The best commercials from Super Bowl XLVII
Besides Beyoncé's halftime performance (and the power outage), the water-cooler talk on the day after the Super Bowl focuses on the ads. The reason we care so much about the Super Bowl commercials is that we know that the Super Bowl is the most expensive ad-buy opportunity in American television. Therefore we expect the deepest-pocketed companies to bring their A-game (as did the 49ers in the second half).
However, sometimes the best ads are the simplest, while the more ambitious commercials fall flat. Here are my top picks from the 2013 Super Bowl commercials.
- Tide: "Miracle Stain" The best of the bunch. A Niners fan gets a stain resembling legendary QB Joe Montana on his jersey. However, his wife is a Ravens fan... Tide's Super Bowl ad was an eerily prescient commercial, well-scripted and well-paced.
- Samsung Mobile: "Next Big Thing" It's just Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd finding alternate was of saying "Super Bowl", "49ers", and "Ravens". Was this a triumph of concept or casting, though: would this ad have worked with two lesser-known faces? I don't think so.
- Mercedes-Benz: "Soul" A guy nearly sells his soul to the devil for a Merc, then realizes that he can afford it on his own. A variation of the buy-car-get-laid trope, but bonus points for casting Willem Dafoe as Satan. "Sympathy for the Devil" as a soundtrack is perhaps too on-the-nose, but still. On second thought, Willem Dafoe's presence was the only aspect of this Super Bowl ad that works, but it worked really well.
- Budweiser: "Brothers" Bud shot the moon with sappiness, as a man is reunited with the Clydesdale he raised from foal-hood. Awww. Horsie. This ad would have worked for Burger King, too.
- Fast & Furious 6 Trailer: The Fast & Furious franchise moves fully into the heist-film genre. Return of the Vin Diesel-Dwayne Johnson bromance. Also: the Iron Man 3 trailer.
... And here are my pics for the worst Super Bowl ads of 2013.
- Volkswagen:"Get In, Get Happy" If the only aspect of your ad that people are discussing is whether or not it's racist, then your commercial has failed.
- Gildan: "Getaway" A bro sneaks out on his one-night stand, but tries to reclaim his (plain, grey, boring) t-shirt. Zero indication of why he was trying to leave, or why he wanted his plain, grey, boring shirt back. Don't they come in three-packs for five bucks?
- Taco Bell: "We Are Young" A trite, played-out concept. The guys from Jackass already did this, what, ten years ago; and they did it better.
- Century 21's entire Super Bowl campaign: Dumb, tone-deaf concept and boring execution. These ads are everything TV commercials are accused of being.
- GoDaddy: "Sexy Meets Smart" Oh, FFS.