
Guerrero points to Toyota's spot, featuring the story of Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long, among the most clever and poignant.
"Maybe we don't have her exact story, but we're all sort of struggling to overcome certain things in our life, and I just think it gives us inspiration," says Guerrero.
Jeep's plea for national togetherness, with Bruce Springsteen, gets high marks as others mixed humor with the message. M&M's chocolate became a tool to say 'sorry', while T-Mobile pointed out the dangers of spotty cell-coverage, with a campaign that Guerrero thinks will last.
"You're gonna see that commercial rotate throughout the rest of the year because that message is so on-brand for T-Mobile," he says.
Amazon, humanizing it's Alexa-feature with actor Michael B. Jordan, hit all the right notes.
"I thought it was super-funny and it was shot beautifully. Like a movie. The cinematography, in that, was great," applauds Guerrero.
And General Motors electric-vehicle spot leaned on humor and star-power, with comedian Will Ferrell.
"He's a star and people connect with him," says Guerrero, "Plus, I really like the message with the electric (vehicles). They're really going all-in."
As for ads that may have missed the mark, Thomas Guerrero thinks the Doritos ad, with Matthew McConaughey and the Wayne's World UberEats ad, both fell flat.