Super Bowl Sunday is the only time people watch the commercials and ignore the program, depending on the teams playing. Companies spend millions for 30 second spots because millions of people watch the spectacle that is the Superbowl. Which ads connected for a touchdown while others fumbled?
Here are my top five commercials, which wasn’t too difficult to choose considering most of the spots weren’t remarkable in any way. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.
- “Lost Dog.” Budweiser again struck advertising gold with their latest Super Bowl spot. What’s cuter than a precocious puppy getting himself into trouble? His Clydesdale buddies arriving in time to save him from being devoured by a wolf. In the beginning of the clip, the pup gets locked in a horse trailer which travels some distance before he escapes into unfamiliar territory. His owner is trying to find his lost dog by posting and distributing signs. The dog is seen huddling under some shelter in the rain, but afterward continues to find his way home. He runs and finds himself by a tree behind the horse pasture. He barks toward the barn and one of his Clydesdale friends hears him. The puppy is then confronted by a wolf who takes off when four Clydesdales arrive to defend their canine buddy. The owner looks out his window the next morning to see four draft horses running home, led by a dirty, yellow puppy. Everyone is reunited and all is well. You’ll find yourself crying in your beer (Budweiser or otherwise) at the end of this spot.
- “Very Brady.” This Snickers ad spoofed the 1973 Brady Bunch episode “The Subject Was Noses,” where Marcia gets hit in the face with a football by brother Peter. Another you’re not you when you’re hungry ad, this stars actor Danny Trejo as angry Marcia, complete with a bandaged nose. Parents Mike and Carol offer Danny a Snickers after he imbeds his hatchet into the coffee table, wanting revenge on Peter because he is unable to go to the dance because of the injury. After one bite Danny morphs back into Marcia. When Marcia says she feels better, Steve Buscemi as Jan is at the top of the Brady stairs crying, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Mrs. Brady tells Jan it’s not all about her which prompts Jan/Steve to exclaim, “It never is!” before running out of the shot. A classic TV show selling a classic candy with two actors out of their normal roles. It was a funny ad; see it below.
- “Blue Pill.” This racy ad offered stiff competition for the best commercial. It’s hard not to giggle at this Fiat spot. An Italian woman signals to her mate that she is in the mood for amore. The about-to-get-lucky guy rushes into the bathroom to pop the last of his little blue pills. He cockily tosses it back, only to miss the target, and his pill falls out the open window. After bouncing around like a pinball, the pill lands in the gas tank of a Fiat. Before our eyes the compact car swells to a Fiat 500 crossover, “bigger, more powerful, and ready for action.” Too bad the same can’t be said for the man who lost the blue pill. See this spicy commercial below.
- “Middle Seat.” Doritos has a knack for witty commercials, and this year’s effort is no exception. A guy on a plane tries to keep the line of boarding passengers from taking the empty seat between him and another flyer. He feigns illness, plays an instrument, and takes care of personal hygiene in an effort to ward off strangers until he sees an attractive blonde eyeing up the seat. For her he puffs out his chest with Doritos bag in hand, inviting her to choose his seat. He doesn’t see the baby strapped to her until the person in front of her passes. Talk about a buzzkill. Our Romeo says to the kid after the woman is asleep, “When your mom wakes up, can you tell her about me?” See this funny ad below.
- “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up.” I’m not sure why Nationwide’s entry got so much flak. Did no one see The Sixth Sense? A young boy describes life events that will never come to fruition for him, like riding a bike, getting cooties, learning to fly, traveling the world or getting married. Why? Because he died in an accident. One window is open on the upper floor of the house behind him as he delivers the shocking revelation. Next we see shots of an overflowing bathtub, a kitchen cabinet opened to reveal poison hazards, and a fallen flat screen television. A voiceover states how Nationwide wants to protect kids. I thought this was a powerful, thought-provoking ad reminding viewers of household dangers. Nationwide issued a statement responding to the criticism here. Kudos to the insurance company for having more balls than the man in the Fiat spot, and for owning their commercial. See what all the fuss is about below.They’re my choices for top advertisements. Did I miss any? What were your favorites?