The Winners (and Losers) of Super Bowl XLIX

Who Generated the Most Buzz in Super Bowl 49

Super Bowl XLIX proved to be one for the ages. America was engaged long before the coin toss. There was the #Deflategate scandal surrounding the New England Patriots, the boldness of Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch sticking it to the NFL, and the expected early release of many commercials. One ad by GoDaddy created so much controversy that the company decided not to air the commercial during the big game.

In the end, many teams created conversation. However, some of them made us question the popular phrase, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” Here’s our list of the winners and losers of Super Bowl XLIX.

The Winners

Dads and Resilience
The 2015 Super Bowl commercials were all over the place. They ranged from heartbreaking to thought provoking to downright weird.

Nissan, Toyota, and Dove all pushed messages about being a real dad; McDonald’s unveiled its Pay with Lovin’ campaign; Coca-Cola aimed to infect the world with positive vibes through its #MakeItHappy social media campaign; and Budweiser made our hearts soar with its message of friendship.

Another prevalent theme for the evening was resilience in the face of adversity. Toyota brought us the story of Sochi Olympic medalist Amy Purdy, Microsoft shared the story of six-year-old Braylon O’Neill, who was born without tibia and fibula bones, and Always brought the #LikeAGirl campaign it started last June to the spotlight.

There were plenty of commercials that made us laugh. Snickers delivered a new “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ad that featured Danny Trejo as Marsha Brady. Esurance ran a successful series of “Sorta You” ads while BMW poked fun at our lack of knowledge about the internet in 1994. Skittles chose to settle it the usual way, and Avocados from Mexico brought us back to the First Draft.

The Left Shark
The halftime show featured pop superstar Katy Perry complete with real fireworks. The performance featured an animatronic lion, a shooting star, and guest appearances by Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott. But the real winner of the halftime show was the Left Shark. The cuddly shark is now a full-blown, clumsy meme machine taking over the internet.

The New England Patriots
Yes, the New England Patriots had the highest score at the end of their 28 – 24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, but it was the way they won that was the most impressive part. The score remained tied 14 – 14 at halftime, and when the teams took the field after Katy Perry’s performance, it started to look like it was over for the Patriots.

Seattle scored a field goal and a touchdown in the third quarter to go up 24 – 14 over New England. The score was the same with the fourth quarter nearly half over. Pete Carroll was shown celebrating on the sidelines. It looked like Seattle was going to win its second Super Bowl in a row. Carroll should have paid more attention during the regular season because if we learned anything this year, it’s that you don’t count the Patriots out until the clock hits 0:00.

The Patriots scored two touchdowns within the following six minutes to make the score 28 – 24 just before the two-minute warning. At this point, many people thought Brady had things wrapped up, but that proved to not be true, either. Seattle started with the ball on their own 20 and made it to the New England 5-yard line with 1:06 remaining, thanks to an amazing catch by Jermaine Kearse. With a fresh set of downs and only 5 yards to go, it looked as if Seattle (once again) would secure the win.

Only, that’s not what happened. With 26 seconds remaining, Russell Wilson’s touchdown pass attempt was intercepted by rookie Malcolm Butler, which secured the win for the Patriots.

Sure the Patriots are the Super Bowl XLIX Champions, but NBC is a winner in its own right. The down-to-the-last-minute, nail-biting, heart-stopping game drew a rating of 49.7, the highest overnight rating in Super Bowl history and a four-percent rise over last year.

The Losers

The undisputed loser of Super Bowl XLIX was Nationwide with its jarring ad about preventable accidents and childhood death. Everyone got the message, and it was one of heartbreak. Take a page from the eTrade baby’s playbook, Nationwide, and know your venue.

People with Toenail Fungus
Got toenail fungus? Want to be reminded about it during the Super Bowl? … We’re not sure why Jublia thought this was a good time to talk toenail fungus, but we do know we were a little grossed out.

Pete Carroll
Whether it was truly his call or not, Pete Carroll took the blame for the final play in the game, which has been dubbed the Worst. Play. Ever. (That’s saying something!) We have to agree. Pete, you have Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch! Pass with 3 downs and one yard to go? What were you thinking??

Roger Goodell
Despite a great Super Bowl matchup and game, the NFL and Roger Goodell had a rough year. There are the usual player safety, TV blackout rules, and lack of diversity issues, but this year saw even more and worse issues. Domestic violence, child abuse, and the integrity of the game through #Deflategate all made headlines. To top it off, the brawl at the end of Super Bowl XLIX didn’t help matters. We’re interested to see what Goodell does in the off-season.

What do you think? What did you love or hate about Super Bowl XLIX? Leave us a comment below!

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