Super Bowl XLVIII was a major let down. We expected a great game. We got a bushwhacking. We cautiously hoped for a polar blast of cold and snow. We got 54 degrees, a slight breeze and Joe Namath sporting an actual polar bear on his back. The halftime show was sort of a hot mess and while most of our staff enjoyed Bruno Mars, others questioned the forced Red Hot Chili Peppers cameo and wondered when and why Anthony Kiedis began shopping at Justice. Having said all of that, we felt the ads were solid, albeit somewhat unspectacular. There were a few duds, a couple of spectacular disasters, some moderately entertaining concepts, and some absolute gems. These were our favorites (national only — watch the amazing Jamie Casino ad here!), in no particular order:
Scary. Weird. Having nothing to do with Audi. But fun.
Doritos: “Time Machine”
They should have gone with this one and this one, and scratched the kid riding the dog.
Two words: Adorable and Adorable.
Coca-Cola: “It’s Beautiful”
Another fantastic, beautifully photographed spot from one of America’s favorite brands.
Jaguar: “British Villains Rendezvous”
Just a cool ad with cool acting.
Radio Shack: “The Phone Call”
Opening line: “That was the 80′s, they want their store back!”
T-Mobile: “We Killed The Long Term Contract”
Best part: when the kazoo kicks in and the text reads “No, we’re not on our 4th margarita.”
T-Mobile: “No Contract”
The closest Tim Tebow will ever come to winning the Super Bowl.
Dannon: “The Spill” (aka “Full House Reunion”)
This couldn’t possibly have failed. Seriously, the dialogue wasn’t even necessary.
Butterfinger: “Couples Therapy”
“What are we doing here?”
Budweiser: “Puppy Love”
Puppies. Yay! Puppies AND horses?? Yay x2!
Two words: Wing Envy.
TurboTax: “Love Hurts”
When this spot aired, the notion of ditching the Super Bowl in favor of filing one’s taxes was funny, in an absurd way. And then the game came back on and all of a sudden TurboTax and Wieden+Kennedy looked like prophetic geniuses. Well played.
Honorable mention goes to the surprise of the night:
GoDaddy (featuring the amazing John Turturro): “Puppet Master”