The best and worst Super Bowl 2019 commercials

The New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Al Bello/Getty Images
  • The New England Patriots may have ultimately prevailed in this year’s Super Bowl, but both the game and the ads were a bit of a snoozefest.
  • Still, there were some surprises, like HBO taking over Bud Light’s ad to make it all about “Game of Thrones.”
  • Here are the best and worst Super Bowl commercials of 2019.

It wasn’t just slow on the field during this year’s Super Bowl – it was also slow off it.

Despite 54 advertisers shelling out $US5.25 million for 30 seconds of screen time during the big game for a total of 93 Super Bowl ads, according to iSpot, most ads this year were a bit of a snoozefest.

Dogs and robots were plentiful, with brands like Sprint, TurboTax, and Michelob Ultra featuring them as characters in their spots. And there were some surprises, like HBO taking over Bud Light’s ad to make it all about “Game of Thrones.”

Read more:
Here’s the full list of all the Super Bowl commercials that ran this year

Here are our picks for the winners and losers of this year’s Super Bowl ads.

Winners: Bud Light and HBO


HBO’s unexpected takeover of Bud Light’s “Jousting Match” ad to promote the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones” had everyone talking.

The ad, which cost an estimated $US9.4 million, according to, amassed more than 183 million social impressions.

The ad (and its dragons) may have set social media ablaze, but it didn’t do much for Bud Light as a brand, according to the ad agency Oxford Road. The ad scored a low 29.65% in Audiolytics, the agency’s proprietary data-driven process that grades ads based on 71 weighted components.

The Bud Light campaign was also popular among advertising professionals on the work-chat app Fishbowl, representing 23% of all Super Bowl campaign discussions on the platform. The campaign with HBO also ranked first in a poll on the app, capturing 30% of the votes.

But Bud Light had three other commercials touting that it doesn’t use corn syrup, disappointing corn farmers across the country, according to Brandwatch.

Winner: PepsiCo


The ad for its flagship product that featured Lil Jon, Steve Carell, and Cardi B managed to push Pepsi into the conversation, with nearly 18,000 mentions on Twitter, according to Salesforce.

Pepsi’s #PepsiMoreThanOK hashtag registered more than 65.2 million impressions, according to Brandwatch.

Pepsi’s ad for its new sparkling-water brand, Bubly, also did well, with Oxford Road giving it an Audiolytics score of 61%. Starring the Canadian singer Michael Bublé, the Bubly ad was also the best use of celebrity and the best new-to-market brand, per Oxford Road.

Winner: Amazon


Amazon Alexa’s fun, self-deprecating jab at itself in “Not Everything Makes the Cut” also won over audiences, scoring 7.34 on USA Today’s Ad Meter to secure the No. 2 spot.

Winner: Skittles


Skittles ditched the $US5.25 million Super Bowl ad price tag and went all out with a one-day musical in New York City featuring the actor Michael C. Hall.

While only about 1,500 people watched the musical, the quality was top-notch. Plus, the proceeds went to charity.

Winner: Microsoft Xbox


Microsoft Xbox’s inclusive ad called “We All Win” was one of the few ads this year that championed diversity and won over hearts and Twitter feeds everywhere.

It scored a 7.07 on USA Today’s Ad Meter, ranking third. It was also ranked as the most inspiring ad by Oxford Road.

Loser: Kia


Kia may have had good intentions by honouring the workers building its cars at its plant in West Point, Georgia, but its “Give It Everything” commercial came across as preachy.

Kia also had the lowest score from Oxford Road: a mere 19.51%.

“For once, just once, could an auto manufacturer please stop just talking in generic platitudes and substantiate one claim?” said Oxford Road’s founder and CEO, Dan Granger. “It sounds like this poor young man was asked to read a script saying the car is made of, for, and by hopeless people.”

Loser: Hyundai


Hyundai took people up an elevator with each floor highlighting an unpleasant experience, like getting a root canal or sitting in the middle seat on a plane. The pitch: a guaranteed better car-shopping experience with its “Shopper Assurance.”

But the car brand faced the wrath of vegans when it poked fun at a vegan dinner party.

Loser: Michelob Ultra Pure Gold


The brand, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, ran a 45-second ad that tried to take advantage of a sensation called autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, that has become a big trend on YouTube.

But according to data from Brandwatch, 54.21% of tweets about the ad were negative.

Loser: T-Mobile


T-Mobile had an ad in every quarter, and they were not all bad – one called “Dad” that poked fun at parents getting confused by technology had the highest score from Oxford Road, with 94%.

But the brand was criticised for being sexist in some of its other ads.

It also had the most mentions with a negative sentiment on Fishbowl. T-Mobile seemed popular among the creative community for its low-budget yet effective ad campaign, until people began noticing it was directly inspired by popular memes on the internet.

“Damn it, thought it was good but now I’m feeling like I just got Fuckjerry’ed again,” a strategy director said. Another senior vice president said: “T-Mobile is the Fuckjerry of the Super Bowl. Stealing from bad text memes.”