At Double Forte, we consider it our professional duty to watch the Superbowl…commercials. We’re marketers. We have to watch the big game (and eat wings) so we can get a handle on what’s hot and what’s not – and so we can write the obligatory PR firm blog post about it.

And this year, this year after a YEAR followed by another YEAR, the ads didn’t disappoint. Which is a good thing, because a lot of things have been disappointing for a looooong time. This year, as The AP reported, “The Super Bowl featured positive, up-beat advertising,” heavy on nostalgia and star power…“For the most part there was no mention of the pandemic, COVID or masks.” Yay!

That’s exactly what our team liked this year: nostalgia and celebrities. In the nostalgia category, what rose to the top for Double Fortains was the Soprano- themed Chevy ad. “You can’t go wrong with nostalgia,” said one colleague. “Sopranos Chevy ad was my fave,” another concurred.

In the celebrity category there was enthusiasm for Larry David’s Crypto ad. Said one wise vice president at the agency, “The ad played really well at the FOMO (fear of missing out) aspect of crypto. While I personally have minimal interest in crypto, that ad make me feel like maybe I was missing out.” Maybe…

Crypto might not be for everyone, but Alexa certainly was. Several teammates cited  the spots featuring star spouses Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost as very on point. “They show how Alexa becomes part of our lives,” said an account executive. (ALEXA! Write my blog post.)

Of course, the E-trade ad was a big hit here at the firm, because Britney. But the 5G ads with Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus, despite their star power, fell flat, according to more than one colleague. “Too kitschy,” and “trying too hard,” was the feedback for T Mobile.

While the agency was aligned on most of the commercials, the Caesar Sportsbook ads caused some tension in the firm. Celebrities are one thing, but favorite players are next level. “The Mannings are obviously amazing and it was a good use of celebrities. It didn’t feel gratuitous.” This was the opinion of our residents Giants fan. But it wasn’t shared by all. “I am SO sick of seeing the Mannings in commercials.” Hmmm, maybe that coworker is a Pats fan? Anyway, enough about football – this is the Superbowl we’re talking about.

Here’s the takeaway: in the never normal, nostalgia, celebrities, upbeat vibes  – it’s what consumers want. They can’t go back, but they need help moving forward. Can your brand take them there?