The Super Bowl commercials yesterday were probably overshadowed by the game, since it went down to the last few plays . . . and since most ads were released online last week. It’s gotten bad, and it REALLY lessens their impact.
But some stood out. Here are 20 of the commercials and trends we noticed, roughly in the order they appeared.
(You can watch them all here.)
1. Chevy freaked everyone out right away by making people think their reception was messed up. But it was just about how the Chevy Colorado comes with built-in WiFi. It annoyed a lot of people on social media, but you have to admit it got your attention.
2. Snickers was hard to top, as we predicted. That’s the one where they made it look like DANNY TREJO from “Machete” andSTEVE BUSCEMI were two of the daughters on “The Brady Bunch” . . . and acting out because they needed a Snickers.
It also made us think . . . THAT’S how you use a celebrity. There were a ton of celebrity cameos in ads this year, but not all of them worked. It worked here because they used unexpected faces in unexpected ways.
3. It sounds weird to say, but Carnival Cruise lines had a pretty effective ad early on. It was voiceover from an old speech by JFK, about how there’s salt in our blood and technically human beings come from the sea. But it was actually pretty powerful.
At the same time, it seems like way too many companies went for the ‘serious’ angle this year. You know it’s gotten bad when Carnival Cruise lines is using dead presidents. (More on that here.)
4. Skittles got some laughs early on with a town where people “settle it the usual way” when there’s only one Skittle left . . . by ARM wrestling. So everyone had huge right arms . . . even little kids and dogs.
5. KIM KARDASHIAN did a fake, sentimental PSA for T-Mobile about saving your unused data . . . the one she teased on“Conan” last week. Even if you’re sick of her, at least she can make fun of herself.
6. The Budweiser “Lost Puppy” commercial won “USA Today’s” ad meter results. Probably because it was shamelessly manipulative. Not only did the puppy get lost, he almost got attacked by a WOLF . . . until his Clydesdale friends saved him.
7. MINDY KALING did a funny ad for Nationwide Insurance where she thought she was invisible, and tried to kiss MATT DAMON.
8. Coke scored with a message about making modern technology less about bullying, hating, and negativity . . . all because a guy spilled a Coke on a server somewhere. Kind of ironic, since last year everyone online HATED their multi-ethnic commercial.
9. Doritos proved again that they’re reliable for ads that actually make you laugh. There was the guy who made sure no one wanted to sit next to him in the MIDDLE SEAT on a plane, unless it was a hot woman . . . but it turned out she had a baby.
10. Esurance had a couple funny commercials about how it’s the right product for you . . . not someone SORTA like you. So they had BRYAN CRANSTON as Walter White from “Breaking Bad” playing your pharmacist.
And if you missed it, they ran an ad right BEFORE the game with the same idea . . . where LINDSAY LOHAN played a lousy mom.
11. Fiat did the ad where the old Italian guy wants to take a Viagra, but drops it out the window, where it eventually ends up in a car and makes it . . . you know . . . bigger.
12. At halftime, Always became the first-ever feminine care product to do a Super Bowl ad, and they scored pretty big with their ‘Like a Girl‘ commercial. They asked guys and women to do things “like a girl,” and showed how it had become an INSULT.
But YOUNG girls don’t feel that way. It was actually a shorter version of a three-minute viral video they made last June.
13. Then Skechers snuck in an amusing PETE ROSE joke, where he wasn’t allowed “in the hall” . . . even in his own home. But that one’s been around for months.
14. LIAM NEESON was in one of the funnier commercials, for the game Clash of Clans. He made fun of all the clichéd tough guy characters he plays now . . . but he was just in line to buy a scone.
15. Dodge did the ad where people 100 years or older talked about how you can learn a lot in 100 years. As far as serious or emotionally manipulative commercials go, it just worked . . . because they had fun with it.
16. A company called Mophie did an intense, big-budget ad where earth was hit by the apocalypse . . . all because God was preoccupied when his CELL phone battery died. There was some controversy over the subject, but it ended on an amusing note.
17. One of the last commercials was for Wix.com, where BRETT FAVRE was trying to start a website. We just thought it was interesting that it featured has-been NFL players dealing with retirement. A somewhat bold move on the NFL’s biggest night.
18. As far as ads we DIDN’T like, Nationwide Insurance had that funny commercial where Mindy Kaling thought she was invisible . . . but also threw out one of the DARKEST ads we’ve ever seen during a Super Bowl. It’s the one where a kid DIED from a preventable accident. NOT a cool twist ending . . . and people went off on social media.
19. And some people were confused by the Jeep ad that used “This Land is Your Land” . . . probably one of the most famous songs about America. But it doesn’t make as much sense when you’re showing China, Brazil, and Australia.
20. There were also TWO commercials featuring screaming goats, from Sprint and Discover. Which feels a LITTLE dated in 2015. But hey, if it makes YOU laugh . . .