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Toyota pays tribute to Paralympian snowboarder and Dancing with the Stars competitor Amy Purdy crosscuts intensely between Purdy’s boarding and ballroom dancing with a classic Muhammad Ali rhyming boast. She’s cool. Ali’s cool. But making the eternally sensible Camry seem “bold” is beyond Ali and Purdy’s powers combined. Awesome ad for snowboards and prostheses, though!
The tax-preparation giant builds a dramatic re-creation of the Boston Tea Party, then suggests that all it would have taken to end the American Revolution would have been for the Redcoats to offer free tax filing. Bit of a flat punchline, topped by the suggestion–in a game involving the Patriots–that the Founding Fathers could have been bought off cheap? As the ad’s refrain says, “All right then!”
Game of War: Fire Age
Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel prove good sports by journeying back to 1994, when e-mail addresses were still news and the pair still hosted a morning show on the television machine. (“What is Internet?” Gumbel wonders on air. “Do you write to it, like mail?”) Cut to 2015–when Couric does the news on Yahoo–and the two are tooling around in an electric car made in a wind-powered factory. Message: the I3 is the future–so points off for ending on a twerking joke, which expired sometime in 2013.
Like a layer of rich caramel, the “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign gets chewed over and over without losing its flavor. In possibly the most bizarre and funniest take yet, Danny Trejo plays an axe-wielding Marcia and Steve Buscemi a pouty Jan in a surreal episode of The Brady Bunch. A couple Super Bowls from now, the Snickers ad will just be an extended version of “Too Many Cooks,” and I’m fine with that.
Inattentive insurance providers have apparently made Mindy Kaling feel invisible. So takes advantage by eating ice cream right out of the frozen food aisle, walking through a car wash (sans vehicle), and nuzzling up to Matt Damon in a restaurant. The ad trades on Kaling’s charm but undercuts its central point (insurance is a good thing?).
Avocados from Mexico
This spot stars a bro on an airplane playing the recorder, clipping his toenails, hacking up mucus, and doing other gross stuff to prevent people from taking the free seat next to him. Until, that is, an attractive woman appears. He pulls out a bag of Doritos to lure her just as—womp, womp—it turns out she has a baby in her arms. Bummer, brah! The joke doesn’t land. Probably because it’s not funny.
Super Bowl 2015 appears to be the the year of the dadvertising. Nissan’s 90-second ad is the Boyhood of spots, following a family over the course of a boy’s childhood as he watches his Dad compete on the NASCAR circuit. The cinematography is good, it’s pretty heartwarming, but the story-telling is only so-so.
Remember all the adorable father-son bonding? Nationwide’s “Boy Can’t Grow” ad might ruin all your warm and fuzzies. A little boy tells Super Bowl viewers that he’ll never get the cooties, get married or travel the world with his best friend—because he died from a preventable accident. Wrenching.
For starters, some food porn. Pizza as far as the eye can see. Onion rings raining from above. Crème burlee cracking. Steak sizzling. And then—an empty plate with the text “It’s Time To Take Back Control.” Weight watchers is here to tackle this nightmare (though it looked pretty delicious) and help regulate your eating habits.
If seeing Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot in a halftime performance in 2015 wasn’t retro enough, this Pete Rose ad certainly did the trick. Rose, who was infamously banned from baseball for betting on games, appears surrounded by memorabilia in what looks like it could be the baseball hall of fame.
But nope, Pete’s not in Cooperstown, he’s just lounging in his own house’s hallway and marveling at the comfort of his Skechers. It’s a decent idea, but Rose’s wooden delivery, the bland background music and a too-on-the-nose reference to his past transgressions at the end of the ad make this spot a clunker.
Taking a page from Dove’s successful ad campaigns centered on female empowerment, Always offers a clever one-minute spot that deconstructs the common playground insult that someone throws “like a girl.” In the ad we see actual girls throwing, running and fighting with all their might. The resonant message and the cuteness factor combine to make a memorable ad that would make Mo’ne Davis proud.
Clash of Clans
You know mobile gaming has hit the big-time when one if its biggest titles gets a Super Bowl ad.
This spot for Clash of Clans starts off predictably enough, but it takes a turn for the bizarre (in the best possible way) when it’s revealed that Liam Neeson (aka “AngryNeeson52”) is playing the game in a coffee shop — and he’s ready to go on a Taken-style warpath to get revenge on those who would dare cross him. It’s Neeson’s icy delivery that really sells the spot, and the clueless barista at the end who mispronounces his name (LIE-am) only adds to the hilarity. Well played.
Sprint takes a page from T-Mobile’s book by calling out competitors Verizon and AT&T by name. The script for this ad is actually rather vulgar, but the curse words dissing the country’s largest wireless carriers are replaced with a bleating goat and a surly-looking donkey. The ad is pretty unexciting overall, and loses points because no one actually wants to hear a goat screaming when they’ve got their TV volume turned way up to watch football.
Lexus gives a slightly different spin to the typical car ad by using a miniature model of its RC 350 line to show off the vehicle’s slick handling capabilities. The premise is fun and the tiny car definitely could have earned a spot in Tokyo Drift, but we kind of wish the tricks were even more outlandish. How about leaping over a two-foot chasm or something next time?
Dodge resurfaced its successful 2014 campaign featuring centenarians offering life advice to all us young whippersnappers who weren’t alive for the 20s and 30s. The ad is a clever way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the car company, and presents a set of people that are rarely used to market things that aren’t specifically aimed at the elderly. What’s not to love about hearing a 100-year-old dude yell “Don’t bit*h!” right after he mean-mugs the camera from the driver’s seat of his ride?
I’ll admit that Jublia was facing an uphill battle from the get-go when they decided to try to advertise a medicine for toenail fungus during the Super Bowl. But was an animated, rancid foot dressed as a football player really the best thing they could dream up? The saddest part is the ad’s not even supposed to be a gross-out spot that shocks people into remembering it. This company appears to believe a fungus-ridden toe with a helmet covering its browned toenail is cute.
This is a bit too solemn and serious — not to mention pretentious — for a car commercial, but it does show some gorgeous parts of the United States, reminding us that the country is beautiful, or whatever. Sadly, many of these remote locations are simply not accessible for the everyday Jeep driver.
Think of all the scenes from every disaster movie you’ve ever seen and make them all weirder. Then, throw in a dog walking a human on a leash and edit everything together a little too fast, and you have this spot for Mophie. It’s a bit dark for a Super Bowl commercial, but it does capture the inner turmoil you face when your phone battery is nearly depleted. The ad would be better if it had explicitly revealed what Mophie is, and, more importantly, if it had featured Morgan Freeman as God.
This ad draws you in immediately, bringing to mind questions like “What the hell is happening?” and “Why do they all have fanny packs?” Soon, you realize they have fanny packs because they’re filled with Loctite glue, which is what this very funny 30-second spot is selling. But it’s also selling joy and great dance moves and the perfect solution to your marriage.
Props to Mercedes for attempting something whimsical and cute as opposed to austere and chic, but it seems they’re trying just a little too hard to appeal to the youths here. Group selfies? Trash-talking tortoises? Sweet jumps? Bro voices? Sorry, but hip youths simply cannot afford the vehicle being advertised here.
This ad starts off with too much idle chatter between a bro and his buds, but eventually gets to the point, and that point is: real-life Pac-Man looks super fun. This might not make you want to drink a Bud Light, necessarily, but it will definitely want to make you run around like a human Pac-Man at a sweet rave.
This ad stars a modern-day Jonathan Lipnicki as a kid who will go to great lengths to eat some Doritos. You’ve really got to admire his inventiveness, engineering prowess and his commitment to keeping animals safe and happy, even when he’s using them in somewhat dangerous schemes. But perhaps the best part of this commercial is that a selfish farmer who won’t share with children gets his comeuppance.
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