Super Bowl commercials: The good and the bad

Every Super Bowl party has one: that guy who’s “only there for the commercials.” And probably free beer and nachos. But that guy’s got a point – companies pull out all the stops for Super Bowl Sunday, to convince a massive crowd of roaring sports fans that they need a brand new Chevy or 6-pack of Budweiser.

This year was no different. Some commercials rocked, others sucked, and sadly there were no wardrobe malfunctions at half time. A few highlights:

No game is complete without controversy: the Chevy Silverado ad  drew a big stink on two fronts. Ford, after the ad insinuated people would die from the 2012 Mayan apocalypse if they sped away in a Ford car, threw a hissy fit with NBC to pull the ad. NBC refused. Now the laity is just cranky that a car ad reminded everyone we might die in 2012. Unless we buy Chevys. I can hear the collapse of the Japanese automobile industry.

Clever brevity earns respect in my book. Teleflora’s ad, featuring a sexy woman donning Louboutin pumps, informs the audience they will get laid on Valentine’s night if they buy their partner flowers. Though an amusing ad, I wonder if Teleflora will honor refund requests for Valentines that did not end with woopie.

Dear Coca Cola: maybe next year you’ll just feature a screencap of polar bears with a “drink our sugar water!” caption? Polar bears are cute, but this year’s commercial was bland. A bear needs help getting a drink because his fingers are crossed for the game, so his wifey bear helps out. Simplicity can be endearing but that was just boring.

Another flop was MetLife’s ad, “Everyone.” Why are Scooby Doo and Transformers in an ad with the words “financial security?” Why would I want that stoner Shaggy to be associated with my finances? Next!

Ok, M&Ms, another Super Bowl standard. The nudist M&M was funny, but still not the funniest commercial from M&Ms, even on regular TV.

For me, the Doritos ad was amusing. A snot-nosed kid taunts his granny and baby brother with out-of-reach Doritos. Granny uses her electric wheelchair to sling-shot the baby’s swing and steal the chips. The brat’s look of anguished surprise makes it clear: you don’t mess with Grandma.

No Super Bowl would be complete without a Budweiser ad. Their first offering, “Eternal Optimism,”  is a rehash of American history through the eyes of boozers. No wonder it’s a party. It’s a fun ad. Their second ad, featuring the Clydesdales and the happiness of the end of Prohibition,  struck a more lukewarm note, and doesn’t compare to the adorable puppy one a few years ago.

Bud Light scored cute points with a dog trained to fetch beer. While the ad’s ending message of supporting animal rescue seems to clash with a dog forced into indentured servitude, the image of the dog running on the rolling keg was adorable.

Samsung’s ad fooled me. It started out by hilariously dissing Apple but quickly devolved into people singing off-key and dancing in the streets. Boring! Get back to making fun of the iPhone. Apple’s potential hissy fit makes me shivery.

Another winner was Kia’s ad for the Optima. Though I don’t know why a man would be dreaming about an MMA fighter giving him a come hither look, the rest of the dream – bikini girls, giant sandwiches, and barnstorming his girlfriend’s own lusty dream – had me giggling.

Kia ran neck and neck with Volkswagon’s ad. It was a great mix of weird and funny. It starts off with a dog crash dieting and exercising to lose weight to fit through a doggie door and chase a Volkswagon. It ends with the cantina from Star Wars and Darth Vader choking some fool alien. Did I miss something? Regardless, I laughed.

The Fiat ad was not so stellar. A guy somehow mistakes a Fiat for a sexy woman coming onto him. I don’t think objectophilia makes for a good car ad.

Finally, Dannon’s Oikois Greek Yogurt ad. Close but no cigar. It would have made a fine regular TV commercial, but this is the Super Bowl – a time for juiced up, money-hurling commercials. Spousal abuse over a cup of Greek yogurt just doesn’t cut it. We at least need chainsaws.

I could go on, but YouTube now has all the commercials up for voting. Check them out and see which ones make you want to shell out some money.

3 replies
  1. joe brown
    joe brown says:

    Eastwood ad was the best. Teabaggers hated it, of course. The polar bears and the flying baby sucked.

  2. Keep it pithy, and people will pay attention
    Keep it pithy, and people will pay attention says:

    I thought most of them were good. I didn’t care for the Clint Eastwood “endorsed” Chrysler ad. Patriotism and 9/11 themes have nothing to do with a car maker that made short-sighted decisions prior to being bailed out by the Gov., and subsequently being bought out by an Italian car company.

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