11 MOAR Super Bowl ads, reviewed

More commercials!


1. Rihanna promo

So…this is not a Super Bowl commercial, strictly speaking. But I’m starting off this post with it because Colbert! I started off doubtful, especially that bit where Rihanna’s oh-so-high-heels weren’t sinking in to the (clearly green-screened) football stadium astroturf. But then STEPHEN COLBERT showed up as the ref and since he can do no wrong, I = happy.

Colbert Report: I am America (And So Can You!)

Validity: Nil: Not actually debuted during the Super Bowl

Grade: n/a, but aren’t you glad I included it?


2. The Hulk vs Ant Man

It’s like a comic book waiting to happen. (Has it already happened?) Two Superheroes duel over Coca-Cola, providing that it is just as addictive as the drug that gave it its name. Also: superhero (b)romance moment: ‘You have the greenest eyes…’ . Decent special effects. A bit too ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’, IMHO.

Nerd points: many

Feel good factor: notable

Grade: B +


3. Man buns

I cannot be the only person in the world who hears ‘man buns’ and does not think of the kind that sit on top of hipsters’ heads, can I?

Sorry, Taco Bell. Your addictively delicious spanglish Quesalupas might be great, but I don’t think you’re gonna top man buns. Or Tinder, or that Texas Lawyer Dude, or Drones, or Driverless Cars, or Virtual Reality, the Mars Landing, Aliens, James Harden’s Beard, skateboard-why-they-call-those-hoverboard thingies (What are they??), or Football (even ‘REAL FOOTBALL’ OH SNAP OH SNAP). Or anything else.

Clever wordplay making a 1.30 minute commercial seem  much shorter than it is: impressive

Self-referential internet humor factor: tedious.

Grade: B –


4. Those three little words every woman loves to hear:

All day breakfast‘. McDonalds tries to write a Dr Seuss poem about it, basically.

Poetic form: reasonable effort

Health factor: This is McDonalds, right?

Grade: C +


5. The Grand Budapest Terminator

AHHHNOLD. Is he doing the voice of the main character of this video game or something? This was an appropriately brief commercial which was basically an action film with shades of Wes Anderson. I can cope with that.

Explosions: MANY.  (Also, tanks: one).

Length / pacing: Superlative.

Grade: B


6. Dan and Alec laugh at themselves, Jason Schwartzman has long hair/

If I had a nickel for every time a computer-interface had a sexy name like ‘Alexa’ and a woman’s voice — thereby reinforcing the notion of women as subservient, manipulable objects — I’d be rich. The tit-for-tat between Dan Marino and Alec Baldwin was proper banter, though, innit. Also, Missy Elliot, you’re not Beyonce but I heart you.

Sci-fi points: Rich dudes gonnna have fancy house shit.

Amazon points: negatory honcho, Amazon = not great.

Grade: C


7. So…Butterfingers are…bold, right?

Some Super Bowl commercials are just inane. They probably get slotted in at the ‘most likely to go use the bathroom’ points in the game. This is one of them.  (The plot of this commercial: Cowboy paratrooper eats candy.)


Repetition of the same word: too many times

Grade: D –


8. Prius car chase

Dear Toyota, you’re just not going to convince all of America that the Prius is cool. It’s sensible, fairly environmentally friendly, and perhaps someday will be within Americans’ budgets; it is not a Bond car. Over and out.

Hilarious piss-take of middle-class appropriation of Buddhism factor: successful!

Realistic bank robbers factor: zero

Grade: B


9. Win from within

Right. A Gatorade commercial that does not involve Super Bowl footage of a tank of Gatorade being poured over winning team members’ or coaches heads is, in my opinion, deficient. This one is all ‘motivational video definitely shot so it could potentially be meaningful if the underdog wins this football game’.

Drenchage factor: inexcusable lack of Gatorade drenchage!

Voice-over quality factor: this dude should do film trailers, particularly ones that begin with ‘in a world…’

Grade: B –


10.  DOGS

Lots of Americans are obsessed with dogs. This commercial combines middle-class aspirations with cute yellow labradors, and appeals mostly to exhausted (middle-class) parents who resort to driving around in the middle of the night in the hopes their DEMON SPAWN WILL GO THE F**K TO SLEEP.

But there’s a puppy! factor: Awwwww

Inoffensive/bland background music: puppy lullaby

Grade: B + (I’m a sucker for puppies)


11. Owwwwwww

Doritos takes the gutsy move of making their Super Bowl commercial with that most female of themes: pregnancy! But wait for it… Oh, Right. The baby leaps out of the womb to the get the Dorito the man’s munching on annoyingly during the ultrasound. Because men aren’t the ones that cause problems; women dealing with men are the ones who cause problems.

Bob Wehadababyitsaboy factor: who cares? that baby LOVES DORITOS

Horrified ultrasound tech face: priceless

Grade: C –


12. Just gonna leave this here: it was better than all the commercials combined.

Grade: Beyoncé has no use for your silly grades.



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