The Best and Worst Super Bowl Commercials
It was a pretty weak year for Super Bowl commercials . . . sort of like the game. It seems like the formula is either to go for slapstick comedy or heartfelt patriotism. Here are our top and bottom five ads of the game . . .
The Top Five Commercials
1. Chrysler nailed it with their BOB DYLAN commercial that rounded up every image of Americana from the past 60 years. That can seem like shameless pandering . . . but not when it features a BRILLIANT BADASS like Dylan.
2. We loved the Radio Shack ad where the '80s icons smashed up the store to introduce the "new" more modern Radio Shack . . . Alf, HULK HOGAN, the California Raisins, KID 'N PLAY, MARY LOU RETTON.
3. Once again, Doritos crowdsourced their commercials and had a winner. They had a spot where a kid with a homemade time machine accidentally tricked a guy into thinking he'd been transported to the future. It definitely worked.
4. Budweiser ran an emotionally manipulative commercial about one of their Clydesdales becoming friends with a puppy. But emotional manipulation WORKS.
Every Super Bowl party in America had women crying after that one. And the ad won the "USA Today" Ad Meter.
5. We also really liked Hyundai's ad where a dad kept saving his kid the moment before imminent danger . . . until they were driving in a Hyundai, which had the safety features to do it for him.
Honorable mentions go to TIM TEBOW'S self-deprecating T-Mobile commercials . . .
Audi's weird commercial about a half-Doberman, half-Chihuahua had some laughs . . .
The reunion of JERRY SEINFELD and JASON ALEXANDER to promote Seinfeld's awesome web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". It looks like they're going to do the upcoming episode in character.
Budweiser threw a parade for a returning soldier, featured it in one of their ads, and even got the guy to go to the Super Bowl . . .
And Chevy's ad featuring a sexy bull being transported to see other sexy cows. (???) But the tone wasn't clear, the comedy wasn't either, and we're still a little confused.
The Five Bottom Commercials
1. Bud Light stormed out of the gate doing a two-part commercial about an average dude who got a "crazy" night featuring run-ins with Minka Kelly, Don Cheadle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and One Direction.
They tried to make it epic but it just felt sterile and didn't quite connect. They clearly blew ALL of their effort on that ad . . . because a Bud Light ad later only showed close-ups of their new bottle.
2. GoDaddy's hyped commercial about a woman quitting her job on live TV to start a puppet company definitely got lost in the shuffle. It didn't have the impact they were clearly hoping for.
3. We REALLY wanted to like the "Full House" guys reuniting for Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt, but it just didn't land . . . because we knew it was coming. They reunited on "Fallon" and the ad got a lot of hype. A surprise would've been better.
4. The LAURENCE FISHBURNE "Matrix" parody ad for Kia felt like they threw a lot of random, unconnected stuff together. In the end, it was just scattered and forced. Like, why would Morpheus from "The Matrix" start singing opera?
5. Coke swinging and missing on a commercial of "America the Beautiful" in different languages that was desperately trying to make you say, "Wow, Coke LOVES America!" But a lot of people online didn't like it.
Dishonorable mention goes to Axe body spray for their borderline misguided ad showing racial stereotypes choosing world peace over war . . .
And Maserati for throwing 10-year-old QUVENZHANÉ WALLIS in an ambiguous ad that wasn't clearly a car commercial until the last few seconds. That might be the weirdest spokesperson and company matchup ever.
Super Bowl Commercials: The "Controversies"
There wasn't TOO much controversial stuff in this year's Super Bowl commercial lineup but, of course, people today LOVE being outraged so there were a few. Here were the three most controversial ads of the year . . .
1. Volkswagen's ad showing engineers getting their wings, like angels, had a minor blowup on Twitter . . . because they showed NO female engineers. The one woman in the ad didn't get wings . . . she slapped a man when his wings touched her.
2. There was talk about whether SCARLETT JOHANSSON'S Sodastream ad would air, because the company has gotten a LOT of heat over having a factory in the Palestinian West Bank in Israel. Fox DID end up airing it after all.
As for the controversy . . . it's hard to say whether or not people even know about it. Someone at my Super Bowl party said, "Ooh, this ad is controversial because Sodastream is competing with Coke and Pepsi." Which is sorta true . . .
Fox refused the commercial at first, because in the original, Scarlett said, "Sorry Coke and Pepsi", and of course those two companies spend tons of money on the Super Bowl. So SodaStream had to cut that line from the ad.
3. And finally, we HOPE this isn't a controversy . . . but the Cheerios ad showed an interracial family with a black dad, a white mom, and a mixed race girl. In 2014, we're really happy that commercial aired during the Super Bowl.
Bruno Mars' Halftime Performance Was Amazing
BRUNO MARS and the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS brought SHEER PERFORMANCE back into the Super Bowl halftime show . . . a welcome change after years of focus on "spectacle" and "manufactured controversy."
The show started with a children's choir, followed by a drum solo by Bruno.
Now, some people have reported that it was Bruno's brother Eric . . . who's his drummer, and who DOES look like Bruno . . . but it wasn't. It was Bruno.
Then, Bruno jumped in front of his band and launched into a medley of his hits . . . including "Locked Out of Heaven", "Treasure", "Runaway Baby", and "Just the Way You Are".
In the middle of his set, he also did a brief interlude of the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS song "Give It Away", before they popped up onstage to perform the rest of it. Bruno and his band stuck around, joining in.
The Peppers were only there for that one song . . . perhaps because they were a little cold. Both singer ANTHONY KIEDIS and bassist FLEA were SHIRTLESS . . . although Anthony had some weird leggings on.
It wasn't just the music that was great though . . . Bruno also showed off some wicked dance moves, which were a little like JAMES BROWN-meets-MICHAEL JACKSON.
And of course, there was a big element of "spectacle" as well . . . with fireworks, lasers, sparklers, and video dedications from soldiers to their families. There was a lot of stuff going on . . . but it all seemed to FIT and work as it hasn't always in years past.
Whether or not you're a fan of Bruno's . . . or the Red Hot Chili Peppers . . . it seemed like a crowd-pleasing performance that may have had everyone at your Super Bowl party entertained, regardless of age.
Getting to the Super Bowl on Public Transit Was an Absolute Nightmare
For security reasons, they didn't let people take taxis to the Super Bowl this year, and you also couldn't be dropped off nearby to walk in.
So everyone who wasn't DRIVING to the game and PARKING there was told to take public transportation . . . and it ended up leading to COMPLETE CHAOS.
New Jersey transit officials were expecting between 12,000 and 15,000 people to take the subway to the Super Bowl. Instead, an estimated 27,000 did. And apparently it was a NIGHTMARE.
After they got to their subway stations, some people said it took them over an HOUR just to get on a TRAIN.
And because of all the people, the temperature in the subway stations was upwards of 130 DEGREES. So multiple people PASSED OUT, and emergency workers had to push through hundreds of people to get to them. Luckily, no one died.
Also, security officials were checking every single bag at the start of the rush. But after a while, they were basically checking NONE. Luckily, it didn't end up mattering. But plenty of fans were obviously NOT happy about it.
According to reports, it was the busiest day on New Jersey transit EVER. (NJ.com / Gawker / Yahoo)
Sports Junkies: A List of Super Bowl 48 Trivia and Interesting Facts
After last night's Super Bowl, we ventured out into the Internet in search of some trivia and interesting facts on the game for all the sports junkies out there. Here's what we came up with:
1. The Denver Broncos are the first Super Bowl team to be shut out at halftime since the New York Giants in Super Bowl 35 in 2001. They trailed the Baltimore Ravens 10-to-zero at the half, before ultimately losing 34-to-7.
2. The Seattle Seahawks' safety 12 seconds into the game became the fastest score EVER at the start of a Super Bowl.
It beat the 2007 Super Bowl . . . when the Chicago Bears started off against the Indianapolis Colts with a kickoff return for a touchdown. That happened 14 seconds into the game. However, the Colts came back to win that one, 29-to-17.
3. Interestingly enough, this is the third-straight year with a safety in the Super Bowl, but it's only the ninth safety in the Super Bowl's 48-year history.
4. The Broncos have now faced the three largest halftime deficits in Super Bowl history. They were down 22 in this one . . . they were down 27-3 (or by 24 points) in their 55-to-10 blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 1990 . . .
And they were down 35-to-10 (or by 25 points) in their 42-to-10 loss to the Washington Redskins in 1988. Not surprisingly, these three Denver losses are among the five worst Super Bowl blowouts in history.
5. The Broncos have now lost FIVE Super Bowls, more than any other team. However, they've also won TWO: In 1998 and 1999. The Seahawks are now 1-and-1 in Super Bowls. They lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-to-10 in 2006.
6. Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was named the game's MVP, became the first player in Super Bowl history to have a fumble recovery AND an interception return for a touchdown in the same game.
7. The Broncos entered the Super Bowl with the highest scoring offense in NFL history.
8. Despite the Broncos offensive problems last night, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas caught 13 passes . . . the most of anybody in Super Bowl history. And Peyton Manning completed 34 passes, the most-ever by a Super Bowl quarterback.
(Actually, the Super Bowl was less about the Broncos' offense being TERRIBLE . . . and more about it being unable to overcome their turnovers, penalties, mistakes and porous defense.)
9. Check this out: $526,217 is the base salary made by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for the ENTIRE 2013 season. And $882,352 is the salary made by Peyton Manning . . . for each WEEK of the 2013 season.
10. Can Seattle keep it together to turn their run into a dynasty? According to Forbes.com, "the Seahawks tied the 1971 Miami Dolphins as the youngest Super Bowl winners ever with an average age of 26.4 years."
The Seahawks had the fourth youngest roster in the NFL this year, and Russell Wilson is just 25. This is his second year in the NFL.
11. According to Pregame.com, Las Vegas bookmakers ALREADY have the Seahawks as the favorite to win NEXT year's Super Bowl as well, with 7-1 odds.
12. The Seahawks are the first team to win a Super Bowl with a team FULL of Super Bowl virgins since the Washington Redskins in 1983. Every winner since then has had at least ONE dude who has Super Bowl experience.
13. And finally, according to Pro Football Reference, the final score of the Super Bowl, 43-to-8, has NEVER BEFORE been the final score of an NFL game. Not just in the Super Bowl . . . in ANY game.