Yes, Super Bowl commercials have become such a big part of the Super Bowl that they now demand their own posts and columns. As a whole I’d have to say this year’s were underwhelming, usually there are multiple commercials featuring big stars and/or crazy special effects but those were few and far between this year (although Pepsi’s weird commercial might have fit the bill). The rules are simple: only commercials that appeared after kickoff and before the final seconds ticked off and commercials for NBC shows or movie trailers are excluded (although the trailers will be getting their own special post later this week). In order from worst to first:
10) Best Buy “Innovators” – There wasn’t much to this commercial but it was cool to see all the inventors who have made cell phones what they are today through hardware or software innovations.
9) TaxAct.com “Free to Pee” – I guess this ad is supposed to make the person feel at ease because they don’t have to worry about their taxes? No clue. In any case it was a cute commercial for a situation we’ve all been in (although I’m sure not all of us would get out of the pool in the first place)…
8) Budweiser “Eternal Optimism” – I am a sucker for ads that recreate different time periods effectively, especially if it takes us on a journey through multiple decades (as you’ll see later). While this ad did that I felt the song choice was a little off and/or could have been remixed in the styles of each decade. In any case it was still solid.
7) Toyota Camry “Reinventors” – This ad, while not too clever, still got a solid chuckle for some of the mundane objects that were reinvented. My favorite might be the reinvented DMV.
6) Honda “Ferris Bueller Spoof” – First this is the lengthened ad, but the one that ran during the Super Bowl was a very solid spoof of the movie Ferris Bueller (clearly). The most memorable scenes from the movie made their appearance in this spot, usually with a bit of a twist.
5) VW “The Dog Strikes Back” – Usually VW brings the THUNDER for their commercials, especially ones for the Super Bowl. While I did like the idea of the commercial and the dog working out to be able to chase the new, faster Beetle the Star Wars reference at the end was completely unneeded and detracted from the strength of the commercial.
4) Acura NSX “Seinfeld” – I mean it’s Jerry Seinfeld in a quest to be the first on the waiting list for the new Acura NSX. Besides all the random stuff he tries to bribe the first person on the list you can’t hate anything with multiple references from the show “Seinfeld”. This is also an extended version.
3) Cars.com “Confidence” – This is probably just my craziness showing, but this ad was awesome because it was so bizarre (and the singing puts it over the top). I’ll leave it at that.
2) Fiat 500 Abarth “Love at First Sight” – Probably the most clever commercial of the Super Bowl. It played up not only the fact that Fiat is very foreign and beginning to release cars in the US again, but also that they want you to not only think the new Abarth is sexy but fun.
1) NFL “Evolution” – I didn’t want to allow this commercial because it was a commercial for the league who’s championship game was running but I couldn’t deny such a great commercial. As I said before I am a sucker for the “through the ages” type of commercials, and this one was done extremely well with the focus on safety. Also, to not anger the players, it featured many former greats from the game as football evolved. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it on youtube so here’s the link: http://evolution.nfl.com/#/commercial
I didn’t add the Chrysler Car Group ad with Clint Eastwood. While the idea was very good I found the execution to be lacking. It was rambling, didn’t really advertise for the company aside from a few brief random shots of their various cars, and was almost a little too faux inspirational. I’ll give it an honorable mention but it could have been a lot tighter and therefore would have had more of an impact.
Other honorable mentions: Sketchers “Mr. Quigley Races”; Oikos Yogurt “John Stamos Tease”; and Bud Light “Wego the Rescue Dog”.