The Best Of: Superbowl Commercials
  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 06, 2012

  • Posted by: Carianne Hixson

The Super Bowl was watched by 153 million people, and let's be honest, the majority of those viewers weren't paying attention to the game--and hopefully not the halftime show either. Super Bowl commercials seem to create the most buzz, and for good reason-- advertisers go on a recruiting frenzy, gathering some of the hottest celebrities and influential people to promote their companies or products. Some of the commercials are masterful and flourish in the realm of comedy or drama. Others miss the mark completely.

MY TOP THREE:

Volkswagen, "The Dog Strikes Back":

When you can manage to steal the hearts of 153 million viewers within three seconds, you're doing something right. Watch as an adorably chubby dog (Bolt) finds himself depressed after attempting to race after Volkswagen's 2012 Beetle. The problem-- he can't fit through his dog door because he's got a little extra weight around the waist. But, with determination and a few new workout routines such as ball chasing and swimming, Bolt manages to reach his goal. Aside from pulling on all our heart-strings with a cute dog, the commercial touches on the majority of America's weight issues. Unfortunately, this commercial could've been about a shoe and I wouldn't have noticed, as it was too easy to get distracted by such a cute dog.



E*Trade, "Fatherhood":

E*Trade surprisingly made it to the top my list. You can't go wrong with a talking baby, especially when the baby is giving financial advice to a grown man. But the best part is the ending, where another baby is awkwardly caught speed-dating in a hospital nursery.



Acura--Transactions, "Big Game Jerry":

We all know that Jerry Seinfeld has an obnoxiously large car collection. That aside, this commercial, advertising Acura's 2012 NSX, was perfect for him as the star. The plot: Only one model of the NSX is left and Jerry wants it. Unfortunately, it's been snagged by some other guy. So, Seinfeld goes on a bribing spree, offering (nostalgia driven) Seinfeld episode goodies like a Soup Nazi, dirty limericks and a personal zip-line through Manhattan in exchange for the car. As ridiculous as it sounds, the commercial's humor is as dry and ridiculous as I like it. Unfortunately, it ends with his best car collecting competitor Jay Leno winning the bribe game with a Jet Pack Flying Squirrel Suit. Perfection almost achieved (damn you Leno).



MY LEAST FAVORITES:

Go Daddy, "Body Paint":

"This sure is a crazy way to draw attenion." Those are the first few words from Danica Patrick in this ridiculous Godaddy.com commercial. Alongside Jillian Michaels, two of the more ambiguous female figures in entertainment are painting words on a naked woman's body. "Who won't notice a hot model in body paint," was one of Jillian's only lines-- And it's true, who won't? But if that is the only way you can draw attention to your website, then you either need to rehire some staff members or rethink your concept. This is the Super Bowl and a commercial like this has no right being used, there are enough half-naked cheerleaders on the sidelines.



Fiat 500 Abarth, "Seduction":

Maybe I'm just a feminist, but when you need a gorgeous, barely dressed woman seducing a regular looking dude to sell your product, there is a big issue. For the majority of this commercial, I didn't have a clue what was being advertised. Once I was aware that it was a car advertisement (and not until the very last few seconds), I was dumbfounded. If you're going to advertise a car with such an attractive woman, at least advertise a car fitting the mold. If the car were a person, the starring man in this commercial would fit the bill. But that's not going to sell much of anything, is it?



Some other good ones:

Phone Innovators

Filled with appearances from people some of us have never seen. The inventors of our time that have created most of the technological gadgets we use today.

Matthew's Day Off

If you're a fan of Ferris Bueller's Day Off like I am, then this is a sure win. If you're okay with trading a Porsche for a Honda CR-V, that is.

It's Halftime America

This is a commercial for Chrysler, but it's evocative because its main focus is on the struggles of America right now, namely in Detroit. Even if the subject seems to have been exhausted, Clint Eastwood's narration and starring role in this commercial make it a win.

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