As you clean up the empty beer cans ([Budweiser](http://mashable.com/2016/02/08/peyton-manning-budweiser/?utm_cid=mash-com-Tw-main-link#fG8aLsmZAPqf), if you’re Peyton Manning) and grab some coffee in the aftermath of Super Bowl 50, today’s conversation turns to who won the game that was played via 30-second commercials during the TV timeouts. Here are three thoughts:
#### Humor and celebrities were big
So many brands turned to big-name celebrities or a funny concept to carry their spots this year. Humor ranged from the sublime (Hyundai’s first date, which won the USA Today [Super Bowl Ad Meter](http://admeter.usatoday.com/results/2016)) to the creepy ([PuppyMonkeyBaby](http://admeter.usatoday.com/commercials/puppymonkeybaby/)). Celeb sightings included Helen Mirren (who did her [Budweiser spot](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb2VXVmUga4) in one take!) to [Christopher Walken](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r0FrXXKeiA). In a year offering plenty of “play it safe” ads, turning to celebrities was a common approach.
#### Winning the second screen
Savvy brands have figured out that their commercials are most effective when they spark conversations on social media. After [offering people a chance to win money for retweeting](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE04KzL4kPs), it isn’t surprising that Esurance garnered lots of social media traffic.
Perhaps an even better gauge of second screen victories is the [spike in traffic](http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/268446/super-bowl-auto-ads-increase-searches-on-edmunds.html) to car shopping site Edmonds.com from brands that had spots in the game. Jeep’s [emotive brand anthem](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKn5K5V7tRo) won this battle, but all car ads drove traffic to Edmonds.
#### Best, worst and beyond
Every Super Bowl commercial must clear three hurdles in today’s media saturated world: One, the spot has to be an event, an idea that can live up to the stage that is a game that most people are watching in big groups. Second, the spot simply has to be fun – remember this event is about the party. And, finally, a proper Super Bowl spot has to generate participation in some way – most likely social media.
With these three criteria in mind, the best and the worst was actually the same commercial: “[PuppyMonkeyBaby](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7uY36-LwA).” Creepy, unappetizing and just plain weird, juxtaposed against memorable – in a can’t-get it-out-of your-head way – and engaging – it [lit up the Twitter-verse](http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nfl-superbowl-commercials-idUSKCN0VH03J). Good and bad all rolled up into one.
What were your favorite ads? Share in the comments section below!
Want more discussion? This year, Cincinnati’s advertising pros, including our own [Dave Townsend](http://intrinzicbrands.com/team/dave-townsend/), shared their thoughts on the [best and worst Super Bowl 50 commercials](http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2016/02/cincinnati-advertising-pros-pick-the-best-and.html).