The Swirl: February 5, 2017

Between now and next football season, you can find us filling our Carolina Panthers void watching Lavon Hayes relive his [fake] glory days on the set of Hart of Dixie. And since our Cats weren’t in the ring this year, you can bet your bottom dollar than we were only tuned in to what was playing on screen in between plays. And JT, obvi. No offense. But just in case you missed any of the advertising action last night, don’t go spiking any footballs. We got you covered with this Super Bowl LII edition of The Swirl. However, we’re only as good as our pre-releases and heavy Internet scouring, so if we missed anything, be sure to check out’s full list of Super Bowl LII ads here. Or AdWeek’s coverage here. Or Campaign US here. Hut, hut, hike.


$5 million - the cost of an average 30-second Super Bowl spot. Yep, you heard correctly. NBCUniversal reportedly anticipates a whopping $1.2 billion in ad revenue with the big game and Winter Olympics airing virtually back to back. Nbd.

Best ad of the night: Febreze

wirlNotes: Come on. His bleep don't stink?! Hysterical. Enough said.

HONORABLE MENTIONS PepsiCo for Doritos Blaze vs. Mtn Dew Ice
Amazon for Alexa Loses Her Voice

Most out-of-the-box idea: Skittles

SwirlNotes: The brand claimed to be showing the ad to one person, but a little birdie told us that the Skittles stunt might also involve a certain David Schwimmer, who most of us might recognize as Ross from Friends. Even though the ad was only shown to one person, you could have watched the lucky Skittle fan’s reaction live on Facebook during the big game. Secrets, secrets are no fun.

Most likely to start beef with a competitor: Wendy's

SwirlNotes: Zayum girl, tell us how you really feel. Bold move.

Most likely to use celebs to do the heavy lifting: Pepsi

wirlNotes: Pepsi brought sexy back with Cindy Crawford circa 1992, plus most everyone else they’ve tapped to represent the brand over the past few decades. Note: Kendall Jenner did not make an encore appearance. Probably a smart choice.

HONORABLE MENTIONS M&Ms. Danny Devito, we love you!
Pringles and Bill Hader. WoOoOoww.
Michelob Ultra and Chris Pratt. Ow ow.
Lexus and the Black Panther movie.
Groupon and comedian Tiffany Haddish. Go local biz, go.
Jack in the Box vs. Martha Stewart. Sorry Jack, but we’re betting on Martha.
Kia and Steven Tyler. Dream on.
Diet Coke and Netflix actress Gillian Jacobs. Millennial speak, so hot rn.
Stella Artois and Matt Damon.

Most likely to get a pat on the back: Budweiser

wirlNotes: Out with the Clydesdales and in with a new use for beer cans. Because water took a huge hit this year.

Most likely to give us the warm fuzzies: Coca-Cola

SwirlNotes: Lots of eyeballs = lots of unique you’s. Coke is here to celebrate them.

Most likely to leave us feeling confused: Squarespace

wirlNotes: Maybe we’re just not as up on Keanu Reeves as the target audience may be, but this long-form version of the Super Bowl spot left us v confused. Someone please advise.

Most likely to remind us how creepy AI is: Sprint

wirlNotes: So easy, even a robot can make the switch.

Best copycat attempt: Avocados for Mexico teaser

SwirlNotes: Much Jeff Goldblum for vibes. Been there, done that. The ad itself is also very Hunger Games meets Lost. You know what they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.


Feel like Super Bowl ad representation was a little light in the healthcare arena? That’s cuz it was, on purpose. Pharma brands struggle to compete with the quirky and flashy expectations that come with Super Bowl ads. Plus, they have requirements to run through serious side effects and information that probably are too cost-prohibitive for the :30 and :60 time slots. And even though Jublia tried their luck in 2015 and 2016, no healthcare companies bought ads during this year's big game.