The Agency World Picks the Best and Worst of Super Bowl 2020

By Erik Oster 

Advertising’s biggest event was Sunday night, and professionals from around the industry all undoubtedly had hot takes on what Super Bowl ads did right and wrong.

The preferred forum for such discourse, of course, is Fishbowl and tens of thousands of industry professionals participated in a discussion of the Big Game ads on the platform, including creative leaders like BBDO creative vice-chairman Greg Hahn, The Martin Agency CCO Karen Costello and Droga 5 CCO David Kolbusz.

That makes for a pretty great way to get an industry-wide consensus on the best and worst of the Super Bowl, and Fishbowl was kind enough to share some takeaways with us.


“I know it’s fashionable to hate on the ads, but it feels like the standard has been weirdly high this year,” Kolbusz commented.

The best

Agency pros’ consensus pick for the best ad of the game was Jeep’s “Groundhog Day,” which also happened to top Adweek’s list of “The 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020” and USA Today’s Ad Meter. Only the Super Clios, it appears, disagreed, giving the nod to BBDO New York’s “Fix The World” spot for Snickers. According to Fishbowl, 41% of ad professionals called “Groundhog Day” their favorite ad of the night. Some 3,056 ad pros from around the industry voted on the decision.

“I love the Jeep spot. Great use of a celebrity. Car (sic) did not feel like a force for but rather an essential part of the story,” Costello said. “And that groundhog! Really well-crafted spot.”

The game’s runner-up was Google’s “Loretta,” which was also named the Super Bowl’s most effective ad by video ad tech company Unruly, as well as the runner-up in Adweek’s top 10 list. “Loretta” narrowly lost the title of the best ad of the night and was the overwhelming favorite at half time, at which point 44% of respondents cited it as their favorite.

“If you weren’t crying already… Google’s ‘Loretta’ ad is the real story of an actual employee’s grandfather and his late wife – who also narrates the commercial,” a Havas employee commented. “Well done, Google.”

The worst

Of course, Fishbowl is not always limited to positivity, and there was plenty to criticize during the game as well.

Fishbowl’s “Super Bowl 2020 Brand Loser” was Planter’s, which introduced the world to “Baby Nut” after its “#RIPeanut” social media campaign around the death of Mr. Peanut was temporarily sidelined in the wake of the deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others in a helicopter accident.

Unsurprisingly, people were not as willing to attach a name to the criticism.

“So he is still alive? That was a waste of a suspenseful teaser. And obviously, someone was a big baby Yoda fan,” said an Integer employee.

One TBWA employee commented simply “babynot” while a senior copywriter asked what exactly was up with the dolphin noises. Good question!

A dishonorable mention went to Droga5’s ad for Amazon imagining life before Alexa, starring Ellen De Generes and Portia De Rossi. Fishbowl commenters pointed out the ad’s lack of diversity, particularly notable given the number of people who appear in the ad. 

“Dozens of bodies in the Alexa ad and only one was a person of color,” noted one supervisor.

“Alexa, look up the word ‘diversity,’ joked a Publicis employee.

Check out the rest of the Super Bowl discussion on Fishbowl here.