Our Take on the Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2019

While yesterday’s Super Bowl game may not have been full of high-scoring action, the commercials that aired during the game continue to generate the kind of buzz that Super Bowl commercials are known for—although with ads costing an estimate $5 million for 30 seconds, advertisers definitely want to make sure they are leaving a lasting impression. Here is a look at some of our favorite and most memorable ads from Super Bowl LIII.

“Give It Everything” by Kia

Ian McDaniel, Communications Specialist



I spent almost the entirety of the game buried in coding, but one commercial forced me to stop, look up and pay attention: Kia’s “Give It Everything.” The commercial follows in a similar vein to that of Chrysler’s 2011 “Imported From Detroit” and Dodge’s 2013 “Farmer” with minimal audio except the voice of a narrator over a montage of footage. Like its predecessors, it is the stripped-down audio that calls the attention. The Super Bowl and its ads are often incomprehensible cacophonies of light and sound, so the young Georgian and his somber Southern drawl immediately demands notice because of how jarring the difference is. The interplay that follows between the narration and the stunning and quaint landscapes and lives of a small, rural town is emotionally haunting and will live much longer in my memory than any of the “funny” commercials ever could hope to.


“Ball in Her Court” by Bumble

Renee Harvey, Senior Communications Manager



The theme of the 2019 Super Bowl, as least from an ad standpoint, seemed to be robots and re-establishing goodwill around a brand. One example of the latter was certainly Bumble. One of many dating apps on the market that has come to be known for one-night-stands and matches that turn out to be less than promising, Bumble saw its opportunity to own the narrative.

Bumble’s ad featured Serena Williams and the message that women already have the power.

Something that is literally true in Bumble’s app where, in heterosexual relationships, the woman has to initiate contact after a match has been made. While reinforcing an aspect of the program that does technically give women the power, Bumble also used the opportunity to inspire female viewers to take charge in every aspect of their lives from work, to love, to friendships. Although one ad won’t change the people actually using Bumble, the brand made the most of its Super Bowl debut and chimed in on an issue that is relevant and important to the majority of its audience.


“Not Everything Makes the Cut” by Amazon’s Alexa

Brianna LaRouche, Communications Manager



There were a few different ads that stood out for me this year, but the one that I enjoyed the most was Amazon’s ad showcasing “failed” attempts at integrating Alexa technology into other products. The commercial was funny and entertaining plus, who doesn’t enjoy an appearance from Harrison Ford? It begs the question though, where is he going to put all that dog food?


“The Pitch” by BON & VIV Spiked Seltzer

Chloe Tagariello, Communications Specialist



My favorite Super Bowl commercial this year was BON & VIV’s “The Pitch,” which was a mock of ABC’s TV show Shark Tank. Besides the fact that I enjoy spiked seltzers, I also really love watching Shark Tank, so this commercial was fun to watch and felt more relatable than some of the other commercials. The idea was clever and I’ve never seen a commercial like it, so it was one of the only ones that I remembered well.


“Democracy Dies in Darkness” by The Washington Post

Michelle Rash, Vice President


While there were several Super Bowl commercials that made me smile, my favorite of the night was one that made me pause. The Washington Post’s “Democracy Dies in Darkness” highlights the importance of a free press in our society, and the impact the media has had in changing our nation through its coverage, including some of the historic events like the March at Selma featured in the commercial. The ad also reminds us of the danger many reporters face in bringing us the news, including the death of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi in late 2018.

While the commercial was paid for by The Washington Post, I think it did a great job of promoting not just itself but highlighting the wider media landscape by featuring reporters for other news organizations, such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper. As a former reporter, I remain a news junkie, and this commercial serves as a reminder of why media outlets of all shapes and sizes play such a vital role in our society.

RLF’s Take on the Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2018

This year’s Super Bowl ads seemed a bit different than years past – gone were the Budweiser commercials featuring cute puppies or the beer’s trademark Clydesdales. Instead, the company chose to focus on the donations of water it made following recent natural disasters here in the U.S. Other brands also took a more somber tone, with humanitarian and feel-good narratives. However, humorous commercials remained a Super Bowl staple, with brands such as M&M’s, Doritos and Mountain Dew continuing to lead the way in generating laughs.
Continue reading “RLF’s Take on the Best Super Bowl Commercials of 2018”

2010 Sabre Awards Dinner

Even in a deep recession, the public relations profession is turning out amazing and meaningful work for clients.
That thought has resonated for me during the last month, since I attended the SABRE awards dinner at the gorgeous Cipriani building across from Grand Central Station in New York City in May. More than 1,000 public relations professionals had gathered for one of the big three awards shows to honor the best campaigns and teams in our industry (the PR Week Awards and Silver Anvil Awards are the other two major national awards).
Paul Holmes, the organizer of the SABRE Awards – which stands for Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation – set the tone for the evening when he remarked that despite all of the economic troubles that have challenged our industry, the number of entries for SABRE recognition set a record (1,700) and the quality had never been higher.
As Paul noted, public relations has demonstrated that reach and frequency are not enough to create successful outcomes in today’s world. There must be engagement as well, and public relations has taken a leadership position among the communications disciplines in creating engaging, meaningful campaigns. This is particularly true in the realm of social media, which our profession has done a remarkable job of weaving into the overall communications mix.
Over the course of five hours (from the first cocktail to the closing coffee), Aleasha Vuncannon and I had the opportunity to talk with fascinating professionals from around the country, review the lists of finalists for the awards in each category, and enjoy the pageantry of an event as a participant (instead of as a behind-the-scenes organizer, which is our normal role!).
And when our time came, when the finalists for the top campaign in the category of Educational & Cultural Institutions were announced, we were thrilled to hear that our work in partnership with the International Civil Rights Center & Museum had been recognized as the best in our business. We had felt like it was worthy of this recognition. We knew how hard our team had worked and how much had been accomplished. Yet, we still held our breath in anticipation as the winner was announced, because every campaign that had made the finals had strong results.  It felt good to scream when we heard the results.
Here is a brief glimpse into the work that we did for the grand opening of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum:

After the dinner, Aleasha and I walked through Times Square at midnight, dressed in our best clothes, carrying a deceptively heavy trophy and reflecting on the evening (not surprisingly, no one batted an eye at us or thought we were out-of-place in the crazy scene that is Times Square). It feels good to do great work for clients, to create campaigns that generate meaningful results and advance our client’s objectives. We do this work not for awards, but when we strive to be one of the very best agencies in our industry, it is evenings like this that provide the mileposts to let us know that our agency is on the right road.

And the Winner Is…..RLF Communications

RLF Communications, led by its Creative Director Ron Irons, had a big night at the AAF Triad’s Addy Awards on Saturday. More than 150 people representing advertising agencies throughout the Triad attended this annual event honoring the best creative work in the region. Though it was RLF’s first time  entering this competition, it sure wasn’t beginner’s luck that we ended the night with 14 awards – all for  work done on behalf of our client, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

RLF won the “Best of Show”, the evening’s highest honor, for the following ad:

RLF won a “Judge’s Choice” award (one of two) for the following ad:

In addition, RLF took home eight Gold ADDY awards and four Silver ADDY awards for other creative work on behalf of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. Congratulations to Ron Irons and everyone at RLF Communications for these well-earned honors

Click here to see more creative work for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.