Super Bowl Ad

Local Leaders Favor Ads With Celebs, Athletes, Humor

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Local business and community leaders are largely split on their preferences for their favorite Super Bowl ads.

Commercials featuring pro football legends and celebrities, showcasing electric vehicles and promoting upcoming movies were among those favored.

Shelly Taylor, president of Paige & Byrnes Insurance, echoed the preference of several of the area advertising and marketing professionals who weighed in on Sunday night’s ads.

“I always go for funny and I laughed the most at the Uber Eats (and non-eats) commercial,” Taylor says. “Jennifer Coolidge is her usually funny self and Gwyneth Paltrow pokes fun at herself — and Uber Eats got its point across.”

The Super Bowl LVI: Bring Down the House commercial, which featured 3D-animated versions of numerous pro football icons emerging from a video game to wreak havoc on the house of the children who were playing it, was the favorite of Youngstown Flea founder Derrick McDowell.

The ad features Derrick Henry stiff-arming Deion Sanders, as well as Payton Manning, hesitant to run the ball, doing so anyway but just before being brought down connecting with the legendary Walter Payton for the touchdown.

McDowell also enjoyed that the real-life children featured in the spot, who would never be able to explain how the video game characters devastated the house, players, are saved by their grandmother who simply yells out “Football” as the explanation for the damage.

“So much fun found in this commercial,” McDowell said. “Some of the most iconic players of the game, past and present, jump out of the TV, and despite being really small, they commence to ‘bring the house down’ over a live football, now on the family’s floor.” 

The Chevrolet ad featuring the Silverado EV with two younger members from the cast of The Sopranos was a perhaps fitting favorite of Alexa Sweeney Blackann, president of Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC.

“I thought the concept was cool and you didn’t need to be a die-hard Sopranos fan to recognize it,” Blackann said.

“And I hate to admit it but the BMW ad featuring Salma Hayek and Arnold Schwarzenegger was a close second choice for me,” she added.

The Michelob Ultra commercial set in a bowling alley with veterans from various sports – as well as Steve Buscemi – was hit to both Warren Mayor Doug Franklin and Rod Wilt, executive director of Penn-Northwest Development Corp.

“The Michelob Ultra was my favorite commercial. It was creative and simplistic, featuring various stars of different sports,” Franklin said. “It also used the blue-collar sport of bowling to promote the product.” 

The ad was Wilt’s favorite “just for the sheer number of characters from the sports world,” including Serena Williams, who “comes in and just steals the show,” he said. “No words, just a cool song as the backdrop with a ton of great facial expressions.”

People also liked various EV commercials, which “really stepped it up this year,” Wilt said. And he found the Irish Spring commercial entertaining as well.

“Although hard to believe that an ad with no people, no words and no pictures can make the best impression, it seems like the Coinbase ad stole the show from all of the Super Bowl ads,” he said. “I didn’t take a picture of the QR code during the commercial. But as soon as I saw someone’s phone who did, it made perfect sense that a crypto company would be so creative.”

Toyota was tops for both Tiffany Daley, owner of Breakfast at Tiffany’s Diner and a culinary arts instructor at Trumbull Career & Technical Center, and Anthony Trevena, chief operating officer at the Western Reserve Port Authority.

The auto manufacturer aired an early ad featuring Paralympic gold cross-country skiers Brian and Robin McKeever. That was followed later in the broadcast by a more playful spot featuring Tommy Lee Jones, Leslie Jones and Rashida Jones racing Toyota Tundras, with a sort-of Jones —  Nick Jonas pulling up to them at the end of the spot.

“Toyota nailed it, from Start Your Impossible to the Joneses,” Daley said. “My absolute favorite was Start Your Impossible; it was inspirational and educational.”

The McKeever Brothers’ spot was Trevena’s personal favorite. But he acknowledged the most effective ads at the watch party he attended were the ones prompting Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.

“Everyone in the room was looking up how to sign up for their streaming service by the end of the game,” he said. 

Marvin Logan, executive director at Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology, acknowledged he is “a sucker for a good trailer” and Marvel Studios did not disappoint with the preview of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”

“It’s exciting to see the expansion of the universe and taking the opportunity to show us so many versions of different characters. Shut up and take my money,” he said.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.