THE 2013 SUPER BOWL AD AWARDS
Let's get the Negatives out of the way:
WORST SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Bar Rafaelli and Generic Nerd Kiss - GoDaddy.com
I never expect anything good out of a GoDaddy.com ad, but this was just awful. What makes this universally panned commercial so terrible is not the fact that a shlubby nerd is getting a make-out session with the gorgeous model Bar Rafaelli, but the disgusting sound effect of said make-out. Whether it was an effect added afterwards or live recording, it was just unpleasant.
ODDEST SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Come On, Get Hoppy, 'Mon - Volkswagen
The elements of this commercial ultimately seemed like something that came out of the fake writers' room on 30 Rock. A completely white-bread guy speaks with a Rastafarian accent telling all in his office to "Get Hoppy, 'Mon" all while the strains of an island version of The Partridge Family theme song play in the background. And yet it's not an ad for Red Stripe Beer or a Caribbean Cruise! It's an ad for the German-made Volkswagen! Everyone at my Super Bowl party was just befuddled. Even the people in the ad are befuddled!
MOST POLARIZING SUPER BOWL AD 2013
And God Made the Farmer - Dodge RAM
Every year there is always one ad that gets completely opposite reactions from the public. This year, the Dodge RAM ad has that distinction. Some people really loved it and others really hated it. I tend to fall more in the latter category (though "hated" may be a bit strong!). What people loved was the message the first minute and half of this commercial had (that whole "God saw that the land needed tending and so the Farmer was created" thing!). While that message is fine on its own, inspirational and even patriotic, the pay-off of the ad was just disappointing. Even if I knew going into the ad that it was nothing more than a car commercial, I still would have wanted more from the people at Dodge than just a prompt to "Join the Movement at Dodge.com" (Whatever the hell that means!). It would have been much better if the ad had ended with their new Dodge RAM and a promise from the company to donate a percentage of the proceeds to a Farmers' Aid Organization (like Farm Aid!). But no, they had to be ambiguous and just show off their new truck and use the equivalent of emotional blackmail to make consumers love the ad (seriously, go into a chat room and say something negative about this ad and it will not go over well!).
Now on with the good ones:
BEST SUPER BOWL MOVIE TRAILER 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness (May 17, Paramount Pictures)
Of all the movie trailers that were aired on Sunday, this one teasing the awaited sequel to J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek reboot made geeks everywhere squee with delight! And I am especially looking forward to what seems like a tour-de-force performance from Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch.
BEST SUPER BOWL TIE-IN 2013
Joe Montana Miracle Stain - Tide
The ad is fairly self-explanatory and I don't want to spoil the ending for those who missed it! Suffice it to say it was a great way to honor one of the most famous San Francisco 49ers and yet throw in a zinger.
BEST USE OF MUSIC IN A SUPER BOWL AD 2013
I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - M&Ms
Hilarious for the annoying Red M&M to sing MeatLoaf's impassioned '90s power-ballad to Glee star Naya Rivera...and then subject us to all the things the little guy won't do for love.
BEST CELEBRITY PERFORMANCE IN A SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Amy Poehler - Best Buy
There were celebrities abound in this year's Super Bowl ads (Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Stevie Wonder, Zoe Saldana, Kaley Cuoco, Willem Dafoe and many more!). But the celebrity that shined the most was Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler in this hilarious Best Buy ad with all her questions for this young (and oft-confused!) clerk. She proves why she is one of the most hilarious women on Television.
FUNNIEST SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Goat 4 Sale - Doritos
Doritos always tend to bring the funny when it comes to their Super Bowl ads (and this year they had two, see the Honorable Mentions below!). This one that aired during the first quarter was just hilarious and made everyone at my Super Bowl party ROTFL! (Yeah I know, I hate Text-speak too...but here it's appropriate!)
CLEVEREST SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Library Whisper Fight - Oreos
While Doritos get my praise for being hilarious, its Oreos that get my kudos for being clever. Here, Oreos called upon a joke from a classic Super Bowl ad and gave it a great twist. By setting it in a Library, the whispering caught the audience's attention especially when juxtaposed against the chaos created by the Cookies vs. Cream fight.
BEST OVERALL SUPER BOWL AD 2013
Clydesdale and Trainer - Budweiser
It seems like anytime the people over at Anheuser-Busch do one of their popular Clydesdale ads, the quality goes up by like 11! This one (which seems like a cute parody of the central relationship in Steven Spielberg's War Horse) was poignant, clever, touching and even a little humorous. It was smart to use Stevie Nicks' classic "Landslide" as the background music (that's the touching part!). It makes me want to run out and pet a Clydesdale. This ad was a surefire winner!
DISHONORABLE MENTIONS (so dishonorable, they don't get links!)
Coca-Cola - The Chase (insipid and full of doofy stereotypes...but in the bad way!)
Subway - Mispronouncing FebruANY (who the hell cares if certain athletes can't pronounce a MADE-UP WORD!!!)
Union Bank - Maya Angelou (similar problem to the Dodge RAM ad, yet a little more offensive to use someone so profound - and talking about profound things! - to promote a bank!)