Super Bowl 50:

As you clean up the empty beer cans ([Budweiser](, 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]( to the creepy ([PuppyMonkeyBaby]( Celeb sightings included Helen Mirren (who did her [Budweiser spot]( in one take!) to [Christopher Walken]( 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](, 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]( to car shopping site from brands that had spots in the game. Jeep’s [emotive brand anthem]( 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](” 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]( 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](, shared their thoughts on the [best and worst Super Bowl 50 commercials](