Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials – 2013

Welcome to the seventh annual wrap-up of the best and worst Super Bowl commercials (man, time flies!) The ads were featured in Super Bowl XLVII, a matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers televised over CBS.

Here are the five best (and a few honorable mentions) and worst ads (you probably guessed by now who finished first) – all picked by yours truly. To see each ad in its entirety, click the linked title on each review.

Don’t Touch The DVR – Sit and Watch!

Two of the ads here are voiced over by two legendary personalities who based their programs right here in Chicago: radio giant Paul Harvey and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

1. Dodge Ram. “Farmer”. This spot featuring Paul Harvey (who died in 2009), using his God Made A Farmer speech from 1978 – tells us how important farmers are to our economy – and to our life. And as a Midwesterner, you appreciated it – and it hits home. And as far as I’m concerned, this is the best Super Bowl ad to air in at least 20 years.

2. Jeep. “Whole Again”. Oprah Winfrey did a great job voicing this ad, a tribute to our military.

3. Samsung. “The Big Pitch”. Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd worth their comedic magic again with a hilarious spot where they pitch to Bob Odenkirk with ideas you’ve seen in other Super Bowl ads – and even has a cameo appearance by LeBron James! This spot isn’t afraid to make fun of its self and the excessive commercialism that is so prevalent in Super Bowl advertising.

4. Tide. “Miracle Stain”. The husband – a 49ers fan – drops sauce on his jersey and it turns out to be in the shape of 49ers QB legend Joe Montana. Of course, he turns this into a million-dollar business – and it all goes down the wash (literally) when his wife washes it with Tide – and she turns out to be a Ravens fan. Great payoff.

5. Hyundai. “Kid Assembles Team”. Kid loses football to a bunch of goons – they tell him to field a team. Kid decides to recruit others in the neighborhood. Let’s get it on.

Honorable mentions: NFL Network’s “Sandcastle” with Deion Sanders; Both Bud Light ads with Stevie Wonder; and Best Buy’s “Asking Amy” with Amy Pohler. (Best Buy as a store however, still sucks.)

Skip these with the DVR. In fact, erase them off your DVR.

1. Go Daddy. “Perfect Match”. For the second straight year – and four out of the last five years, Go Dummy finished first in the worst ad category with yet another repulsive spot. Keep in mind these pukes supported SOPA legislation in late 2011 (after a huge outcry, they pulled their support.) Was this disgusting ad their revenge against those of us who were against the bill? And whoever this Bar Refaeli is – hey, your fifteen minutes are up. Now go dance with Honey Boo Boo.

Yours truly wasn’t alone – USA Today Ad Meter voters picked “Perfect Match” as the worst Super Bowl spot and was disliked by a two-to-one margin in YouTube’s Ad Blitz.

2. Wonderful Pistachios, “Get Crackin”. And speaking of fifteen minutes, this Gangdam Style crap is so 2012.

3. Budwesier Black Crown. Watching the beginning of this spot, I was expecting Faith Hill to come out and belt out NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme.

4. Volkswagen. “Get Happy”. This spot would’ve been more fun if The Partridge Family’s Danny Bonaduce came out of nowhere and starting beating up everyone in this inane spot. Get happy, indeed.

5. Taco Bell. “Viva Young”. Since when Taco Hell become Old Country Buffet? Well, the food tastes about the same…

Halftime Show: This year, it was Beyonce Knowles who headlined the halftime show, and as expected, attracted an equal number of fans and detractors (especially if you’re not a fan of pop and/or urban music.) And it was a treat for fans of Destiny’s Child – Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland joined Beyonce to perform their greatest hits. It was a so-so performance, but at least they received a better reception at the Super Bowl than they did in Philadelphia during halftime at a 2002 NBA Finals game, when 76ers fans booed them off the stage (after all, it is Philadelphia.)

Other thoughts: For a network that practically invented and innovated NFL coverage, CBS’ presentation yesterday came off as surprisingly sloppy and aloof. Phil Simms’ commentary actually made me long for Tony Kornhiser’s. Yuck. The pre-game team was thrust on the air when half of the lights ar the Superdome went dark and the half-hour wait seemed like hours with the CBS pre-game crew not helping one bit. Yesterday’s presentation seemed like a throwback to 1998 – the first year televising the NFL after a four-year layoff.

Just more proof cheapskate Laurence Tisch is still running CBS from his grave in hell. He’s just using Les Moonves as a prop.

Further reading/viewing:

-It’s the 25th Anniversary of USA Today’s Ad Meter, which detects the popularity of Super Bowl Ads, and if in the past, dominated by animals and kids.

– For the seventh consecutive year, YouTube is rating the Super Bowl Ads with Ad Blitz, and is sponsored by Adweek.  You can vote, watch, and share your favorite Super Bowl Commercials.

– Rival publication Advertising Age has its own page dedicated to Super Bowl Ad Coverage, including reviews for all commercials.

– Of course, there are those who write about how bad the ads are every year – though this time around, they is a very strong case. Ken Levine and Bob Garfield weigh in.

– Finally, if you’re looking for past Super Bowl Ad reviews from T Dog Media dating back to 2007, click here. If you notice any difference between the two posts I wrote about this subject back in 2007 and this one, is writing about these Super Bowl ads are increasingly a huge bore as most of them this year were mediocre and really not worth talking about at all – as evidenced by who keeps appearing at number one on the Worst Ad list every year.

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