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Super Bowl commercials: Winners include Amazon and Jeep

Damien Williams on Chief's Super Bowl win
Damien Williams on Chief's Super Bowl win 03:06

The Kansas City Chiefs weren't the only winner champion emerging from Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night, with Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management singling out 10 commercials as clear winners. The most effective advertisement airing during the big game: Amazon's 60-second Alexa spot, which scored high for celebrity flash and product branding in the business school's annual ranking of the game ads.

The Super Bowl, the biggest single day in football, is also the biggest day of the year for many corporate brands, with dozens of companies each spending a reported $5.6 million this year for a 30-second ad during the game. While the winners get some buzz, dud ads are quickly forgotten — or held up for public ridicule. 

Amazon's Alexa

The Amazon spot features stars Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi as they leave their home, asking Alexa to turn down the temperature. The couple then wonder what life was like before Alexa — cue a montage of people through the ages struggling to get the latest news, hear their favorite songs and do a range of other things a smart speaker might come in handy for.

The ad earned the Kellogg School's top grade of "A" because it was eye-catching but also demonstrated Alexa's advantages, Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at the Kellogg told CBS MoneyWatch.

"If a Super Bowl ad is going to be effective, it first has to break through the clutter, and then say something about the product," he said. "That's a huge challenge because there's so much going on in the Super Bowl. Getting someone to pay attention and then remember your ad isn't easy."

Jeep's blast from the past

Another winner was Jeep's play on the iconic 1993 movie "Groundhog Day," according to Kellogg's ranking. The ad featured original "Groundhog Day" star Bill Murray as he again gets trapped in his time loop on February 2 — this time, however, he has a Jeep Gladiator pickup, which makes passing the time more fun.

While both the Jeep and Amazon ads scored an "A" — the top grade on Kellogg's ranking from "A" to "F" — seven ads earned "D"s, the lowest grade handed out this year. Unlike previous years, no commercials were given a failing grade, Calkins said.

"There were a few that didn't score as well, but they weren't offending people and they weren't creating problems," he added.

In past years, some Super Bowl ads have offended viewers and caused outrage, such as a 1999 commercial for "Just for Feet," — it not only backfired, but also led to a lawsuit against the advertising firm that created it. The ad for the shoe retailer depicted a Humvee filled with four white men who track down a barefoot Kenyan runner, knock him out and force running shoes on his feet. Not surprisingly, the ad was decried as racist and culturally imperialistic.

Below are the Super Bowl LIV ads ranked by Kellogg School, from most to least effective. 

A-graded ads

Amazon

What did we do before Alexa? by Amazon News on YouTube

Google

Loretta | Google Super Bowl Commercial 2020 by Google on YouTube

T-Mobile

Anthony Anderson’s Mama Tests T-Mobile’s 5G Network | T-Mobile by T-Mobile on YouTube

Hyundai

Smaht Pahk | 2020 Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai by HyundaiUSA on YouTube

Cheetos

Cheetos® | Can't Touch This | SUPER BOWL LIV OFFICIAL EXTENDED VIDEO by Cheetos on YouTube

Facebook

Facebook Groups: Ready to Rock? I Super Bowl 2020 by Facebook on YouTube

Bud Light

#PostyStore - Inside Post's Brain by Bud Light on YouTube

Budweiser

Budweiser | Typical American | 2020 Super Bowl Commercial by Budweiser on YouTube

Jeep

Jeep® | “Groundhog Day” | Bill Murray | 02.02.2020 by Jeep on YouTube

SodaStream

SodaStream Discovers Water On Mars: Fresh Sparkling Water in Seconds by SodaStream on YouTube

B-graded ads

Avocados from Mexico

The Avocados from Mexico Shopping Network | Avocados From Mexico by Avocados From Mexico on YouTube

Reese's Take 5

Reese’s Take 5 | ‘Rock’ Big Game Commercial 2020 by Reeses on YouTube

Quicken Loans

Jason Momoa Super Bowl Commercial 2020 | Rocket Mortgage by Rocket Mortgage on YouTube

Doritos

Doritos® | The Cool Ranch Long Form feat. Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott by Doritos on YouTube

Michael Bloomberg

SUPER BOWL AD: George | Mike Bloomberg for President by Mike Bloomberg on YouTube

Walmart

Walmart Super Bowl Commercial 2020 | Famous Visitors :60 by Walmart on YouTube

Coca Cola

Coca-Cola Energy - Show Up ft. Jonah Hill & Martin Scorsese by Coca-Cola on YouTube

Hummer

First Ever GMC HUMMER EV | Quiet Revolution :30 by GMC on YouTube

Mountain Dew

MTN DEW Zero Sugar. As Good As The Original | Extended Cut by Mountain Dew on YouTube

New York Life

Love Takes Action | :60 Commercial | New York Life Insurance by New York Life Insurance Company on YouTube

Michelob Ultra

Jimmy Works It Out | Michelob ULTRA | Super Bowl LIV by Michelob ULTRA on YouTube

Hulu

Tom Brady's Big Announcement • Hulu • Commercial by Hulu on YouTube

Pepsi

Zero Sugar. Done Right. :30 | Pepsi by Pepsi on YouTube

Porsche

Porsche “The Heist” Official Big Game Commercial 2020 - Extended Cut by Porsche on YouTube

C-graded ads

  • Discover
  • Microsoft
  • Little Caesars
  • Toyota
  • Poptarts
  • Quibi
  • Tide
  • Planters
  • Genesis
  • Verizon
  • Snickers
  • TurboTax
  • Xfinity
  • WeatherTech
  • P&G
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Donald J. Trump
  • Sabra

D-graded ads

  • Audi
  • Olay
  • Kia
  • Heinz
  • Pringles
  • Squarespace
  • Hard Rock Cafe
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