The game score was decisive. The results of this year's Super Ad Poll — not so much. Voters were all over the board when it came to choosing the best ad of 2021, and the winning score was closer than ever.
But when the voting closed, Cheetos' "It Wasn't Me" tallied the highest score with the Super Bowl of Advertising Class. The ad featured early 2000s reggae star Shaggy and a remix of the original hit song — which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In the ad, Mila Kunis hides from real-life husband Ashton Kutcher while eating his Cheetos and leaving orange dust on her mouth and fingers.
"This year's competition was close — just a tenth of a point between our first and third place ads," said instructor Russ Gottwald. "The winner didn't surprise me too much. It's a cute, feel-good story about a couple doing couple-y things, made stronger by star power and a catchy tune seamlessly re-written for the spot."
In the online poll used to gauge the sentiment of the local community, Jeep's "The Middle" was selected as the top ad by a narrow margin, edging Cheetos for top honors.
This is the 18th year students in the class have ranked the top commercials that air during the big game. The students grade the national commercials on likability, persuasiveness and brand identity.
But this is the first year the class was held virtually. In previous years, more than 100 students in the Super Bowl Commercials class have gathered in the SJMC for food, football and — most importantly — ads. This year, new instructor Gottwald adapted it into a virtual experience.
Cheetos advertising team Goodby Silverstein & Partners will be invited to receive the coveted Cocky Award and share behind-the-scenes stories about how the commercial was made.