Wow. We were really pleased with the response to last week’s post about Super Bowl commercials starring amputees. Our final show of hands was way above and beyond any polls we’ve run in the past. There were a few multi-time voters—we should have made it clearer that we’d only be counting one vote per customer—but even after we winnowed out the duplicates, we ended up with tallies from more than 200 discrete IP addresses. Thanks to everyone who voiced an opinion and shared the poll around.
We also have to share a reflection from one of our readers: Every single ad we shared in our article was broadcast during a Super Bowl in which Tom Brady started at quarterback. We’ve reached out to Tom for comment; still awaiting his reply. Four of the ads aired during a Brady win, only one during a Brady loss. We figured you’d want to know . . .
We’ll start our countdown of the results by sharing our own ballot. We voted for “The Greatest,” Toyota’s 2015 entry starring snowboarder/dancer Amy Purdy, because we just thought the Muhammad Ali voiceover was too cool. Unfortunately, our selection finished tied for last in the polling; same as it ever was. Our tastes have always been a little bit (or a lot) out there. Only seven other people cast the same ballot we did, leaving “The Greatest” with just 4 percent of the total vote.
Also getting eight supporters and 4 percent, and tying for last place, was “Good Odds,” the 2018 Toyota commercial that featured another Winter Paralympian, alpine skier Lauren Woolstencroft. What do you people have against snowsports, anyway? This is the only spot that was broadcast in a year that Tom Brady went down to defeat. In some quarters, that would be a major reason to upvote the ad.
Finishing third, with 17 votes (8 percent), we had Microsoft’s “We All Win” from 2019. If you’re scoring at home, you’re aware that more than 80 percent of the vote remains uncounted, with only two contenders remaining: “Upstream,” Toyota’s new Jessica Long ad, and “Empowering Us All,” the Microsoft spot from 2015 featuring young Braylon O’Neill. One would assume (we certainly would) that “Upstream” rates as the prohibitive favorite, on account of the overwhelmingly positive reception it received when it was broadcast 10 days ago.
But, like this year’s Super Bowl, the 2021 Super Bowl amputee advertising showdown produced a big upset. “Upstream” got 54 votes (27 percent), finishing a distant second to the official GOAT Super Bowl Amputee Commercial: “Empowering Us All.” Our winner drew 115 votes, or a whopping 57 percent. For anyone who needs a refresher, click the image to watch the ad.
We suspect there may have been an organized campaign on behalf of this commercial, perhaps directed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates himself. Whether true or not, campaigning is fair game; nothing wrong with advocating for your perspectives or preferences.
Here are the final results in graph form. Thanks again to everyone who voted!