Overall Grade:

B-. Nothing awful, but nothing iconic either.  Except maybe the last ad I mention below.

Best ad:

Avocados from Mexico.  Funny and easy to remember.  Great branding.  And really strong statement of product benefits (can use them with more than chips).

Runner up:

Doritos and Mountain Dew combo.  I would like pretty much anything Morgan Freeman is in, and, along with Peter Dinklage (had to google his name) I thought they made a great pairing.  Great job by PepsiCo pairing these two brands together.  Offsets the rather mediocre Pepsi lead in to the halftime show (more on that below).

Third place:

Amazon Alexa.  Very memorable, You certainly knew whose ad it was, because somebody said “Alexa: every few minutes.  It also left you wondering what life would be out without it/her.

Fourth place:

M&Ms.  Only because I like Danny DeVito.

Worst ad:

It was not as bad as some ads shown in previous years (pretty much anything GoDaddy ever put out), but I did not like the Wendy’s ad.  When all you can do is bash the competition, it leads one to believe you have nothing good to say about yourself.  Their classic “Where’s the Beef?” ads did go after the competition, but that was very tongue in cheek and ended up stating that “the beef” is at Wendy’s.

Second worst:

SquareSpace.  I just do not get their ads at all.  Never did and probably never will.

Third worst:

Monsterstore.com’s spot was very creative.  I have no idea who they are or what they do.

Fourth worst:

Groupon.  Seriously?  Kicking somebody in the groin?  Is their target market middle school kids?  It completely detracted from a decent message about supporting local businesses.

Car ads:

The best by far was the RAM Viking ad.  We Will Rock You was the perfect song for that spot, and the ad demonstrated the brand’s toughness.  What fun they could have had if the Vikings were actually in the Super Bowl.  Not sure about their Martin Luther King ad.  Certainly inspirational words, but not sure that ad was the right venue.

Phone ads:

Sprint did a nice and clever job taking on Verizon on pricing; for some reason this one did not bother me as much as the Wendy’s ad.  But when compared to the Verizon “All our Thanks” ad and the T-Mobile spot with the babies, Sprint came up a little lacking.

Most ironic:

Tie among Hulu, Amazon and YouTube TV.  Each spent about $5 million essentially touting the benefits of TV without commercials.

This was so ridiculous I can’t even come up with a title:

NBC hyping the halftime show as “music’s biggest moment of the year.”  Hello Grammy’s.  And even though I am a JT fan, the halftime show wasn’t all that good.

Stranger Tides

I didn’t think this year’s Tide commercials were as good as last year’s with Terry Bradshaw and Jeff Tambor.  But they were clever.  They captured your attention and had really strong branding.  I really liked the spot where they spoofed last year’s excellent Mr. Clean ad.  Kudos to Proctor & Gamble for working in two brands for the price of one.  Plus, the ads featured David Harbour from Stranger Things, and anything with a Stranger Things connection will score points with me.  We just needed Millie Bobby Brown to telekinetically put a stain on David’s shirt, have him deny the stain is there, and then have her say FRIENDS…DON’T…LIE.

That’s entertainment

Ignoring all the marketing stuff, the hands down most entertaining ad was Odell Beckham Jr. and Eli Manning dancing to “I Had the Time of My Life.”  I have no idea what the NFL was trying to accomplish with that ad, but I loved it.  However, Eli, don’t give up your day job (if you still have one).  And perhaps a new cultural phrase will be launched: “Nobody puts Odell in a corner.”