Firehouse's Take on Super Bowl Commercials

One of the biggest days in advertising happened this weekend: The Super Bowl. Some people are there for the game, the teams, the celebrity appearances at the game, the eventual awards at the award shows. But we’re one of the ‘I’m just here for the commercials’ people. And of course we paid attention. Here’s a few of our Firehouser’s POVs on the commercials that stood out most to us during Super Bowl LVIII. 


So, what stood out to me and my watching party? First, the "Foot Washing" spot from He Gets Us. The campaign's shift pairs a simple, powerful message with stunning photography to create incredible stopping power. It's the single spot that caused the most conversation in my group. Not surprisingly, that conversation (and much of the online buzz) was about Come Near, the newly formed nonprofit, their freshly obfuscated funding and questionable motives. But, it earned talk that continued throughout the game.

He Gets Us: 

In the celebrity endorser sea, Kate McKinnon for Hellman's made me smile. I like Kate, I like cats, and a fridge with only chicken, cheese, and scallions really does call for mayo in my mind. "Mayo Cat" was a fun little ride, and I applaud VML for finding a way to make me say that about a spot for mayonnaise.

Kate McKinnon for Hellman’s:


TRIPP WESTBROOK, President/Chief Creative Officer

Nice to see the SB commercials leaning back into humor. Not surprisingly, the ads were awash in celebrities and popular music. A few to great effect, many less so. Some of my stand-outs: Uber Eats made nice use of Schwimmer and Aniston. State Farm might have had the ear-worm of the night with Arnold. Paramount + spot continued it’s high bar of celeb/character use (though the :60 was better). I felt the VW spot was really nicely crafted and executed. Big surprise for me was for Minions- lovely use of the AI craze to sneak in a giggle. Etsy and Pfizer also were great examples of blending idea with execution.

Uber Eats:




CORRIE BROCK, Director of Strategy

It's definitely an interesting time to relaunch a real estate portal, especially in a crowded market and during a challenging economy with high interest rates. However, saw this as an opportunity to address consumer pain points and differentiate themselves from their competitors. took a unique approach by focusing on storytelling in their brand launch and showcasing their offerings. They went (WAY) above and beyond to demonstrate how they “do your homework for you” by conducting neighborhood research, which highlights a weakness of competitor sites. This key message that conveyed is their commitment to providing reliable, local insights that empower individuals in their home search. It’s a solid strategy to leverage for a relaunch that solidifies their position in the market while differentiating themselves from competitors. I guess my biggest question is whether or not the final creative delivered on the strategy or did it get lost in a big, over-the-top, celebrity driven execution.


ERIN SEWELL, Social Media Specialist

When I watch Super Bowl commercials, I’m looking for the funny ones. Growing up, my mom was a huge Super Bowl commercial watcher, shushing us every time the game went to commercial break so she could hear the commercials. This year, the ad that made me burst out laughing was from Reese’s. Reese’s is adding the ‘Caramel Big Cup’ to their regular rotation, and the commercial was of people losing their minds over the announcement, and screaming every time the narrator mentioned the new caramel cup, and relaxing a little when he talks about the regular Reese’s cup. It caught me off guard, and I think that surprise element added to the humor. I also thought the extreme reactions of the people in the commercial gave the commercial a way to stick in people’s minds (no pun intended). It was creative, funny, and one of the only commercials I remember all the way through. This Reese’s commercial was the only one that made me have an actual laugh, so it definitely earned my number one spot this year. 

Reese’s Caramel Cups:


ASHLEY SHADOWENS, Social Media Director

When I think of beauty and skincare brands, the first person that comes to mind isn’t Michael Cera. He isn’t the second, third or tenth person either. But like me, CeraVe loves a good pun and they saw an opportunity to partner with actor Michael Cera for their Super Bowl campaign. I love that this “leaked” on social media at the end of January, when he was spotted signing product at a drugstore, and then Page Six spotted him carrying around bags of CeraVe on the streets of New York. He even held a straight face while being questioned about the tie-in on a podcast. In the three weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, CeraVe’s collaboration with Cera earned 6 billion+ impressions and millions of engagements on social, without any paid media. And Cera doesn’t even have personal social media accounts. Finally, I love that the idea for this campaign originated from a Reddit thread. This unlikely partnership earned my top spot and utilized organic social media and earned media in such a unique way - nice work CeraVe. 

Michael Cera CeraVe: