Too often the Super Bowl ends up being an over-hyped and boring football contest that is overshadowed by the ads that are sold to support it. In fact, some folks only watch for the commercials; to them, the game is mere distraction. Since the Green Bay Packers came up a touchdown shy of making the Super Bowl, I was ambivalent about the game itself, but anticipated being treated to a slew of creative commercials.
In a reversal of expectations, the game was riveting, while the commercials were disappointing.
First, the game. I would have been happy with either team winning. If New England won, I could be witness to a perfect season, by a deserving team. It the Giants won, I would celebrate with the victorious underdogs who come on strong when it counted. It would be hard to surpass the pandemonium of emotions and excitement that erupted when MVP Manning threw the winning touchdown with seconds left. Unfortunately, in sports, for every winner, there is a loser: New England saw their dream shattered and their chance for football immortality dashed.
Now, the commercials. In general, I was disappointed. Several were the same old stuff — the ones I skip with my DVR. Others, were so close to or just over the line of inappropriateness, that they only coaxed a faint smile. Still there were some standouts. Here are my top ten:
- Toyota: “Big Wheels” (Extreme sport downhill racing – on Big Wheels)
- Coca-Cola: “Balloons” (Hot air balloons escape and chase the Coke bottle)
- Bridgestone: “Squirrel” (The squirrel — and everything else — cries out in terror; the driver swerves)
- E-Trade: “Baby” (The baby explains how simple E-Trade is to use)
- E-Trade: “Baby II” (The baby saves money using E-Trade — and hires Bobo, the clown)
- Budweiser: “Rocky” (The Dalmatian that helps the Clydesdale get ready)
- Vitamin Water: “Horse Race” (Shaq as a jockey)
- Bud Light: “Breathe Fire” (the date lights candles with his breath — and then singes everything in sight)
- Cars.com: “The Death Match” (the car buyer who doesn’t have to go to plan “B”)
- Cars.com: “Witch Doctor” (the car buyer who doesn’t have to go to plan “B”)
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit peterdehaan.com to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.