While for some people Sunday represented the biggest football game of the year, for others it represented a completely different battle — the Brand Bowl. The day of the year when companies compete to see which will reign supreme in the advertising department. The commercials for the Super Bowl have become as much a part of popular culture as the game itself, with endless debates and money spent vying for the top spot of being most gossiped about over the water cooler.
As always, there were the usual favorites of Budweiser and Doritos, as well as movie trailers that usually featured large explosions to add fuel to the already testosterone-filled fire. This year, however, the commercials seemed lackluster on the whole, with a few small exceptions.
The best brand of the night went to Chevy with three standout commercials. The best was the post-apocalyptic Chevy Silverado commercial, in which only the strong (and Twinkies) survived. It was current in that it played off the fears of the Mayan-predicted end of the world and all of the films that have touched on the same topic. A close second was the Chevy commercial with the happy graduate who thinks he’s getting a car, but in reality is getting a mini fridge (really, Mom and Dad, couldn’t spring for a bigger one?)
The second-best car commercial and possibly most touching of the night, went to Chrysler with a commercial featuring Clint Eastwood as the voice of America. Inspiring as always, Chrysler appealed to America’s toughness and spirit of individualism. The commercial instantly inspired many “Eastwood for President” tweets and created more hope for the downtrodden city of Detroit, which has become something of a symbol for the strength and power of American ingenuity.
Volkswagen proved it could make fun of itself while creating something new. It added a cute but chubby dog on a health kick to inspire viewers, then reminded them of its success from last year by putting Darth Vader at the end, angry that anything could beat “Vader Kid.” It was funny and touching at the same time, rounding out the array of good car commercials for the night.
The other notable commercials of the night were food brands. There were the always-great Doritos with the sling-shot-baby-grandma combo and the bribery dog, the not-naked Brown M&M and my personal favorite, the Oikos Greek Yogurt commercial, which proved that even after all these years Uncle Jesse is still a hottie (have mercy). While these commercials were funny, they lacked that extra something that one has come to expect from a Super Bowl advertisement.
The disappointments of the night were the GoDaddy.com commercials for advertising absolutely nothing and enticing absolutely no one. Even the Bud Light commercial with the dog was cute, but got old pretty quickly.
Despite the few standouts, I feel like this is one of the rare years that people will actually be talking about the game rather than what went on in between the plays.