Drew Magary over at NBC San Diego thinks he knows what it takes to make a great Super Bowl Commercial… and what it takes to be considered the worst. He offers lots of examples to back up his opinion, and you know what? We think he’s right.

Drew has a list of the five best and five worst Super Bowl ads of all time, and while his list of the best doesn’t match up with ours exactly, there is enough commonality between the two to see that we agree on what makes a Super Bowl commercial (and by extension, any commercial) great: story, story, and story.

Good commercials are a storytelling medium just like movies, books, and music. For a story to be compelling and successful you need a character that everyone can identify with, who has as strong and specific need. We as an audience need to recognize ourselves in the characters we see on TV, and be able to relate to their struggle and want them to succeed. It doesn’t matter if we’re watching a two-hour movie about a bank heist or a 30-second commercial for Bud.

Drew doesn’t quite go into so much detail, but we can read between the lines. Tell a good story, and the viewers will flock to your ad. Failing a good story, have some dogs bark a Star Wars song.

Source: NBC San Diego