Saturday, August 18, 2018
Super Bowl commercials

Super Bowl Commercials Were Poignant, Funny and, um, Dirty

As I write this, I’m munching on my Super Bowl snacks — wings (from Buffalo Wild Wings, of course) and  G.H. Cretors Popped Corn — oh my god this is so good, especially when you combine the carmel and the cheese flavors. But I digress.

I’ve already sat through 50 Super Bowl commercials and the game isn’t even over yet (most of these 50 were before the half too). However, while there are some standouts, and I’ll get to those in a minute, I can honestly say that overall I was underwhelmed with the Super Bowl commercial. These commercials cost the brand more than $5 million! They reached an audience of probably over 100 million viewers! Yet, there weren’t as many that stood out to me.

In the first half, there were well-done poignant commercials by Toyota for the Paralympics and the Olympics and if they don’t make you want to watch both games, then check your soul.

Some commercials simply faked you out. The Sprint commercial that started out looking like a Verizon commercial was both creepy and amusing.

Of course, the Bud Light “Dilly Dilly” commercials keep grabbing our attention, although I didn’t find this edition as amusing as past ones.

Believe it or not, it was Danny DeVito as the red M&M that made me laugh first:

Peter Dinklage rapping in a Doritos commercial against Morgan Freeman’s Mountain Dew? Classic. Soccer superstar Ronaldo playing football and heading the ball into the uprights? Great job Optimum.

I loved the commercials that focused on saving communities, working together and celebrating diversity. Ram Truck, Verizon and Coca-Cola deserve props for these feel-good commercials. Hats off to Budweiser for their commercial about turning their beer into water to send to Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico:

 

Super Bowl commercials also included promos for Hulu’s Jack Ryan and Castle RockNBC’s The Voice, HBO’s Westworld, and NBC’s Rise and Good GirlsWe saw trailers for Skyscraper starring Dwayne Johnson, Tom Cruise’s next installment of Mission Impossible: Fallout, Marvel’s Infinity War, and Star Wars: Solo.

So which Super Bowl commercials stood out to me?

Let’s start with Tide. Every time I thought it was a commercial for something else, including Old Spice (Can we please bring the Old Spice guy back again!? Those commercials were awesome.), they faked us out and it was a Tide commercial. I was so excited that I saw a Clysdale too and, psych! A Tide commercial. Well done Tide. Well done.

One Super Bowl commercial that gets my standing ovation almost started out as my ‘WTF’ choice. Eli Manning, the quarterback of the New York Giants, was given to us in bits and pieces, with commercials that looked like they were almost cut off to get back to the game. When the final segment of the commercial hit, we watched Eli Manning and Odell Beckham dance to “Time of My Life,’ with the lift and all! It was hysterical and was an ode to future touchdowns in the NFL.

In the fourth quarter, another side-splitting commercial was for Alexa, who lost her voice and was replaced by superstars Rebel Wilson, Gordon Ramsay and the legendary Anthony Hopkins. Great commercial.

Honorable mentions go to Steven Tyler’s Stinger commercial where he drives back in time to a younger version of his self; and to Cure Insurance, who zinged Geico and Progressive with “They both suck.”

I know brands have our attention, but I do not like commercials that say “go to the internet to see the rest of the commercial.” It was great to have Keanu Reeves in a Squarespace commercial, but then they want us to go to the website for more. I want my Super Bowl commercials over during the Super Bowl. Don’t make me remember to go to the web. Don’t make me take another step to be impressed with your product.

Keeping track of the number of commercials we all sat through it was around 80. Eighty!

The game was impressive and Justin Timberlake’s halftime show was super fun. Considering that the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots put on a great game, there was a great halftime show and the Super Bowl commercials weren’t all that bad, I say that Super Bowl LII gets an A all the way around.

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available: https://www.amazon.com/Location-Film-Lovers-Travel-Guide/dp/149303085X

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