Kelly McGarry | Monday, February 2, 2015
Based on the number of people who watch the Super Bowl, typically upwards of 100 million, there’s no way that everyone tuning in is a football fan. I’m not ashamed to admit it, we’re here for the commercials. This year, I planned all bathroom breaks and snack runs accordingly, to be sure I didn’t miss a second of the real action. Which brands were on their commercial game this year?
Snickers: In my opinion, Snickers made the best casting decisions. Their commercial starred Danny Trejo (“Sons of Anarchy”) as Marsha Brady and Steve Buscemi (“Fargo”) as Jan in a play on “The Brady Bunch.”
BMW: Today show co-hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel were featured in a nostalgic clip from the 90s, asking “What is the internet?” Aside from featuring big names, this was a commercial that really made you think.
Other celebrity appearances included Kim K for T-mobile, Mindy Kaling for Nationwide, Snoop Dogg for Eat24 and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) for Esurance. Esurance also featured Lindsay Lohan — if you still consider her a celebrity.
Some of the least-sexy products imaginable really went all-out in this category. Carl’s Jr. advertised “All-Natural” with a model that preferred to go naked and Kate Upton served as poster girl for Game of War, a cheesy app store game. Here’s to ironic advertising.
Nationwide: Is there a penalty for pulling heartstrings? The ref should have thrown a flag at this depressing ad that featured child deaths by poison, a car crash and a falling TV. The fact that it’s an insurance company isn’t comforting, unless you’re looking to cash out on the death of a child. To say the least, this dark commercial didn’t exactly pump up my Super Bowl party.
Coca-Cola: This was another dark one, a modern twist on the 70s “I’d like to give the world a coke” ads, it referenced cyber-bullying. But alas, a splash of coke on the computer led to a happy ending. Cute?
Budweiser: No one could help but fall in love with the adorable pup who finds his way back home to his best bud.
GoDaddy: This leads me to the winner for most controversial, a parody of the adorable Budweiser commercial, the lovable puppy finds his way back home, only to find that his owner has used GoDaddy to sell him. The pre-release received such an inflammatory response that GoDaddy ended up pulling the commercial, so it never actually aired during the Super Bowl.
Always: Inspirational advertisements were a theme this year. Always aired a cut version of a video that went viral earlier this year about what it means to run like a girl, throw like a girl and fight like a girl. A call to action to increase girls’ self-esteems, the ad was appropriate for the feminine product.
Dove, Toyota, Nissan and Microsoft all fell into the emotional range, as well.
mophie: You know a commercial is big-budget when it could pass as a movie trailer. In this clever ad that particularly resonates with Notre Dame, God’s dead smartphone battery causes the apocalypse.
Bud Light: I may not be up for “anything,” but I’d definitely be up for some real life Pac-Man. I may have enjoyed this one purely because it realized my wildest fantasy.
Squarespace: I present my personal favorite. Don’t know what Squarespace is? Neither did I. I still really don’t. What I do know is that they advertised Jeff Bridge’s “Sleeping Tapes” (found at dreamingwithjeff.com). Anyone offering me to be lulled to sleep by the soothing voice of “The Dude” is a friend of mine.
I think the public is past our screaming goat phase, and they don’t really pass for a commercial. However, I did enjoy clever, hilarious advertising by Avocados from Mexico portraying the first draft ever, Terry Crews’s Old Spice and a cute simple ad from Doritos.