The Good, Bad & Ugly Super Bowl Ads
More than 100 million views watched the Seattle Seahawks trounce the Denver Broncos 43-8 last night in Super Bowl XLVIII. And advertisers paid $4 million for a 30 second commercial during the broadcast on Fox.
This wasn’t a great year for Super Bowl commercials. But we stayed up after the game and re-watched all the commercials to bring you the good, the bad and the ugly. You can watch all the commercials here.
1. Budwiser “Puppy Love”
Bud’s surefire hit, released early, has something for dog fans, horse fans and hot farmer fans. Its mere existence is like a firewall against cynicism. These best buds dare you to dislike them!
2. Microsoft’s “Technology”
Everyone loves to hate Microsoft, but this commercial shows us the good technology can do — helping a little boy with no legs walk, letting a soldier overseas see the birth of this baby and allowing a deaf woman hear for the first time.
3. Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful”
This commercial shows people of all different nationalities across the U.S. enjoying a Coke while America the Beautiful” is sung in different languages. It is also the first Super Bowl commercial to feature two gay dads and their daughter (roller skating). Many viewers were offended by the song being sung in other languages. To you we say, “Get over it! Not everyone speaks English.”
4. Radio Shack’s “The Phone Call”
Radio Shack stores still look like they always have, and it’s time for a facelift. In this ad, 80s celebrities like Hulk Hogan, Eric Estrada as Ponch, Mary Lou Retton, Dee Snider, Kid ‘n Play, John Ratzenberger as Cliff Claven, Chucky, Alf and even the California Raisins storm the store to reclaim their old stuff and make way for the future.
5. Cheerios’ “Gracie”
The inter-racial family whose first commercial created some controversy is back. This time cute Gracie bargains her way into getting a pet puppy as her parents use Cheerios to illustrate that a new baby brother’s on the way.
6. Dannon Oikos’ “The Spill”
You can’t reunite John Stamos and his Full House costars Dave Coulier and Bob Saget into a commercial and not have it land in a pop culture blog’s “best” list. Jesse Katsopolis, Joey Gladstone and Danny Tanner are together again.
7. Budwiser’s “A Hero’s Welcome”
A real soldier comes home to his family from the war and the whole town turns out for a hero’s welcome, including the Budwiser clydesdales.
1. Go Daddy’s “Bodybuilder”
Every year the commercials seem specifically designed to make the Worst lists. This year bodybuilders stampede a spray tanning salon.
2. Go Daddy’s “Puppetmaster”
Apparently Gwen really did quit her job as a machine engineer live on national TV to become a puppeteer. But it was still a stupid commercial.
3. Volkswagen’s “Wings”
This year’s Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial just wasn’t funny, but we give them props for trying. Look at those sets and special effects! They must have spent millions of dollars on this painfully unfunny ad! We hate those wingie thingies.
4. Hyundai Elantra’s “Nice”
This commercial sucks. It starts out with a woman being needlessly cold to a man who compliments her car. Why does the road start blowing up all of the sudden? Why is there suddenly a ramp in front of that man’s Elantra? Why the hell is Richard Lewis in the back seat?
5. Chevrolet’s “Romance”
This commercial starts off seeming sincere, in the vein of last year’s famous Ram commercial called “Farmer,” but then it tries to segue into a rather crass joke about mating cows. It’s about a farmer taking his bull to get laid. Plus, we guess Chevy’s Silverado is only appropriate for rural settings?
1. Audi’s “Doberhuahua”
When a couple dreams up a staggeringly disproportionate canine hybrid of Doberman and Chihuahua, not even ASPCA spokeswoman Sarah McLachlan has the patience for it. Sometimes you build a mystery and then it eats your guitar and craps all over everything. Buy an Audi, which is not a scary dog-monster.
2. Axe’s “Kiss for Peace”
This global, sweeping, solve-the-world’s-problems-with-love saga seemed almost romantic until you realize it’s a commercial for Axe Body Spray.
3. Squarespace’s “A Better Web Awaits”
This mildly creepy commercial surely turned some fans off just by being weird. But what we hated most is that while we understand what the company was saying about the cluttered and confusing state of the Web today, we have no idea what products or services they offer.
4. T Mobile’s “#NOCONTRACT”
Everyone knows ex-player Tim Tebow wants an NFL contract. What’s he doing advertising T-Mobile’s new no contract plan? Besides, we doubt he’s ever done anything in either of the commercials.
5. David Beckham for H&M
Sure, we get to see David Beckham in his boxer briefs and tattoos, but is that supposed to make us run out to H&M to buy underwear?
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.