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Superbowl Ads: Winners and Losers

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First off, congrats to the Pittsburgh Steelers AND the Arizona Cardinals for offering the masses one of the best football games ever. As a Seattle Seahawks fan, it was pretty dismaying to face the reality that the team that beat us in the Superbowl a few years back was going to battle against one of our arch division rivals – of all the teams that could be playing in the Superbowl, why the two teams that I am required to hate?

I, along with all but one guy at the party, was reluctantly rooting for Arizona – though more than anything, we wanted a close game. It was boring for a bit, especially following the 100-yard interception return for a touchdown that shifted the momentum away from Arizona. And then the fourth quarter exploded on us, and we were all treated to one of the craziest, back-and-forth football games in recent memory.

As for the TV commercials… they were so-so. There are a few stand-outs and a lot of forgettables. As I was hosting a party, I didn’t avidly watch every single commercial – and I’m not going to go back and watch them all over again. But here are a few that stood out to me:

  • Pepsi’s MacGruber – Not all of Pepsi’s commercials were great, but several were funny. They sure beat out Coca-Cola, and this one, a spoof of MacGyver (with Richard Dean Anderson) was classic.
  • Doritos commercials – the “Lucky Day” one was funny, but the crystal ball one was hilarious.
  • Cheetos Pigeons – not hilarious, but there’s something about the new cheetos dude that is creepy and alluring at the same time.
  • Taco Bell’s Smooth Movies – this one was pretty funny, as a desperate man pulls a “Swingers” move on a girl – and then some.
  • Bridgestone Tires – this company has several noticeable and worthwhile commercials; the best was the astronauts who return to find that their tires have been stolen.
  • Denny’s Wise Guys – A mobster meeting is interrupted by a cheesy, smiley pancake – prompting Denny’s to tell us that we should go to their place to get a serious breakfast. Clever use of a tag line.
  • Monster.com Moose – My favorite of the game, this one shows us the head of a moose over a fancy office… as it pans around, though, we see a poor office worker on the other side of the wall who has to sit between the back legs of the rest of the moose.
  • Hyundai – no, as usual, the car commercials were pretty boring, but in the absence of the American car companies, Hyundai really made a bold move to improve its brand image.
  • Flowers in a box – Unfortunately, whatever flowers brand that was being pitched here doesn’t resonate with me, but the “No one wants to see you naked” talking flowers is pretty priceless.

Here are some of the losers:

  • Coca-Cola – Pepsi went one way, and Coca-Cola went an entirely different direction. Their bugs commercial nearly made one of my friends puke, and even I was not even remotely thirsty after watching a bunch of bugs doing stuff to a Coke bottle.
  • Budweiser Clydesdale commercials – these are never very good, yet always rank high – apparently due to the sentimental value. The stick fetching commercial is especially cringe inducing.
  • Godaddy.com – I don’t find Danika Patrick super sexy, but regardless – any edge they used to have long lost their luster. Maybe they should put some of their marketing dollars into a better service.
  • Budweiser – they had some funny ads, as always. But compared to other years, they weren’t that funny. And I’m not a fan of their drinkability pitch or their little “draw with their fingers” campaign – it’s already old.
  • Universal Studios Superheroes – that little superhero kid looks more like a creepy stalker than a savior.
  • Cash4Gold.com – I thought this commercial was a joke, until I realized it wasn’t. Is this one of those legit services that scams poor people out of their money?

As for the movie ads, here are my thoughts:

  • Transformers 2 – pretty bad ass, but needed more Megan Fox.
  • G.I. Joe – could be good mindless entertainment, but this one really doesn’t look that good.
  • Angels & Demons – I still can’t get the taste of the predecessor out of my mouth, but this sequel looks pretty good.
  • Star Trek – I missed this one live, but it’s pretty bad ass, too.
  • Land of the Lost – this one looks somewhat funny, but doesn’t look remarkably better than last year’s Journey to the Center of the Earth – which didn’t look that good.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens – meh. I didn’t have 3D glasses so I stopped paying attention.
  • Fast and Furious – Paul Walker and Vin Diesel together again! Yes! Or, meh. As a commercial, though, it did the trick.
  • Year One – this one shows promise, but neither the commercial nor the extended clip are particularly funny.
  • Race to Witch Mountain – for a kid’s action movie, they’re doing a pretty good job of making it look like a big blockbuster.
  • Up – I missed this one, but I’m sure it was good.
By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: TV Series
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