Here’s our official ranking of the top 12 Super Bowl commercials. Why 12? No idea. In reverse order, with some additional thoughts from Kyle on select embeds, because he has to have an opinion on everything.
Honorable Mention: Nationwide
It’s shocking, out of nowhere, and made people angry, but Nationwide’s “Dead Kid” ad is easily the most talked-about ad of the game.
12) Discover Card – Surprise
This one pulls into the 12 spot just because it took the first 3/4ths of a commercial that we’ve all seen a thousand times and threw a new ending on it for the Super Bowl. I also just wanted to remark how weird it is that all the Discover card commercials feature a person on the phone with another person of the same sex and race. Every. One.
Kyle: Frog insurance? Fraud insurance.
11) Esurance – Sorta Greg
It’s not actually that great, but Bryan Cranston can act the shit out of a commercial.
10) Bud Light – #UpForWhatever
I don’t know if I’ll ever be convinced that all of these Bud Light commercials aren’t totally staged, but I’d be all about a game of life-sized Pac Man.
Kyle: Budweiser sent no less than 46 press releases about their commercials over the last month. Might post about it later. Here, this is about our vignettes, because our products suck.
9) Toyota – How Great Am I
One of many commercials showing someone who is cooler than you, better than you, and overcame larger obstacles than you. It either inspires of it makes you feel like total garbage, but man that Amy Purdy is sure impressive.
8) Microsoft – Braylon O’Neill
Yet another commercial showing someone with leg prostheses, but this one is a child. You know, to really make you feel inadequate and pull on your heart-strings.
Kyle: Eh. I’m not sure Microsoft could’ve made inspiring stories any less inspiring with that lame voiceover and horrible editing. GTA cut scenes are more moving.
7) Budweiser – Lost Dog
And now we’re bringing a sad, lost dog into the mix? Jesus. I cut half of the commercials out of contention and I don’t even think this one featured the saddest animal. It was all sad dads and bad dads and dead kids and lost dogs. What the hell, guys?
Kyle: Agreed. Low-hanging fruit. But I cried.
6) Avacados from Mexico – First Draft Ever
The concept of countries drafting which animals (and plants) they’ll have isn’t all that great, but it’s executed perfectly. Doug Flutie and Jerry Rice talking about “off-field issues” for a sloth is the greatest thing either of them has done in years. Plus, just look at how bad this damn polar bear wanted to be drafted by Mexico:
I can only assume the bear later texted the greater-Arctic Circle saying, “I wish you guys would come get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck the north together.”
Kyle: ISN’T ALL THAT GREAT? ARE YOU KIDDING? I need this for everything. EVERYTHING. Indigenous plants, people, cuisines, musicians and movie stars, alcoholic beverages, everything. Imagine a spot where Brazil tries to trade up for high-risk, high-ceiling Captain Phillips supporting actor Barkhad Abdi by sending Gisele and Caipirinhas to Somalia. Would this have changed the entire destiny of the African nation? I’d think so.
5) Esurance – Sorta Your Mom
For one thing, it’s nice to see Lindsay Lohan taking a few jabs at herself. Secondly, she looks surprisingly good even if she sounds like a 45-year-old whose smokes two packs a day for 20 years.
Kyle: You’re… not that far off on Lilo.
4) Dodge – Wisdom
Is there anything cooler than bad-ass old people? No. Badass old people rule.
Kyle: Terrible commercial. Here are a bunch of old people telling you to buy cool car (ostensibly). Yeah, that’ll sell the youth of the nation. Can’t wait until their next one with a special cameo from Bing Crosby showing off the car’s premium sound system.
3) Snickers – The Brady Bunch
These Snickers ads are getting kind of old, but this is the best one they’ve done yet. Danny Trejo yelling “Shut up” at Mr. Brady before burying an axe in the coffee table (to a laugh track) is just gold. Steve Buscemi’s “It never is!” just caps it all off.
2) BMW – Newfangled Idea
Major credit to Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric for mocking themselves for perhaps the dumbest they’ve ever looked (and one of the great TV artifacts of the early internet age). No matter the context, I’m always down for hearing Gumbel say “What is internet anyway?”
Kyle: I’m never down for hearing Bryant Gumbel asking Katie Couric to twerk. Uhhh.
1) Clash of Clans – Revenge
Look, I’m very surprised at all of these mobile apps getting big stars (and big money) for their commercials. Actually, they’re all games created by Finnish gaming company Supercell. That includes the Craig Robinson-starring “Hay Day” ads, those animated “Boom Beach” spots, and the Liam Neeson-led “Clash of Clans” ad above. How they make all of the money with these “free” games for these ads, I don’t know. What I do know, is that they nailed this. They pulled Liam Neeson into his Taken role while still being Liam Neeson, they wrote original stuff that didn’t take too much from the film’s Brian Mills, and they threw in a nice little joke about Starbucks messing up your name. It has it all. Plus this one (along with the Pierce Brosnan ad that just missed the cut) stand out in terms of direction and production value.
Kyle: They make money with in-app purchases, because they’re thieves. Then again, I’m the guy who paid $2.99 for the premium version of “Trivia Crack” and $1.99 more to refill replays. The joke’s on me.