Things I learned from Super Bowl XLVII: the appropriate way to act in a library, never voluntarily fold a woman’s laundry, Stevie Wonder is kind of creepy, M&M’s don’t like to be eaten, I didn’t come from my mother’s belly, and, most importantly, God made a farmer.
Yes, the commercials of the Super Bowl may be silly; they may be raunchy; heck, they might even be downright disgusting; but, in all things in life, there is something to gain from all of them. Whether it’s a laugh, a tear or a gag, these 30-second advertisements are aired for a reason. Which notable commercials invoked which reaction? And which were the most enjoyable? Well, here’s my breakdown of my favorite laugh-makers, tear-jerkers and gag-inducers from Sunday night, along with my own ratings.
Let’s start off with the bad, AKA gag-inducers.
1. Dodge RAM: “God Made a Farmer.” First of all, two minutes and two seconds is extremely too long. And if you’re going to make that long of a commercial, please, for future reference, do not wait until the last ten seconds to let us, the consumers, know what the commercial is even for. For those of you that haven’t seen it, the ad goes on and on, explaining reasons why God supposedly made a farmer. Not only does that defame Christianity as a whole by pretty much adding your own script to the Bible, but it bores so much so that you’re left hoping every time they say “farmer,” it’s going to end. I want to put it out there that I have no disrespect towards farmers and am completely grateful for the work they put in for us to have meat, grains, fruits and vegetables on our plates each and every day. But the point is, in order to do an advertisement for a truck, I’m sure you actually need to show the truck.
2. Calvin Klein: Underwear worn by Matthew Terry. Just want to say… thank the Heavens I wasn’t watching this with my girlfriend. I wouldn’t want to imagine the looks that she would give the television at that moment. As Terry was gyrating, flexing and contorting, I would’ve felt more out of place by the second – not to mention caused me to put my Stromboli down. But, what made this commercial a gag-inducer wasn’t about some ripped guy on the television screen; I’m all for exercising and being healthy and fit. My problem was the “a” word: awkward. With millions of people watching – most of them being guys with a hot wing in one hand and a beer in the other – how do you think the audience is going to react to a half-naked guy being planted on the screen for 30 seconds? Do they think that men are going to spring up from their recliners, emphatically point their finger in the air and say, “I must go out and buy myself some tighty whities! Quick! To the Prius!” I think not.
3. GoDaddy.com: Bar Refaeli kisses nerd. Sure, Refaeli may be exactly the kind of girl guys may want to see on a GoDaddy commercial. Unfortunately for those who do, she’s taken. Clearly. Loudly. Disgustingly. Taken. All over the world, the excitement level went from off the charts to disturbingly low as the super model and the nerd started kissing. Not only was the sight of it… unnerving, but to add in the sound effects of the slurping and sucking and, well, you get the point, was just plain atrocious. Thankfully, the kiss only lasted about 15 seconds, but that 15 seconds have scarred me and probably millions of other viewers out there who, if the ad was any longer, would have their faces permanently stuck in the position of sheer surprise. And when I say surprise, I don’t mean like a surprise birthday party; I mean like watching the movie “The Human Centipede” after thinking it was a documentary on abnormally large insects. If you don’t quite get my meaning, head on over to Netflix and see what I’m talking about. As for me, I’m going to gargle some mouthwash.
Next up… tear-jerkers.
4. Coca-Cola: “Let’s look at the world a little differently.” On a more positive note, there was the classiness of Coca-Cola to boost our spirits. As we know, first-hand or not, video cameras catch people doing some bad, dumb and/or embarrassing things. A robber might crash into a closed glass-door, smashing it into little bits and knocking him/herself out in the process; an anxious blind date might accidentally slip off a chair in the middle of a five-star restaurant; or an entranced teenager might be focusing on the death metal he’s listening to or his skateboard he’s riding on when he should really be keeping an eye on oncoming traffic. Yes, people undoubtedly can do things that can prove worthy of quality blackmail, but the very same people can do a vast amount of good. That message coming from a soft drink company tells you that, sure, we’re all not perfect, but there’s definitely more good in us than evil – even if we seem to spotlight the evil rather than the good most times.
5. Budweiser: Clydesdale and its trainer. This multi-faceted advertisement excelled in all areas with one exception to comedy: tradition, story-telling, originality, and the ever-so-important “Aw” factor. I have to admit, when I saw this, I definitely was close to breaking into a tear or two… or twenty. As I assume, I wasn’t alone on that either. I’ve always been astounded by the way Budweiser seemed to keep alcohol classy in their commercials, especially with the infamous Clydesdales, but never did I expect a cute little story between a horse and its trainer in the one-minute time slot that was available to them. Budweiser aced this one in my book, and they remain a cut above the rest of all the other beer distributors advertising-wise.
Finally, arriving are the laugh-makers.
6. Oreo: Cream or cookie? Nabisco, not really known for its commercials, stepped out of its shell, and, in the process, proved a worthy opponent for top Super Bowl commercial in 2013. Not only was the whole library theme an excellent idea, but it posed quite the quandary to Oreo-enthusiasts. Would you rather eat the cream or the cookie? For me, the decision’s easy – cream all the way. As a kid, I used to tear both of the cookies apart, leaving the cream exposed and ready to be instantly licked off. Next up, I would dunk the two remaining cookies and dunk them into milk for a glorious ending to my Oreo-eating experience. Actually, repeat that about 6 more times, then I’d be finished. Nevertheless, the ad, after it humorously represented the strict silence rules of a library – stricter than smashing the wall in with your car, even – it leaves you off with a choice, and invites you to join an Instagram war over the two sides. Humor, coupled with nostalgia, then accompanied by an intriguing exit definitely adds up to a solid commercial.
7. Doritos: Goat 4 Sale: Who knew having a pet goat would be so disastrous – yet hilarious? Doritos has solidified itself in the Super Bowl as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to humorous advertisements. This one brings you along for the ride as a man gullible enough to buy a goat from guy with a neck brace on and crutches by his side is left with the consequences. What seemed like a good idea at first – who wouldn’t buy a Dorito-eating goat? – quickly turns sour as the goat becomes rabid off of the snack and, therefore, attacks the new owner, just as he’s making a “Goat 4 Sale” sign of his own. Yes, it might seem a little ridiculous to the logical mind, but if you journey outside the box, you realize it tells a story, embraces the product, and I know I’m not the only one who didn’t crack up laughing when the goat belted out a scream and chased the Zach Galifinakis look-a-like to his untimely Dorito doom.
And so this brings us to the ratings. Drumroll, please!
1. 1/10 – in my opinion, Dodge wasted a hefty $4 million 3/10 – awkward, underwear was showcased, but targeted wrong audience C) 2/10 – thanks, but no thanks, GoDaddy.com D) 8.5/10 – great message by Coca-Cola E) 10/10 – best commercial of the year, great, relatable and touching story, great class and respect towards product F) 9/10 – Nabisco represented Oreo very well with great comedy and debate G) 9.5/10 Doritos, a Super Bowl commercial powerhouse, aced this hilarious goat-versus-human story.
Honorable Mention: Taco Bell – 7/10; David Letterman – 7/10; M&Ms – 7.5/10; Pistachio – 7.5/10; Samsung – 8/10; Speed Stick – 8/10; Tide – 8/10; Kia – 8.5/10