Our Favorite Super Bowl Ads: A Videographer's Breakdown

February 05, 2019 3 min read

Our Favorite Super Bowl Ads: A Videographer's Breakdown

Super Bowl weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye. In a slog of a game that was the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, the Patriots won, 13-3, claiming their sixth title in the last 17 years and leaving the Rams to ponder what went wrong. And while both teams played admirably, we all know the real reason so many fans committed their wintry Sunday to the event, and certainly my impetus for watching: the impeccable commercials.

With too many to rave about in one blog, these star-studded, action-packed, pseudo-mini-movies gave Adam Levine a run for his money for the best entertainment of the night, and came along with their own filmic bag of tricks.

In Colgate’s homage to the famed ‘close-talker’ of Seinfeld lore, an over-personal Luke Wilson shows off his clean teeth to his coworkers, who are all reluctant to receive his close company. A kitschy little segment about personal comfort (or lack thereof), this commercial sure has some relatable charm. Its director, Bryan Buckley of Red Fuse, utilizes a clever trick by using a wide angle lens that breaks traditional film “rules”. By using a wide angle lens with a very close subject, Buckley creates a warped, subtly psychotic portrait of Wilson and his coworkers – a great visual tool for communicating a strong message in a short advertisement..

One such lens that’ll do the trick is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm. Designed for Micro Four Thirds camera bodies, this ultra-wide, compact lens works wonders capturing a sprawling landscape, or a silly fish-eye selfie. With an aperture from f/4 to f/22, this lens can hold its own in most low light scenarios, and has built in dispersion elements that reduce distortion and aberrations, so your scary selfies won’t looktooscary.

One of my favorite ads of the game spoke to audiophiles, drone operators, beer drinkers, and nature enthusiasts all at once. Michelob’s serene commercial follows the soothing voice of Zoe Kravitz encouraging the audience to “all experience something…together”. Set in what looks like a typical Maui hillside, we are treated to the softest sound spectacle in Super Bowl commercial history. As Zoe proceeds to tap, roll, open and pour her beer, we hear its sensuous sonic nuances, highlighted by panning drone shots in and around her immaculate locale. Utilizing ASMR sensation tactics and some crystal clear condenser microphones, perhaps one of these models. This ad is an indulgence of the senses, and its production quality shows.

My final favorite of the night was a clean and simple PSA more than direct advertising. While many of the other ads on Sunday included multiple celebrity endorsements, one Kia teaser ad speaks more to the unheard. Utilizing a slow zoom in on an array of television monitors displaying various personal video portraits, the monologue of a child speaks volumes about representation during the Super Bowl. In conjunction with a longer, more car-oriented ad for Kia’s new Telluride series, the ad is the start of a campaign highlighting the common people (specifically in small-town Georgia) that drive their cars. This one was a tear-jerker, and a refreshing change of pace from the otherwise overly-glamorous commercials of the night.

I could go on and on about the filmic integrity within the dozens of ads that aired Sunday night, each imbued with its own charm and expertise. With all due respect to you die-hard football fans, I know the best parts of my Sunday evening was when the game went to commercial break.


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