Column: Super Bowl commercials – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Jill Odom
Sports Editor

Commercials – they’re the things people spend most of their time trying to avoid at all costs and yet, they are capable of attracting folks who haven’t watched a single down of football to tune in to the Super Bowl.

Some brands have become legendary for their representation during the big game, such as Budweiser and Doritos. The general consensus is that Budweiser has succeeded yet again at tugging at the viewers’ heartstrings by showing the bond between a Golden Retriever puppy and the Clydesdale horses. Doritos’ attempts, however, were not able to live up to the historic “Don’t touch my momma” commercial that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XLIV took place on Sunday, Feb. 1, and featured a desert showdown between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. The stakes were high. The Patriots were trying to redeem themselves from the Deflategate scandal and the Seahawks were eager to have their second consecutive Super Bowl win. Even Marvel superheroes, Captain America and Star-Lord, decided to make a wager on the results.

Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the game, the Patriots won due to the Seahawks failing to run a play on the one-yard line. Instead, Seattle threw the ball that was consequently intercepted by New England cornerback Malcolm Butler.

Anyways, now it is time to move on to the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Super Bowl commercials of 2015.

In the good category there are usually two types: the funny and the heartwarming/encouraging. Three commercials that stood out involved an iconic actor playing off of their typical character stereotype. The Clash of Clans app cashed in with Liam Neeson’s intimidating voice swearing revenge on someone who beat him in the game.

Esurance resurrected Walter White and placed him in a pharmacy to explain that “sorta you isn’t you,” much to the amusement of viewers when Walter explained to the woman that both he and the normal pharmacist have a lot of experience with drugs.

The new Kia Sorento got the sponsoring of an aged Pierce Brosnan who hasn’t left behind the James Bond mindset apparently. The Dodge Challenger also had a memorable commercial that starts off with elderly people over 100 offering their sage advice and then shifts into living fast and not forgetting where you come from.

In the heartwarming category of good are commercials that pull the dad card, such as the new Toyota Camry and Dove Men + Care, and others that promoted spreading love such as McDonald’s and Coke.

Nationwide had two commercials that were on either end of the spectrum. The funny Nationwide commercial featured Mindy Kaling assuming she is invisible because that is how most people treat her, until she sniffs Matt Damon, that is. The point of the commercial is that Nationwide will not treat you like you’re invisible.

On the other hand though, Nationwide wins the medal for most depressing commercial of the night with the topic of child deaths. What starts out as a cute little boy talking about what he won’t ever be able to do turns into a quickly sobering message about how most childhood deaths are caused by preventable accidents.

Another poorly presented commercial was for the Jeep Renegade, which chose to have the song “This Land Is Your Land” playing the background while flashing scenes of majestic America, but then suddenly cuts to locations that are definitely not in America, such as the Great Wall of China and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil.

The message becomes confused thanks to this. Why play a song that is associated with America while showing the world? Is Jeep planning to take over the world? Did they read a map wrong and assume Australia is part of America? It isn’t clear what they are trying to say and that is wasted dollars there if they can’t properly convey their message.

Of the ugly category, these are just the weird oddball ones. Winner for making people the most uncomfortable goes to Loctite, a glue company that had a couple claim the epoxy saved their marriage. Jublia, a prescription for toe fungus, also was able to scrap together enough cash to earn a slot in the prime time. Squarespace simply had Jeff Bridges lulling a woman to sleep with deep-throated oms.

Trailers for upcoming movies weren’t sparse. Throughout the game, viewers got to see new peeks at “Jurassic World,” “Terminator Genesis,” “Furious 7,” “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Ted 2,” and several others.

The NFL’s own commercial got to have the last word in the advertising Hunger Games with the “Together We Make Football” spot, showing the excitement and energy of the NFL teams’ many fans have.

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