Advertisers paid more than $133,000 per second for Super Bowl spots, money that was well spent – at least for those of us watching at home. While the commercial lineup wasn’t as strong as in recent years, a good chunk of the ads proved memorable – even if we already saw many online before Super Sunday. But whether we’ll remember – or buy – any of the products pitched is a whole other ballgame.
For all the creativity and attempts at uniqueness that went into the spots, we noticed some recurring themes. Check out some Super Sunday commercials worth yet another look:
While Beyoncé generated a pre-game lip-syncing controversy, a couple of the night’s best commercials embraced lip service. Bar Refaeli’s passionate “sexy meets smart” smooch with a nerd while Danica Patrick watched extended Go Daddy’s streak of buzz-worthy spots. Audi’s prom-themed fantasy also deftly combined laughs and lips.
Part of the pre-game ad build-up involved attempts at social media-driven audience participation. Coke asked the public to pick the winner of its desert race spot, while Oreo wants voters to weigh in – nonviolently – on whether the cookie or the cream is better. And, oh yeah: Axe plans to send a contest winner into space.
Budweiser's latest Clydesdale spot is a sentimental gem, and is in keeping with the public’s affinity for scene-stealing four-legged creatures. We were treated to ads with dogs, cats, wolves, cheetahs and gazelles (oh, my!). The Doritos-loving goat spot offered a worthy follow-up to the snack company’s homicidal dog ad from last year.
The annoying E*TRADE baby aside, children played a role in a couple of the night's funnier ads, including a Doritos dress-up spot and Kia's look at where babies come from.
Volkswagen inexplicably didn't run its “C’mon Get Happy” spot with reggae Jimmy Cliff, instead going with the lame and borderline offensive Midwestern reggae dude. Still, other ads got toes tapping. PSY brought some "Gangnam Style" to pistachios and a singing M&M got laughs by channeling Meatloaf. Meanwhile, Stevie Wonder twice showed the power of “Superstition” in New Orleans – all in the name of Bud Light.
Amy Poehler annoyed a BestBuy clerk. Tracy Morgan riffed in a "Patton"-eque ad for Mio Fit. Willem Dafoe teamed with Kate Upton and Usher in a devilishly funny Mercedes-Benz commercial. Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and LeBron James made fun of Super Bowl ads in Samsung's Super Bowl ad.
Oprah Winfrey’s voice cracks with emotion in Jeep’s salute to U.S. military personnel – a spot that puts the Super Bowl hoopla into sober perspective. “We’re more than a family,” Winfrey intones. “We are a nation.”