What’s that? You’re (still) feeling full, the weather’s got you down, and you were rooting for the Seahawks to win Super Bowl XLIX? You want nothing more than to spend this Monday morning clinging to the very last scraps of this NFL season?

We thought that might be the case. Welcome to the Super Brew II.


Ben Brugler

Ben Brugler, President:

So, what was more confusing about last night’s Super Bowl — Seattle’s play calling or the ‘Nationwide kills kids’ ad? It’s the morning after and I’m still not sure…

Here are five non-football thoughts walking away from #SB49:

  1. Advertising? Dadvertising? Try Sadvertising. What was the deal last night? Why…so…serious? Super Bowl ads are supposed to be fun. Silly. Quirky. Last night the theme was anything but. If we’re going on the (few) ads that made me smile, I’d have to say I liked Snickers, Coke, Dove Men Cares and the Walter White esurance spots.
  2. Katy Perry rode a huge Transformer, surprised us with Missy Elliot and rode the ‘More you know’ star. Even if you’re not a fan that was an entertaining halftime show.
  3. It’s an Ohio thing, but I was excited to see a few local companies throw their hat into the ring – congrats, Loctite and Swagelok.
  4. Has second screen jumped the shark? No, but it’s getting…I don’t know, tired? Brands are trying SO hard to stand out and outdo each other that the humor is stale and predictable. They are ignoring one of the most important rules of marketing: whether traditional or non-traditional, be genuine.
  5. I know it’s not popular but I feel the Budweiser puppy/Clydsedale ads are becoming a little heavy handed.

It was a great NFL season and ended in an extremely entertaining way. But…16 days until pitchers and catchers report. You can’t deflate those balls.



Bill Delaney, Content Architect:

Select annotated Google Searches 2/1/2015: Super Bowl Sunday

“weather Lakewood oh” (“100%” chance of precipitation is awfully confident, there, Google.)

“what time is the super bowl” (Just doing my part.)

“slow cook oven ribs recipe” (We needed to get these started early if they were going to be ready by the time the game starts. Four hours!)

“how long do Chinese leftovers last” (From Friday…breakfast?)

“weather Lakewood oh” (Well, they weren’t kidding.)

“slow cook oven ribs recipe” (…Forgot to bookmark it.)

“how to make your own barbecue sauce” (Ketchup?)

“Cleveland snow record” (February 23, 1993. 13.6 inches.)

“how many ribs in a serving”(Hoo, boy. Ate waayyy more than that.)

“Lakewood ohio hourly weather”

“dreaming with jeff” (dreamingwithjeff.com appears to be a ingenious piece of content marketing for squarespace. Best part is, it’s real. Of course Jeff Bridges recorded an authentic opus of meditative ambient music.)



Jessica Forrester, Senior Copywriter:

I’d like to talk about that Nationwide ad. No… not THAT one. I want to talk about the Mindy Kaling spot. Although it was surely overshadowed by the OTHER Nationwide commercial, I absolutely loved it. As with just about everything Mindy touches, I thought the #InvisibleMindy commercial was funny and smart—and surely a bright spot in an otherwise disastrous night for Nationwide. Sure, I’m a huge fan of hers, so I was likely to love anything Mindy did, but I thought her charming personality and flawless sense of humor was spot-on. And a surprise cameo by Matt Damon? I’ll take it.

Plus, Nationwide’s #InvisibleMindy spot played into a huge trend with this year’s Super Bowl commercials, when a “preview version” was released days before the big game. Catching a sneak peek not only piqued my interest, it gave me something specific to watch for—and I couldn’t wait to see it.



Kelly O’Brien, Account Director:

In my new quest to dethrone resident Chef Schwabe, long-ruling king of the AKHIA cooks, I present to you the Kelly O. Big Game Feast. Because arguably, the food even outranks the commercials for this annual celebration. A special thanks to the @westsidemarket. I was overwhelmed in the best way during my first official visit on Saturday; what a culinary welcome you provided on Cleveland’s behalf.

Click to view full size:

food collage

Clockwise from top left: Baked parmesan edamame, homemade cheese bites, Thai peanut chicken wings, “Baby, You’re a Firework” nachos, mini chicken & waffles with sriracha syrup, Colossal Cupcakes.

(Ed. Note: Thanks, Kelly, for making us all hungry again.)



Robert Doll, Copywriter:

On Chris Matthews: Amazing that virtually no one outside of Seattle knew who this guy was when the game started. But he was, IMHO, the first half MVP, and possibly a Russell Wilson INT away from the real MVP.

Mathews wasn’t even on Seattle’s roster two months ago. In fact, he was working at Foot Locker. He was even cut by THE BROWNS in 2011 (of all teams, yes THE BROWNS) and played in Canada. Next thing, he’s in The Super Bowl crushing the Patriots’ secondary as the Seahawks’ leading receiver with 4 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD. If that’s not inspiring, on one of the biggest stages in America, then I don’t know what is.


Amanda Kleinhenz

Amanda Vasil, Change Agent:

We’re spooning taco dip onto our plates, filling drinks, settling into our seats, listening to Idina Menzel belt out the National Anthem, checking our Twitter feeds and then BOOM! The cable cuts out. Or does it? I can’t say that Chevy’s Super Bowl ad was my favorite (as of this moment, I’m not sure I actually have a favorite. Anyone else feeling underwhelmed and slightly depressed this year?). But it definitely got my attention. Really brings the concept of “digital disruption” to life, doesn’t it? Kim Kardashian’s T-Mobile spot might technically have been the “first” ad to air in the #brandbowl, but Chevy to me was with the checkered flags signaling the start of the Super Bowl commercial race. Now, the fact that I was disappointed almost the entire night after that moment is for a separate post…



Kasey Bertolino, Account Executive

Chevy truck with WIFI – Maybe it’s because we don’t have cable and were relying on rabbit ears to see the Super Bowl, but we totally fell for this one and thought our TV went out. Perfect time slot for this commercial.

Carnival cruise – Was this ad begging people to take a cruise in light of all the recent issues at sea? High on the drama using JFK sound bites. Sorry, still not getting on a cruise ship.

Kim Kardashian – Kim K. finally making fun of herself, like the rest of us. I like it. Also making fun of himself: Pete Rose in the Hall. Pretty funny.

Budweiser #bestbuds – My favorite part of this was the cover of The Pretenders’ classic “I Would Walk 500 Miles,” thought maybe the scary wolf part was over the top. Bonus points for a cute puppy.

Dove Men’s Care – I’ll blame the fact that we have a new baby in the house but all those cute little kids yelling Daddy made me cry! As my husband said, it got him right in the feels. Speaking of, lots of commercials targeting Dad tonight.

Also: I feel like the commercials overall either were really sad (Nissan with “Cat’s in the Cradle,” Nationwide with kids dying) or really happy (McDonalds, Coke).

Halftime show = MISSY ELLIOT! Takin’ me back to the early 2000s! I still know all the words. Wait, was that Lenny Kravitz for 2.3 seconds?

GO EDELMAN! Kent State Alum! Belichick… I hate your sweatshirts.


AKHIA kids react to the halftime show:

Kelly McGrath, Account Director: Welp, this is what Gabby said during halftime. I had to share: “Halftime is not appropriate for kids. What about the families that watch the Super Bowl together? Whoever is in charge should think about that.” Gabby McGrath, age 6.

Ben Brugler, President: I was a little nervous to let my girls watch the halftime show but here’s what I got:

Kendall: I’m not watching it. I don’t like Katy Perry.

Leia: Are those the glowy things from Wreck-it-Ralph?

April Wonsick, Director, Account Service: And 5-year-old Jaden’s review…”Mom, I like when Katy Perry wears that beach ball dress!”  #boys #whyihavegrayhair.



Bryan Webb, Social Media Intern:

Puppy v. Puppy: Budweiser stuck to what it knows best for this year’s Super Bowl commercial: Clydesdales and puppies. Mirroring its 2014 commercial, last night’s ad featured a lost puppy finding its way home. Contrary to GoDaddy’s controversial puppy commercial, Budweiser scored positive reviews among Super Bowl watchers. Before the game even started, the commercial had nearly 19 million views on YouTube. Budweiser also tweeted right along with viewers during the game, responding to those raving about the commercial in real time with custom GIFs. Although I’m partial to Budweiser (as both a consumer and a marketer), I believe they did an excellent job this year and, in addition to being called the King of Beers, I think they deserve the title King of Super Bowl Ads.



Michael Schwabe, Digital Solutions Lead:

What a shame it was that the Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart lipsync battle wasn’t played at halftime instead of Katy Perry.



Olivia Mihalic, Account Executive:

The Fiat crossover ad won my vote for most creative commercial. I’ve always loved their ads, and this was no different. It kept my interest and made me laugh, something I can honestly say didn’t happen a lot because of the serious nature of many of the ads. But the animal lover in me also loved the Budweiser commercial. I can appreciate the buzz that brand creates every year with essentially the same storyline—and there’s nothing like a lab puppy and horses to pull at your heartstrings.



Lukas Treu, Content Architect:

Regarding the game: I couldn’t decide if I actually enjoyed the football game or not… The first half seemed to have practically nothing happen, and then the second half had tons of action. Still a bit shocked by the final minute or two. That bomb catch by a Seahawks receiver in the play prior to the final interception, though… Dang. A shame they blew it after that.

Regarding the ads: Was there some sort of secret pact that most ads would be inspirational, aspirational or simply about how cool fathers are? In the words of my dad: “Quiet, it’s our year!” I feel like past years skewed more towards amusement, but this was definitely more of a solemn/touching year for ads. If you watch for amusement, that’s almost a bummer. I saw many a shocked tweeter proclaiming they simply were not prepared to cry over a McDonald’s commercial… but they did.

Regarding the half-time show: It could have been worse. I had my doubts about Katy Perry (I’m not much of a pop music fan), but I’ll be real… the dancing sharks and beach balls were a nice touch. It was just kooky enough to keep it amusing, and I was glad to see they didn’t over sexualize anything. Whether Snoop Dogg really was in a shark costumer or not, I’d say it was pretty well done.