Television

Super Bowl XLVIII: Battle of the Epic Commercials

These ads made us laugh, tugged at our heartstrings, or just wasted our time.

The Super Bowl is often the highest-rated event on television, and part of the reason why so many tune in to see it is the new commercials. Advertisers spent an estimated $4.5 Million for their thirty seconds of airtime, and many of them tried to surprise us, be inspiring, or just make us laugh.

While it was far from being the best Super Bowl ever, this year’s crop of ads can best be divided into certain themes. Here is PopMatters’ guide to great moments, big laughs, and some completely overblown time-wasters.

 
Best in Show

Radio Shack gets a surprising phone call in this salute to the 1980’s that features Alf, Hulk Hogan, the California Raisins, Chucky, Dee Synder, and “Working for the Weekend”. The next time you see this commercial, it’ll be during The Goldbergs.


Volkswagen’s German engineers with “wingy thingys” technically debuted during a CBS special about the best Super Bowl ads, but it was still funny. It might be too silly for some, but I think it was cute.


One of the most surprisingly funny spots of the night goes to this look at the life of a fan whose team didn’t make it to the big game. Sean does seem awesome, but what this has to TurboTax is beyond me.


Everyone loves puppies, and Clydesdales. So when we see this sweet story of friendship between a little lab and a big horse, we really aren’t thinking about football or major advertisers anymore. Hopefully, we instead find ourselves thinking about the special animals we’ve befriended.

 
Trailers

Many movie spots made their debut last night, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Noah, Need For Speed, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Transformers: Age Of Extinction. In today’s YouTube era, these television trailers don’t pack as much punch as they used to.

 
I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Into Here

Everybody loves the Muppets. Even Terry Crews after they highjack his Toyota. Or was that a dream sequence?


Stephen Colbert shelled out two ads for Wonderful Pistachios. The eagle in a suit was adorable, but it would have been cooler if he had something to do.


It isn’t true that most supervillains are British, and they don’t exclusively drive Jaguars, but Sir Ben Kingsley and Tom Hiddleston certainly seem to think so.


Jason Stratham likes to fight. He mostly likes to watch videos using Xfinity on his tablet, but he also fights a lot.


Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt spokesman John Stamos was joined by former Full House castmates Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, but the result wasn’t very funny or interesting.


Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Wayne Knight, and Jason Alexander reunite in this recap of all the Seinfeld episodes that don’t exist. Unless you were a big fan of the show, this Crackle.com ad was about nothing.


SodaStream’s heavily-hyped ad starring Scarlett Johansson was rather dull. The original ad was supposedly banned because Coke and Pepsi were mentioned by name, so we got this lame footage of Scarlett sipping through a straw to sultry music.

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