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Power Rankings: Commercials

Which of the Emmy Award-winning Sharks For Life commercials is the best one?

by Ann Frazier /

Last weekend, SJSharks Productions earned their first-ever Emmy Award win, picking up the trophy for the Sharks For Life commercial campaign.

That begs the question: all five of the commercials in the campaign are (obviously) great, but which one is the best? So we took the task of watching the commercials again and ranked them based on completely arbitrary criteria including acting ability, plot, quotes, and use of props.


5. Presentation

Video: Sharks For Life Commercial: Presentation

Acting: 9/10
Joe Pavelski and Evgeni Nabokov really put their acting skills to the test - it takes a lot (a LOT) of skill to make a quarterly earnings powerpoint presentation interesting - and succeeded. 

Plot: 8/10
Who wouldn't want two Sharks legends cheering them on during a meeting? The Sharks Digital Media team definitely looked into bringing them in during all of our meetings. 

Quotables: 8/10
"Love the color of the pie charts!" "Way to present, Gary!" Why can't all meetings have those words of encouragement?

Props: 3/10
No props, except for the powerpoint presentation, which gets points off as it's a powerpoint presentation.

Overall: 28/40

Joe Pavelski and Evgeni Nabokov did an admirable job of making a finance presentation interesting, but it doesn't quite stack up to the rest of the commercials. 


4. Playhouse

Video: Sharks For Life Commercial: Build

Acting: 8/10
Between Joel Ward admirably soldiering on despite sitting on an uncomfortably tiny rocking horse and Martin Jones dealing with an air horn, these two showed real commitment to the acting craft. 

Plot: 7/10
What parent hasn't gone through the pain of trying to put together a toy for their children? And what parent hasn't wished they had a cheering section (and mayber clearer instructions)? The relatability of this commercial makes it work.

Quotables: 8/10
"Kimmy in the house!" "Show that playhouse who's boss!" "The kids are going to love it!"

Props: 8/10
Points for the use of the air horn. Negative points for not really knowing how to use the air horn.

Overall: 30/40

A solid commercial is made even better with an air horn. Honestly, every commercial could use more air horn.


3. Spelling Bee

Video: Sharks For Life Commercial: Spelling Bee

Acting: 9/10
Joe Pavelski and Evgeni Nabokov put their acting skills to the test, and came out with a solid commercial. Despite the strange looks they were getting, who wouldn't want those two cheering them on during a school spelling bee?

Plot: 9/10
The subtle parody of overbearing parents living vicariously through their children plus the absurd realism of two hockey players completely suited up at a school spelling bee (plus the plot twist of neither of the two knowing what a semaphore is) took the audience through the twists and turns of a gripping story. Plus, it was pretty funny.

Quotables: 8/10
"Spell like the wind, Margot!" "What the heck is a semaphore?" "No clue" 

Props: 7/10
The subtle use of Sharks' players numbers as contestant numbers ("Ocho on fire!") is one of those key details that pushes this prop score up.

Overall: 33/40

The first commercial released as the Sharks For Life campaign started things off on a high note. Cheering on a spelling bee? Where the word is one that neither Joe Pavelski or Evgeni Nabokov knew? Yeah, it's pretty great.


2. Swimming Pool

Video: Sharks For Life Commercial: Swimming Pool

Acting: 10/10
Both Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau really give it their all, transcending the laid-back attitude of pool lounge chairs to really show enthusiasm. 

Plot: 10/10
At first the plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense - hockey players at a pool? - until you realize that this commercial is fully embracing the California hockey lifestyle. 

Quotables: 8/10
"I feel safer already!" "Guard those lives!" And (because how could it not be included?) the saga of Marleau trying to teach Hertl how to say "Twirl" in the outtakes. 

Props: 12/10
Two words: pool floaties. 

Overall: 40/40

Beginning with the completely disaffected lifeguard, and continuing with Tomas Hertl in arm floaties, this commercial is silly without being obnoxiously so, while also showing off the acting skills of both Hertl and Marleau.

Of course, the best part is in the outtakes: Patrick Marleau trying - and failing - to teach Tomas Hertl how to say "twirl."

After watching, we can all agree that we feel safer already.


1. Barbershop

Video: Sharks For Life Commercial: Barbershop 

Acting: 10/10
Joe Thornton and Brent Burns had way too much fun shooting this commercial, and it showed. They played off each other (even going so far as literally hitting each other) like they were seasoned actors. Basically: if there was an NHL 100 list for hockey players acting, there's no way either would be snubbed. 

Plot: 10/10
The plot is incredibly obviously, which works incredibly well: Thornton and Burns, known league-wide for their facial hair, cheers on a fan's facial hair. 

Quotables: 19/10
"Beard game strong!" "Sweet chin curtain!" "Oil it up baby" "That's some spicy salad you got there" "[Wookiee noise]"... Safe to say that pretty much every part of this commercial is quotable.

Props: 5/10
This commercial didn't really use many props; it wasn't necessary when the beards were the stars of the show. But props (hah) must be given to the fact that it was Thornton and Burns who came up with the idea of using the towels. 

Overall: 44/40

Could it be anything else? The beards, the catchphrases, the fact that neither Joe Thornton or Brent Burns could stop cracking up or hitting each other… This commercial has everything you could ever want in a Sharks commercial and more. And the outtakes aren't bad either.

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