The blowout Super Bowl was a huge disappointment to Wilson and my boys (ages 13, 10 and 8) but I’m no football fan so the shocking lack of competition didn’t disappoint me one bit. The commercials however, really let me down.
So many car ads! Trunk-loads of cash was spent, but the ideas ran out of gas. Very few were memorable, most were far-fetched and off-topic. The only exception I would make were the KIA ads with the Muppets. I can’t ever diss Kermit, Animal, and the singing chickens.
There were some ads that stood out– to me and others at our Super Bowl party.
—Bud Light won for most inspired with an ad taking a real guy and putting him in some crazy situations. This is the long version of the Bud Light ad that combines reality with fantasy, celebrity with the everyman, and beer with unexpected fun. Outstanding!
–Greek yogurt got lots of love. The most popular ad at our party was the guys from the 80’s sitcom Full House-– featuring the ageless and still hot John Stamos– who made us giggle in Dannon’s Oikos Greek yogurt ad.
–I also liked the giant grizzly bear who wreaks havoc when he breaks into a small town general store to get a Chobani yogurt.
–The moms in the room liked the ad with the obnoxious boy who won’t help his mom get the groceries out of the car…until she offers him Doritos. But as the little stinker is headed towards the chips, his little brother dressed as a cowboy, hops on his giant dog and rides him like a mechanical bull, while lasso-ing the Doritos.
–Many ads were jam-packed with celebrities. One of the best was for Time Warner Cable promoting its new packages and featuring P. Diddy, Jimmy Fallon, Anna Pacquin, Victor Cruz, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, and Drake.
–The other was a savvy ad for Radioshack. The idea is that the store is no longer stuck in the 80’s, it’s hip and new and ready for your modern tech needs. With Loverboy blasting in the background, a mob of 80’s stars descends on a Radioshack store to dismantle it. Seeing Erik Estrada in his CHIPS uniform, Cliff Claven from Cheers, Hulk Hogan, MaryLou Retton, and Alf, working together is hilarious.
–I never tire of watching Ellen Degeneres dance, so her ad for music streaming service Beats Music was entertaining and clever. A very modern version of Goldilocks and the three bears, it was by far one of the coolest commercials of the night.
— If there weren’t many ads to make you laugh, there were a few that yanked at the heartstrings. One of my favorites was Microsoft’s “technology has the power to unite us,” message, told through a series of images of people overcoming disabilities through technology, space travel, medical advances, and international cultural hookups. It’s voiced by a robot saying words written by former NFL player Steve Gleason who suffers from ALS and can’t speak. Moving stuff.
–You can always count on Coke for good sap. This year it was a montage of scenes of every day life with “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages to celebrate all the cultures that make up the country, with the tag line “America is Beautiful.”
–My favorite ads of the night were two Budweiser spots that both elicited a group “awwwww!!” One was the puppy and the Clydesdale horse who become friends (with the adorable hashtag #BestBuds.)
–The other Budweiser winner was the soldier coming home from war. Following the young vet from his airport arrival to a hometown parade on a Clydesdale-drawn carriage felt intimate and real. The spot ends with the kid hugging his mom (and me crying) with the tag line “Every soldier deserves a hero’s welcome.” It was a nice touch to have the soldier and his gal live at the game after the ad so we know they’re legit.
–Creepiest ad was definitely Audi’s “Doberhuahua.” The idea is a Doberman Pincher bred with a chihuahua to create a crazy hybrid who takes over a city. Random, bizarre, and not even remotely related to a luxury car. It was memorable so I guess that’s something.
–Most ridiculous might be the Taco Bell commercial with Olympic athletes touting enchiladas topped with Fritos. Really? That’s what world-class athletes eat when they’re training?!
Bruno Mars was definitely a highlight. I liked his goofy 3-foot pompadour, gold lame jacket, and tight pants. His energy was infectious, his voice sounded terrific, and his dance moves and look were reminiscent of a young Michael Jackson. The lights and fireworks were pretty cool too.
More than 108 million people were expected to watch the game and companies paid an estimated average of $4 million a spot. Budweiser was one of only a few who got their money’s worth.