12 Superbowl ads, reviewed

It’s the Monday after the Super Bowl and I am writing about what’s usually the best part of the Super Bowl, namely, the commercials! (or, if you’re in Britain, the ‘ads’.) Only 12 here…more to come if I have the time to write about them.

1 . Weiner stampede

Starting off on a strong foot. Heinz’s dachshunds-dressed-as-hotdogs (the rhythm of which is reminiscent of Jackie, Dressed in Cobras) rush towards humans-dressed-as-condiments, with light ballad in the background.

Cute factor: significant.

Coherence: typical for the Super Bowl; that is, not much.

Grade: A –


2. We don’t make Jeep. You do.

Earnest piano solo, over which plays a slightly amateurish slideshow of black-and-white photos of various people, including some celebrities, and a few Jeeps (which it was advertising). ‘We don’t make Jeep. You do.’ at the end.

Length: too long!

Nostalgia factor: high if you’ve ever owned a Jeep, because they’re great.

Grade: C


3. ‘merican workers

THAT’S RIGHT. THEY DON’T OUTSOURCE ANYTHING. (The NYer described this commercial’s “uplifting jingoism” which is a bit harsh but whatever.) Also, WTF is ‘WeatherTech’? I have been away from ‘merica long enough to have no idea what it is.

Feel-good factor: high.

Racial representation: surprisingly good.

Grade: B –


4. Super Bowl Babies

Awww what the hell is this nonsense? Cute kids singing…about their own conception?  Can I just say: given the amount of beer and bean-and-cheese-related items most heterosexual couples have consumed during any given Super Bowl, I am astounded that these kids exist at all.  Basically this is a Seal music video, not a commercial.

Cute factor: mild, before you remember this is just weird.


Grade: D + (I’m not failing it because hey, getting all those kids together is impressive.)


5. Avocados

Personally, I don’t think that avocados need their own commercial. They are vegetables, people. And Americans especially don’t need help reminding that they eat things perpetually out of season. BUT I DIGRESS.  This commercial was a bit of sci-fi hilarity: aliens are walking around the ‘museum of Earth’.  I especially cracked up at the ‘They had chia pets, just like we do’ and ‘this is the dress (blue and black??) that caused a civil war.’ Also, a winning slapstick Doctor Who reference at the end.

Diversity factor: all sorts of alien (though mostly quite humanoid) life forms!

Hilarity: yeah it was funny, in a self-referential, internet-obsessed kind of way.

Grade: A


6. Get a mortgage…with your phone?

Um, I was unsure about this one. A mix up of Edward Scissorhands, Cabaret, The Magician’s Apprentice and an IKEA showroom. Selling…mortgages? Huh.

Dystopia factor: high, plus everyone is completely hooked into their phones already, so.

Background music: lamentable muzak/rock beat.

Grade: C



Puppymonkeybaby is basically my idea of a hashtag gone #soveryverywrong. Make that, the English language gone so very, very wrong. The concept of this ‘Mountain Dew Kickstart: Dew, [Grapefruit] Juice, and Caffeine’ is also WRONG. It reminds me of going to the pizzeria as a child, going up to the pop machine with all your friends and putting a little of each drink in one of those dubious red plastic cups. This combination was called ‘a suicide’ and was the adolescent virgin equivalent of a Long Island Iced Tea. JUST NO.

Weird factor: THERE IS A CREATURE THAT IS PART PUPPY, PART MONKEY, PART BABY dancing around, followed by three grown men.

Tastebud effect: death.

Surreal-ness and Catchiness: unfortunately, I think, quite high.

Grade: C-


8.  Masculinitysofragile

Budweiser continues its attempts at reifying American DudeBro Masculinity. “Not Ponies. Not a Hobby. Not Small. Not Sipped. Not Soft. Not Imported. Not A Fruit Cup. Not Following. Not For Everyone. Not Backing Down.”   I mean, to be fair, that’s kind of the Super Bowl in a nutshell.

Just so tired of Teh Men!!1!  factor: high.

Cinematography: actually very impressive.

Grade: B –


9. Queen Helen of Fuckinfantastica?

Aaaaaand then Budweiser tried to appeal to the classier of the species by featuring Helen Mirren, who (yeah right) drinks Budweiser in posh restaurants, in a very clipped accent berating people who drive drunk.  And there’s an in-joke about Americans liking our beer cold (as opposed to the Brits who drink room-temperature ale).

Oh no she di-int factor: ‘If your brain was donated to science, science would return it.’

But why does Bud get so many ads? factor: yeah, exactly. But it’s a good message, this one.

Grade: B


10. Granny’s doing yoga

People doing impressive things with their bodies probably gonna need painkillers. Liiiike…Advil!

Impressive footage factor: high

Big Pharma factory: unfortunately high indeed

Grade: D –


11. ‘Sweetheart, don’t look at me like that’.

Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe. Is there anything else more perfect in the universe? It’s nice to see Snickers’ usual  ‘Hangry = Diva’ schtick making use of a male diva.


The (hanger) struggle is real effect: high

Grade: A –


12. Women playing football

Well, at least these Victoria Secret model have football gear on as they sultrily sway. Clearly the ‘Football is for hot girls, too, right??!’ ad of the night.

Sexy factor: medium.

Sexism factor: Women playing football with a significant does of male gaze.

Grade: C +


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