Best sound design/music of Super Bowl 2015

Its the morning after the big game, and break rooms everywhere are filled with conversation about the game: the outcome, the big plays along the way, and of course, the commercials.  For many, the conversations about in-game advertising focus on humor, human touch, or sometimes outrage.   I thought I’d try a new angle: sound design & music.
Most of the ads in this year’s broadcast were very straight-forward, sound-wise:  it doesn’t take a huge soundtrack to convey the desired message in most cases.   There were, however, 3 spots where music & a great mix of sound effects, design, and voiceover made for impressive results.

At the top of my list, a spot from early in the broadcast – 1st quarter, 1st break: Toyota’s “How Great I Am” – footage of Para-athlete Ann Purdy in action & at play, as the iconic words of Muhammed Ali paint & enhance the story.   Excellent music editing & spot-on sound effects to every shot make this a winner:

Lexus made an audible splash with their “Make Some Noise” spot.   Excellent sound-design against a rhythmic soundtrack & fast-cutting visuals:

Nissan’s ad told a heartstring-tugging tale of an auto racing father & his son, but what really hammered home the story was the use of Cat Stevens’ “Cats in the Cradle”:

Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” featured a great balance of music & effects to enhance this campaign:

Finally, Game Of Wars’ “Who I Am” made use of a top-notch surround-sound effects mix to enhance its high-action visuals.  The spot features Kate Upton: easy-on-the-eyes, yes.  A voice-over talent, she is not:


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