2020 Super Bowl Commercial Review: Deja Vu

Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day spot is the best of the best ; Halftime Show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira a smash hit

Even though several cultural critics thought otherwise, this year’s batch of Super Bowl Commercials were actually better than last year’s. Yes, really.

The fourteenth edition of T Dog Media’s Super Bowl Commercial Review features a lot of dancing, rappers destroying convenience stores, and numerous celebrities driving around in cars for no reason. The top ad in this year’s “Best” category was the much-hyped Groundhog Day spot for Jeep featuring Bill Murray, reprising his role from the 1993 movie of the same name about a man who wakes up and relives the same day over and over again. The ad also topped USA Today’s annual Ad Meter.

Even more special, the radio voice saying “It’s Groundhog Day” in the spot – which comes on with Murray hits the alarm clock – is none other than Steve Dahl.

This year, we’ve restored the top ten list for both Best and Worst categories. Promos, political ads, and movie trailers do not count. Some of the videos on this page could soon become unavailable, so you may see those annoying gray boxes if you come across this article in the future.

Best

1. Jeep, Groundhog Day. The best one of the bunch.

https://youtu.be/AnhzGUcENWo

2. Doritos, The Cool Ranch. Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X duel to see who has the best dance moves featuring the latter’s ultra-cool hit song.

https://youtu.be/9OpuHa2vwdk

3. NFL, Next 100. This spot lasted 2:51, but this spot was awesome in every way possible, particularly at the end (and despite an odd scene where there were Bears fans in New York City.)

4. Hard Rock, The Hype. Someone stole Jennifer Lopez’s Bling Cup! JLo finds the perpetrator (DJ Khaled) as he would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for that meddling JLo.

5. Discover, No We Don’t Charge Annual Fees/Yes, We’re Accepted (click on links to watch ads) Both of these commercials featured clips of numerous TV shows and movies, leading this person to wonder if they were launching a streaming service. Oh well, one can dream.

6. Weather Tech, Lucky Dog. A touching spot from Bolingbrook’s Weather Tech on how Scott The Dog survived cancer and how research at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine is saving animals’ lives.

7. Mountain Dew, As Good As The Original. Here’s Mountain Dew Zero! With Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross in a funny spot, even though the drink tastes blah.

8. Snickers, Snickers Fix The World. There was reportedly another spot about throwing a bunch of politicians in that hole. That would certainly work in Chicago.

https://youtu.be/SLAV4LYO-yU

9. Avocados From Mexico, The Avocados From Mexico Shopping Network.

You too can buy Avocados-related merchandise on the Avocados From Mexico Shopping Network and as a bonus, they’ll throw in Molly Ringwald! Offer not available anywhere.

https://youtu.be/UkGcjBySp78

 

10. Genesis, Going Away. Chrissy Teigen and John legend say goodbye to a bunch of people while getting away in a Genesis SUV. Or something like that.

https://youtu.be/WTcXkxbukuk

Worst

Even though the ads were better this year, it doesn’t mean there weren’t any stinkers in the bunch. And boy, there were some spots that were flat out bad (click on the link to watch)

1. Bud Light Seltzer, Inside Post’s Brain. Let’s see…what’s in Post Malone’s brain… a no-talent rapper with a low IQ promoting a nasty-tasting drink. Damn, that was Geico Easy.

2. Michelob Ultra, Jimmy Works. Would’ve been much funnier if Jimmy Kimmel were in the ad instead of Jimmy Fallon.

3. Audi, Let It Go. A Game of Thrones star singing an overrated Disney song driving an Audi. This ad needs to go.

4. Coca-Cola Energy, Show Up. Martin Scorsese parties while Jonah Hill falls asleep on the couch and the world is wondering if he’ll show up to the party. And yes, Coca-Cola Energy tastes awful as advertised.

5. Hulu, Tom Brady’s Big Announcement. His big announcement is him being a Hulu subscriber because he can watch himself in his Family Guy guest-starring role over and over again.

6. Sabra, How we Muss. Interesting put about this commercial is Chester Cheetah showing up in this ad and not appearing in the ad for his own product.

7. Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, 6-for-6 Pack. I don’t understand this commercial. So by buying a six-pack of beer, we’re helping the world’s organic farmers? I’m so confused.

8. Pop Tarts, Fixed The Pretzel. Pretzel Pop-Tarts are perhaps the least appealing idea in ages.

9. Squarespace, Winona in Winona. Is that really Winona Ryder in this spot? I hope not.

10. P&G, When The World Comes Together…. you don’t need SEIU to clean up a mess.

Though technically not included in these rankings, two political ads – one featuring Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg and the other featuring President Trump – predictably ranked 60th and 62nd (dead last) respectively in USA Today’s Ad Meter. The reason why these ads weren’t included because the two spots would easily be picked as the worst and let’s face it – most people hate political advertising.

Halftime Show

This year’s halftime show featured Jennifer Lopez and Shakira and what a halftime show it was! The show featured a lot of musical influences and dances from Latin America (Shakira is from Colombia, after all) and even though it did feature some risque performances, it was well choreographed and quite awesome to watch and much better than the last two halftime shows featuring Justin Timberlake and Maroon 5, respectively.

Reviews were generally favorable – even from Tribune critic Greg Kot, who deservedly trashed last year’s show. Of course, there were despite some grumblings from the “OK Boomer” crowd (and some younger than I am) and not surprisingly, drew comparisons to Nipplegate sixteen years ago. But I don’t think they really understood the musical culture Lopez and Shakira put on display, and all they saw was “softcore porn”. That’s America for you – full of musical ignorance, as always.

While Lopez and Shakira put on an awesome show, it still didn’t top Prince’s performance during Super Bowl XLII, considered one of the best of all time.

Grade: A-. Well done!

Further reading/listening

NPR’s Eric Deggans has his annual review and you can read it here.

Ad Age also has reviews of the ads, and you can read them here.

Adweek has the ten best Super Bowl ads.

This is the fourteenth straight year T Dog Media has reviewed Super Bowl Ads (time flies!) For past reviews dating back to 2007, click here. Keep in mind older videos posted in those reviews may no longer be available.

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