By Heather Taylor
The biggest night in football has come and gone, leaving in its wake a historic game (the first ever to go into overtime!) between the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, a show stopping halftime performance from Lady Gaga, and commercials, commercials, commercials. Everyone from Skittles to Netflix was included in the lineup and that includes a healthy handful of some of our favorite brand mascots. From two Colonels to a beloved character returning as a ghost, here’s a look at the icons that put on their game face and joined in the fun.
There they were in “Colonel vs. Colonel” from Wieden & Kennedy. Two Colonels in white suits and string ties talkin’ about chicken. While we’re growing accustomed to the growing list of actors as KFC’s many mascots, there can only be one on Super Bowl Sunday. That “one” is Georgia Gold Colonel, played by a metallic-drenched Billy Zane. Rob Riggle, as the resident Kentucky Buckets Colonel, does what he can to tackle Zane but doesn’t stand a chance under his Midas might or against his “finger licking gold” chicken.
Love or loathe this spot, Leo Burnett Toronto turned heads and got audiences buzzing (and blushing) over the “Cleaner of Your Dreams.” Hey, like the tagline says you gotta love a man who cleans!
He only shows up twice in this spot, in the reflection of a windshield and in a puddle, but the Michelin Man subtly proves in “I Need You” that he’s there to bring people together when you need him the most. Created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, the icon helps countless dozens across the world find the ones they love and need to be with for the night — and he does it all with his hands shaped like a heart.
It’s the ghost of brand mascots past! The ‘80s icon for Bud Light returns as a specter in “Ghost Spuds” for everyone who opts to stay in for the night instead of party down. However, the message in this spot from Wieden & Kennedy New York is less focused on partying for the sake of partying. It’s about being there for the friendships and all those moments with good friends that happen over ice-cold cans of Bud Light.
“Surgery” from Publicis Seattle marks the spokesduck, and brand’s, first commercial debut during the Super Bowl. The message here is simple: to keep your lifestyle healthy (and hang on to your ’67 Corvette), you’ll need AFLAC. And it’s only one quack away.
Probably stretching it just a little bit to put VML’s “Cold Storage” on here since Wendy herself only appears at the end as a logo, but we went into overtime last night. Still counts.
Cleatus the FOX Sports Robot
One of our 2016 Madison Avenue Walk of Fame winners, Cleatus technically wasn’t featured in any spots last night. However, he did appear frequently throughout the game, which is just as good. We like having a mascot on the inside of the action too.