Sure, there’s a football game going on at Super Bowl XLV, but the competition between the companies who bought ads during the broadcast is fierce too.
FOX was charging about $3 million for a 30-second spot, so the companies advertising during the game better hope they get their money’s worth. The ones below definitely did — they’re our favorites from this year’s crop.
Audi: Release the Hounds
We love making fun of rich people. Their affection for silly dogs like afghan hounds, the inoffensive sounds of Kenny G., etc. We also like seeing them in jail. So props to Audi for this clever spot about a super bleached white collar jail break that both makes us actually give a car a second look and took a jab at old school Mercedes.
Pepsi Max: Love Hurts
Look, we’re easy. A pie in the face is funny every time. So is some skinny blonde chick in pink knee socks (seriously, pink knee socks) getting hit in the head with a Pepsi can… and knocked out. Not that we condone violence. But… pink knee socks.
Doritos: House Sitting
Doritos are magic! The punchline of this commercial took it from lame and obvious to extraordinary. We’re not any more likely to run out and buy Doritos, but then again, we haven’t invested with E*Trade recently, either. We still love that baby.
GoDaddy.CO: Mystery girl
Well… we certainly weren’t expecting that. Surrounding all the “hype” of the mystery GoDaddy.co (that’s right, co — not com) girl we were definitely taken a back when it was revealed to be the uh, sexy? Joan Rivers. While she’s not the “hot, Hollywood icon” we were expecting, that’s part of the reason it was great. While this could be a contender for worst Super Bowl ad (Rivers doesn’t quite fit the image Go Daddy’s created for themselves), it caught us off guard and we definitely aren’t going to forget about that one. The Super Bowl is just full of surprises, now isn’t it.
Bridgestone: Reply all
We didn’t know until the last second of this ad what it was for — but the comedy was so strong that it didn’t matter that the Bridgestone tag line was right at the end. The saga of a guy who thought he replied all to an e-mail and manically raced around preventing anyone from seeing it — confiscating computers, smacking phones out of hands — is relatable to just about anyone, and the idea was executed brilliantly.
Chevrolet: Cruze Status
We’re suckers for a 30-second romantic comedy, okay? Also, we just generally think this is awesome. Having a car that checks Facebook for us would seriously cut back on our blackberry usage while driving. Not that we do that, Oprah.
Volkswagen: The Force
We’ve already sung the praises of this ad, so we won’t re-sing them here. But at least in the first half of the game, I didn’t see anything better.
Best Buy: Ozzy vs. Bieber
As usual, Justin Bieber lives up to, and then exceeds our expectations with a hilarious ad. But to be fair, Ozzy Osbourne definitely is the scene stealer in this Best Buy commercial. Biebs as the next Ozzy is kind of a hilarious concept in and of itself, but our favorite line? “What’s a Bieber?” “Kind of looks like a girl.”
Stella Artois: Crying Jean
Despite what our colleague thinks, Adrien Brody crooning his love for Stella Artois while various retro ’60s lovelies wept and swooned was sublime. Not all beer ads have to be brash and in your face. We are far more likely to take notice of a disheveled Oscar winner giving us bedroom eyes. Way to stay on target with their branding yet step it up a notch for the Super Bowl.
Eminem‘s bizarre claymation spot for Lipton Brisk iced tea (Really? Is it 1997?) is possibly the most aggressively bad offering of the night, so it’s lucky that he also anchors Chrysler’s convincing plea to buy American. Driving through the streets of Detroit, the “8-Mile” soundtrack quietly playing in the background, Eminem explains why we all have reason to be proud of the Renaissance City — and it got us a little bit misty.— Mikey O’Connell
NFL: Best Fans Ever
We’re TV people, obviously, so this ad was basically tailor-made for us. Featuring football-related scenes from our favorite shows really pushed our nostalgia button. Chandler Bing? Donna Martin? We could’ve done without “Glee’s” presence (enough already, we’re going to watch your stupid Super Bowl episode) but other than that, it was enough to make a TV geek give a crap about football. For like, thirty whole seconds.
You guys! The beaver and the man saved each others’ lives! Awwww! Quick, go buy some tires! (Cute animals are always a good decision, ad execs.)