The Worst Tremendous Bowl Advertisements — Keep away from These Blunders


There’s loads to be discovered from the Tremendous Bowl.

people watch the worst super bowl ads

Whereas athletes collect new motivation and coaches decide up a couple of extra methods, the Tremendous Bowl can also be a wonderful place for entrepreneurs to achieve suggestions.


The adverts, after all.

Between 80 and 100 adverts run yearly in the course of the Tremendous Bowl. Corporations pay hundreds of thousands to have their commercials aired for 30 to 60 seconds.

Whereas many firms see success from their adverts, others finish the sport, dealing with some alarming outcomes.

So, what makes a nasty advert?

I’ll spotlight the fundamentals of dangerous promoting and stroll you thru ten of the worst Tremendous Bowl adverts ever. These classes apply to all types of advertising, too, so whether or not you’re a blogger or a scriptwriter, you’ll achieve some takeaways.

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What makes an advert flop?

Tremendous Bowl adverts are a number of the yr’s most generally mentioned advertising supplies. Some adverts make a big splash, whereas others are memorable for not-so-good causes.

As a marketer and as a shopper, there are some things that make an advert flop, together with:

  • Offensiveness. Whereas some argue that “all publicity is sweet publicity,” offensive adverts can negatively influence an organization’s backside line. A repute can have an effect on between 3-7.5% of revenues yearly.
  • Complicated messaging. Complicated adverts don’t all the time face the general public backlash that offensive adverts do, however they aren’t very efficient. If viewers don’t know what the advert is or who it’s promoting, it’s robust to take motion.
  • Irritating. Annoying adverts typically have jingles that get caught in our heads, however it’s not all the time good. The truth is, irritating adverts can diminish a model’s authority.

In my expertise, making certain clear and acceptable messaging must be a precedence in all advertising areas, whatever the advert format. When firms disregard readability and appropriateness, they grow to be weak to a flop.

The Worst Tremendous Bowl Advertisements of All Time

The Tremendous Bowl has been a strong platform for advertisers since its launch in 1968. Even within the very first yr of the occasion, firms paid $150,000 for one minute of advert protection.

With 58 years of commercials, there are some memorable Tremendous Bowl advert flops. Let’s take a look at a number of the worst Tremendous Bowl adverts ever and what made them a flop.

Pepsi x Kendall Jenner

This Pepsi advert, launched in 2017, featured supermodel Kendall Jenner giving a Pepsi to a police officer at a protest. After taking a sip of Pepsi, the officer smiled, and the protesters laughed and cheered in glee.

What Makes It a Blunder

This Tremendous Bowl advert was criticized harshly for being “tone-deaf.” Whereas the advert might have supposed to carry consciousness to social justice points, viewers felt that the clip diminished activists’ struggles.

It wasn’t helped by the truth that the influencer they used had little to do with social justice and was a bit controversial herself. My expertise as a marketer has taught me that it’s worthwhile to care concerning the message and the messenger.

Pepsi’s neglect of each created a assure that this advert would flop — and plenty of took to Twitter to share their opinions.


In 2000, paid for what’s now often called the most affordable Tremendous Bowl advert of all time. It begins with textual content on a yellow display screen, studying, “That is the worst Tremendous Bowl advert of all time.”

The advert goes on to explain the corporate, which provides personalised emails.

What Makes It a Blunder

Whereas I feel this advert was supposed to be humorous, it was considerably off-putting. The advert confused audiences with unclear messaging as a result of it didn’t present a lot details about the corporate.

What it did say concerning the firm additionally appeared in direct opposition to the advert’s type, which was exceedingly bland.

Regardless of the advert’s poor reception, Lifeminder mentioned they noticed 700,000 new prospects within the weeks following their Tremendous Bowl advert — so it wasn’t a complete flop.

Unhappy Robotic

The notorious GM Unhappy Robotic advert aired in 2007. The advert begins with a robotic being fired for making a mistake. Then, the robotic tries to get a brand new job however fails. After failing a couple of new jobs, the robotic leaps off a bridge, insinuating suicide.

Then viewers uncover that is solely a dream, and a message about GM’s 100,000-mile guarantee seems.

What Makes It a Blunder

GM confronted excessive backlash for this advert. At its floor, the advert is unsettling and disturbing, offending audiences. Tremendous Bowl audiences fluctuate in age; overwhelmingly, adverts are lighthearted or optimistic.

This tone conflict was jarring for viewers. As a marketer, I do know the worth of making certain your tone aligns together with your context.

GM’s advert was extraordinarily poorly timed, because it was launched amidst important layoffs. The advert’s messaging spoke on to this in an insensitive and offensive means.

5 to 9

On this 2021 Tremendous Bowl advert for the web site builder Squarespace, you’ll be able to hear Dolly Parton singing a revamped model of her basic, “9 to five.”

As an alternative of “9 to five,” she’s singing “5 to 9,” highlighting facet hustles that carry that means to staff’ lives.

What Makes It a Blunder

Squarespace and Dolly Parton each acquired criticism for this Superbowl business. Many thought the advert was an offensive suggestion that people wanted to be overworked to have worth.

Moreover, the track isn’t catchy like the unique, touchdown the advert within the irritating class.

Make Protected Occur

Nationwide’s 2015 Make Protected Occur advert featured a younger little one describing issues they’d by no means do. They’d by no means get cooties or get married, for instance.

On the finish of the advert, the younger little one states that they wouldn’t get to do any of these issues as a result of they died in an accident. Then, it mentioned that Nationwide cares about what issues.

What Makes It a Blunder

This advert is among the most generally criticized advert campaigns ever. It’s a extremely morbid advert, thought of overly darkish and unnerving. And the advert supposed to promote insurance coverage, which individuals discovered exploitative and offensive.

General, this advert flopped on quite a lot of marks.

Excellent Match

GoDaddy’s Excellent Match advert aired in 2013. It contains a supermodel and a nerd, and the spokeswoman states that GoDaddy is each attractive and sensible.

Then, as a illustration of the fusion of these two attributes, the clip options 10 seconds of kissing — a 3rd of your entire advert.

What Makes It a Blunder

This GoDaddy advert was criticized for making viewers extraordinarily uncomfortable. Whereas the intent was definitely playful, viewers felt the kiss lingered for much too lengthy and have become inappropriate for tv.

Like most of the adverts on this checklist, GoDaddy uncared for to contemplate the context of its advert.

Ace Metrix, an advert rating website, said that this advert had the 2nd lowest score for Tremendous Bowl adverts that yr.

Sony Experia

Sony launched an advert for a brand new Android telephone that contained gaming controls in 2011. The advert featured a person wandering by means of darkish streets and ending up in a again room with surgical procedure carried out on an Android.

The Android acquired human thumbs and went out onto the streets, able to sport.

What Makes It a Blunder

The 2011 Sony advert made viewers extraordinarily uncomfortable. The sight of human thumbs on the robotic was visually jarring and, for some viewers, terrifying. Moreover, the messaging within the advert was pretty complicated.

Whereas the top of the business clarified what was being marketed, there was little details about the product all through the 60-second advert.

As a marketer, it’s very important to deliberately use all of the house you’re given. Whether or not you’re writing an academic weblog or a business script, you need to take into account your purpose: promoting a product. Sony uncared for to prioritize that purpose on this advert.

MLK Dodge Ram

In 2018, Dodge Ram’s Tremendous Bowl advert strengthened the model’s motto, “Constructed to Serve.” The business featured highly effective pictures of oldsters participating in acts of neighborhood and repair.

The advert was accompanied by an MLK sermon from exactly 50 years prior on servanthood.

What Makes It a Blunder

Whereas some perceived the advert as highly effective and inspirational, others discovered it a diminishing approach to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Critics had been outraged by way of an MLK speech to promote vehicles.

General, the business was thought by many to be an exploitative use of Martin Luther King’s phrases.

Temu’s 2024 Advert

In case you watched the Superbowl this yr, you definitely noticed Temu’s ads, which aired not as soon as however 4 instances. This advert options animated visuals of individuals’s lives being improved by Temu, with low costs for every merchandise Temu offers.

It’s accompanied by model audio and concludes with Temu’s motto: Store like a billionaire.

What Makes It a Blunder

The Temu advert didn’t offend (although there are various critics of the model itself). As an alternative, the frequency of the advert irritated viewers and resulted in a considerably destructive notion.

Viewers took to social media to lament their irritation with the Temu advert that actually did play 4 instances.

The model possible spent tens of hundreds of thousands on this marketing campaign, as 4 30-second adverts isn’t any low-cost deal — and the frequency turned out to be a problem.

Groupon’s Tibet Advert

Lastly, we’ll check out Groupon’s 2011 Tremendous Bowl advert. The primary half of the advert featured a story concerning the folks of Tibet and the way the tradition is “in jeopardy.”

Then, the advert cuts to Timothy Hutton sitting in a restaurant being served Tibetan meals by a Tibetan man. Lastly, Timothy explains that he received this scrumptious meal for a deal, because of Groupon.

What Makes It a Blunder

Groupon’s advert confronted an exceeding backlash for offensiveness. The advert was criticized for racism and diminishment of the struggles dealing with refugees of Tibet.

It was a poorly timed, poorly executed advert — and a serious flop. The advert was pulled promptly from tv after viewer response.

What We Can Study From Advertisements That Flop

As we wrap up our take a look at a number of the Tremendous Bowl‘s greatest advert mishaps, let’s shift our focus to what we are able to study and the way we are able to innovate.

The important thing takeaway? Keep genuine, optimistic, and aligned together with your viewers‘s preferences. These adverts that didn’t hit the mark are excellent examples of what to not do, providing worthwhile insights into crafting efficient advertising.

We’ve a golden likelihood to rework these missteps into main wins. Purpose to create messages that resonate properly — be participating, thoughtful, and reflective of your viewers’s pursuits, backed by strong information for relevance.

Bear in mind to prioritize readability and your model’s integrity no matter your organization or advert format. Even with daring content material, making certain it’s acquired properly must be a high concern.

Hold it informal but skilled, and let’s make advertising that really stands out.

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