Tim Tan Huynh

Super Bowl XLIX commercials

  • 3 Feb 2015
  • Of the Six-Million Dollar ads that have been unveiled, I like these ones are the best.

Like most people, I’m baffled by the deciding play of Super Bowl XLIX aka Super Bowl 49 aka Super Bowl Ex-lix. Congrats to the New England Patriots, I guess. I only saw the final minute, but I know that it was an entertaining game to watch.

NBC is no doubt feeling good about the ratings for their broadcast, even if a lot of people had only been watching for the ads. Of course, NBC must know this unassailable truth; why else would the network create a Tumblr page with all of the commercials? Here’s the best of the bunch.

My Officially Unofficial Awards

Victoria’s Secret – “Let the real games begin” (Most Sexy, Most Lazy)

Producing commercials for Victoria’s Secret must be an easy job. Gather footage of beautiful women adorned in lingerie outfits and come-hither poses, then add an old-timey romantic song (“I’m in the mood for love” by Brenda Lee). You can even re-use old footage because most people won’t notice.

Fiat 500X – “Little Blue Pill” (Most Funny: Product I Would Not Buy)

This one is a creative way to compare a car with its upgraded, “ready for action” model that is slightly less squat and slightly less ugly. I like how the commercial exploits the brand recognition of an otherwise unrelated product while effectively comparing the standard model to an impotent old man.

Doritos – “Perfect Middle-Seat Companion” (Most Funny: Product I Would Buy)

I don’t know if Frito-Lay still crowd-sources them, but I think their Super Bowl commercials are usually overrated. The other Doritos commercial, for example, is silly and not that funny. This one, on the other hand, has the classic, last-second reveal that could be accompanied by a horn effect á la The Price is Right. You have to ignore the fact that seating on commercial flights is assigned, of course.

Nationwide – “The Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up” (Most Depressing)

Twitter users have dubbed this one Nationcried. It’s jarring, as intended, but I’m not sure why the final image is an unrelated girl. Also, I think the emotional impact is undermined by the other Nationwide commercial.

Allstate Esurance – “Sorta Mom” (Most Effective, Best Use of a B-List Celebrity)

The point of the commercial and the benefit of the service are clear enough. I rate this one higher than Sorta Pharmacy because I’ve honestly never watched Breaking Bad.

Universal Pictures – Jurassic World (Best Trailer for a Tent-Pole Franchise Past Its Prime)

I think this one looks slightly more interesting than the latest Terminator movie. I probably won’t see either one, partly because of convenience and mostly because of principle. I think about the best entry in each franchise, specifically Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and realize that they’re both over 20 years old.

P&G Always – “Like a Girl” (Most Sentimental, Best Overall)

This one runs a tried-and-true play to prove its point and emotionally manipulate you in the process. Basically, it contrasts people who believe certain female stereotypes and young girls who haven’t conformed to these beliefs (yet). Everything about the commercial is predictable, but the last girl answers with so much conviction that I feel moved.

NFL, No More – “Super Bowl Ad” aka 911 Call (Honorable Mention)

The NFL’s 60-second PSA about domestic violence is reportedly based on a real 911-call. It is chilling and serious.