Super Bowl 50 – Part 4: What Were They Thinking? (Worst Spots)

Every year, there are Super Bowl spots that seem to miss the mark in a big way. Part 4 of my Super Bowl 50 commercial review is dedicated to those spots that left me scratching my head and wondering, “What were they thinking?”

What Were They Thinking – Honorable Mention

Heinz – #MeetTheKetchups

Don’t get me wrong. I love this spot and so did the crowd of people that I was with when watching the game. It was fun. The child in the ketchup packet costume was cute. The dogs were way cuter. What’s more natural than a hot dog with ketchup or mustard during a big sporting event? Nothing…except when you are trying to say more. This spot is not about Heinz’s tomato ketchup and mustard. It is a product introduction spot that includes BBQ sauce, Sriracha Ketchup, new recipe mustard, organic ketchup and “simply Heinz” no artificial sweetener product. This is why #MeetTheKetchups is the call to action, as they want to educate you about their varieties. Everyone that I spoke to who “loved” this spot had no idea that this was about anything other than basic ketchup and mustard. This was a highly engaging spot that failed to deliver the key message when they had our complete attention. What were they thinking?

Bottom of the Barrel Award

SquareSpace – Successes

Key and Peele are a couple of pretty funny guys as they portray a pair of rapping sports commentators, Lee and Morris, and invite the viewers to tune into their live, game day commentary at

SquareSpace paid $5 million for this 30-second commercial. Here is the problem: You could watch this commercial 3 times and never really pick up that SquareSpace creates websites. You would have to pay very close attention. There is only one verbal reference to the specific product when they quickly say, “We got a dope website.” There are no visuals of a website and no text that says website. The spot has a stronger emphasis on tuning into Lee and Morris’s game day coverage than website creation. While that may be the strategy, there are a lot of other activities during Super Bowl game time that demand attention including the game, the commercials, half-time, lots of food and drink, bathroom breaks and fellow partygoers. SquareSpace’s brand is not a household name even among its target market. What were they thinking?

Worst Performance of the Night

Cam Newton – Post-Game Press Conference


After a string of monosyllabic answers to reporter’s questions, Cam Newton walked out of the post-game press conference. Cam, you are incredibly talented and gifted. It’s easy to lead your team when you are winning. It’s in defeat that your team needs you most. What were you thinking?

Drew’s Favorite Super Bowl 50 Spot

Acura – Van Halen

Remember how I say, “I don’t care which commercial is your favorite!” Here is proof why. This is my favorite Super Bowl spot because it features the primal yells of David Lee Roth of Van Halen fame along with their hit song Runnin’ with the Devil. Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, Van Halen was one of my all-time favorites. As the rock music director at WVXU-FM, I came this close to catching an interview with David Lee Roth. This spot helped me reconnect with those faded memories. I have no feeling for Acura whatsoever. Now you know what I am thinking.

Can’t wait till Super Bowl LI,

Drew Dinkelacker

Drew Dinkelacker


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