Game and Halftime Show were awesome; commercials less so
If there were any themes running through this year’s Super Bowl ads, it was a lot of crypto, electric vehicles, sports gambling, and celebrities – lots of celebrities.
This sums up the sixteenth edition of the T Dog Media Super Bowl Commercial review, as companies shelled out around $6.5 million per thirty-second spot to get their products on TV’s biggest event, so you can’t come in with a run-of-the-mill commercial.
This year’s bunch featured tons of mediocre ads as crypto currency makers were determined to shove their product down our throats, as the worst commercial award was already decided in the first quarter to hawk said product. If you’re into electric vehicles, you were in luck as Kia, Chevrolet, and Nissan all pimped out their latest plug and plays. And there were numerous celebs in this year’s ads, from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salma Hayek with the magical electric touch to Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen at a wedding chowing down Lay’s chips like there was no tomorrow. Other sightings included Leslie Jones, Serena Williams, one of the Jonas brothers, and Peyton Manning, who wound up in TWO ads.
Coca-Cola, Tide, and Mountain Dew all sat out this time around, and they were sorely missed. Also absent was SoFi – the finance company whose name is on the stadium the Super Bowl was being played at, in Inglewood, Ca. just across the city limit from Los Angeles.
If there were any saving grace, Chicago viewers were spared the usual local TV commercial tripe during the Super Bowl, meaning no appearances from Jimmie Walker hawking Medicare, the Insure On The Spot woman, the Smithe sisters, lying gubernatorial candidates Richard Irvin and Jesse Sullivan, and those annoying “it’s game time baby!” BetRivers spots, where guys get sucked into their phones as their wives (or their moms) wondering where the heck they went.
Here are the eight best and worst ads from Super Bowl LVI. As usual, trailers for movies and streaming series and network promos do not count, and neither does local spot buys.
To explain here, choosing between Chevrolet and Rocket Mortgage was really tough – yes, really! Both ads were absolutely fun to watch, but in a tight race, the nod goes to….
1. Chevrolet: “New Generations”
Even though this person wasn’t into The Sopranos all that much, the recreation of the show’s iconic opening credits featuring Meadow (Jamie Lynn-Siegler) and AJ (N) was terrific, and was discussed a lot on social media. And no going to a black screen!
2. Rocket Mortgage: “Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie”
Barbie and friends meet a harsh reality in this ad featuring Anna Kendrick. Executed, funny, and well done.
3. Amazon: “Mind Reader”
Currently, this ad ranks second in USA Today’s ad poll as a guy’s Echo Dot reminds his mind and announces his thoughts to the world – and it’s a hoot! This guy might not want to think about sex…
4. Nissan: “Thrill Driver”
Eugene Levy becomes the next hot Hollywood sensation driving a taxi. Funny stuff.
5. Hologic: “Her Health Is Her Wealth”
This ad featuring SuperBowl halftime performer Mary J. Blige was terrific, reminding women – especially black women – to take their health seriously. As for the title… they could have come up with something better.
6. GM: “Dr. Ev-il”
The boss from those Austin Powers movies is now running General Motors, living in Detroit, and wants to take over the world? Might want to focus on taking over Little Caesars Pizza chain first – or the Detroit Lions.
7. Caesars Sportsbook: “Sit Down Dinner”
Let’s face it, any ad with a Manning in it – even the less talented one – is gold (Peyton Manning also appeared in an ad for Michelob Ultra.)
8. Sam Club: “Sam’s Club VIP”
This year’s batch of Super Bowl ads were so weak, I decided to stick this one in here just to round out the list. Also, I’m a Sam’s Club member.
Honorable Mention: Planters. An ad featuring former Community stars Joel McHale and Ken Jeong had them squabbling over mixed nuts – and all hell broke loose around the world. But in an unusual arrangement, the commercial didn’t run nationally but in a few local markets, including Chicago.
Worst Ads (click title to watch)
This ad – which ran for an entire minute – comes off as a low-rent Atari 2600 Pong game. On a sidenote, so many people used their phones to scan the on-screen QR code, it crashed the company’s website.
Crass ripoff of those terrific Terry Tate Office Linebacker ads from years ago. However, Hellmann’s Mayo is indeed the best.
Jim Carrey is still working as The Cable Guy in this day and age? Even Larry The Cable Guy has moved on.
“Flake!…I’m not gonna live forever, so get me out of this nightmare…. “Flake!” Somewhere, Irene Cara and Debbie Allen are weeping.
Escape The Almighty Clown Head and go to Taco Hell, where the food is somewhat better.
From “Once You Stop…You Can’t Stop” to an idiot’s hand stuck in a can for 40 goddamn years. How the once-superior chip brand has fallen.
The residents of Skokie made up more than half of the people voting down this ad due to Carvana’s plan to build one of those stupid tall car vending machines in their town.
Too bad Ford didn’t have a Super Bowl ad this year…they could have put her in a Mustang to the tune of “Mustang Sally”. Well, it would be better than what this is.
This year’s halftime show was quite the departure from previous years – we were treated to hip-hop legends Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige. The concert brought the house down, paying ode to Southern California with “California Love” and other hip-hop classics. The outpouring of love on social media was an awesome sight to behold. What an awesome presentation.
While a few said it was the greatest Super Bowl Halftime show of all time, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – that honor still belongs to Prince at Super Bowl XLI. This marks the second time in three years we’ve had an awesome halftime show, with Shakira and Jennifer Lopez having the honors at the Super Bowl. Grade: A
To watch the Super Bowl Halftime Show again – and you should, click here.
In the next post, we’ll discuss the ratings for Super Bowl LVI, including this person’s predictions.
Per tradition, USA Today rates the Super Bowl commercials through its ad meter, doing so since 1989. As of this writing, Rocket Mortgage is in the lead.
Ad Age has their annual roundup and reviews, and you can read here for free.
Students at Northwestern’s Kellogg School Of Management also rated the Super Bowl Ads and you can read their findings here (it’s an awesome site with reviews dating back to 2005!)
And if you want to read the best and worst Super Bowl commercial lists dating back to 2007, click here. Many of these videos – including eight on last year’s best list – are no longer available.