The Patriots trounced the Rams, Tom Brady extended his dominance and Adam Levine took off his shirt. Aside from the action in Atlanta, America was treated with enough Big Game ads to make viewers forget a game with a scarcity of touchdowns and a yawner of a halftime show. (She will be loved, we get it!) While you’re nursing your chicken wing hangover and trying to ignore all the Patriots fans with inflated egos today, soothe your post-Super Bowl soul with a look at the good, bad and ugly of Big Game commercials 2019. Adam, you can put your shirt back on now.
One can only imagine the pitch for this medieval Bud Light ad went something like this: “Hey, what if there was a … Bud Knight?” Everyone’s favorite beer to get when there’s nothing else on tap has come a long way from classic ads like “Whasssup” with this spot that clumsily tries to capitalize on Game of Thrones mania. The problem is, while the new season of the show is teased, we don’t actually get to see any footage from, um, the actual show? Regardless, it was a nice change of pace to see one fire-breathing dragon who isn’t a member of the Trump administration.
Amazon is so powerful that they can say, “Hey, we’d like to have a minute-and-a-half long Super Bowl ad that stars Harrison Ford, licenses a Queen song and also has a scene in actual space” and it actually… happens! While everyone’s favorite site for everything from socks to award-winning television shows is leveling every other American business in its path (remember malls?), you have to hand it to them for putting all of our collective money to good use with this opus. (And am I only buttering up Amazon so when Jeff Bezos eventually takes over the world he’ll have mercy on me? Maybe. Anyway, let me also say: Jeff, you’re a handsome man. And a damn fine dresser too. Have you been working out?)
Is Stella pandering to the fan boy and girl inside us all with this commercial starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw and Jeff Bridges as the Dude? They absolutely are. Do we love it regardless? Yes we do, and we’re still waiting for a movie starring these two. It could be a fish out of water story where The Dude visits New York, meets Bradshaw and later that night she writes: “I couldn’t help but wonder: Is the Dude my dude?” A script practically writes itself. Let’s go, Hollywood!
(Takes a hit of weed). “What if… like… our commercial for Dodge Ram Trucks starred.. like, actual rams. And the rams encountered a Ram truck, driven by guys dressed as… rams?” A reminder that one of America’s biggest companies, a major advertising agency, millions of dollars and months of work went into the development and airing of this commercial.
USA! USA! USA! Sorry if I got carried away, it’s just that this ad is more American than macaroni and cheese. The only difference is, macaroni and cheese never made me cry.
Super Bowl Sunday is known to be a noisy affair, whether the cheering crowds, obxnosis commercials, and your friend at the viewing party who just can’t stop grunting and clapping every time anything at all happens. (Shut up, Conor). Perhaps that’s why this Michelob Ultra ad was so refreshing, with Zoë Kravitz whispering and tapping away for a communal ASMR experience. While we don’t quite buy that Michelob is as pure as the spot portrays, it was soothing to take a momentary breather from the madness of the big game.
What if Mr. Peanut did cocaine? This commercial answers a question no one asked.
In a series of ads, T-Mobile successfully nailed the minefield that is texting culture, a generational hellscape full of absolute nonsense. From cases of mistaken identity to looooong blocks of text when whoever you’re dating “has been doing some thinking” to the nightmare that is texting with your parents, it’s all highlighted here and amounts to pure schadenfreude. (That’s German for “pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune” — and a word only the Germans could have come up with.)
May I have your attention: We are good on commercials featuring robots. First there was Sprint, which featured some robots trying to come up with the idea of a good commercial, an idea equal parts ironic and meta. Then, while aforementioned Michelob had one of the best commercials of the game with their quiet salute to ASMR, they got sloppy with another weird spot that featured a bunch of robots who’ve successfully assimilated in society and also somehow get depressed. And if that weren’t enough, Turbotax (aside from being a company that reminds us that, barf, tax time is coming up) had an even more bizarre spot dubbed “RoboChild” which starred a depressed robot kid. This sad-robot phenomenon begs the question: Is there a Zoloft for robots?
Steve Carell! Cardi B! Lil Jon saying “OK!” What’s not to like?