Every year, nearly 110 million Americans grab an ice cold beverage, pop a squat on the nearest seat, and watch one of America’s biggest spectacles —- the Super Bowl. The lucky Sunday of the year that gets to host such an event is often regarded as an unofficial national holiday, much like baseball’s Opening Day. It is hard to deny the presence of such an event when over a third of the entire country watches it. That being said, the Super Bowl is clearly an important piece of American culture. People throw parties, place bets, and eagerly wait in anticipation as football’s best two teams face off on the biggest stage in sports.
Although many people who watch the game get excited for the hard hits, tremendous throws, and incredible athletic feats, many viewers also get excited for the entertainment that accompanies the on-field action. In a capitalist economy where advertisements play a key role in marketing, many rich and well-known companies pay millions of dollars for only a moment’s worth of advertisement on Super Bowl Sunday. The game was broadcasted live by CBS Television, which took advantage of the high demand for air-time and charged companies a steep rate of $5 million per thirty seconds. If you take the cost for a one second commercial and divide it by the number of people who watched this year’s Super Bowl —- 111.9 million —you’ll find that it costed companies around $1500 to put their product in front of a single individual’s eyes for just one second.
However, viewers don’t see the advertisements as an annoyance, but rather a part of the entertainment. Super Bowl commercials are known for being the funniest and most unusual commercials companies will show in a given year. Below is a ranking of the 10 most stand-out commercials of this year’s Super Bowl.
Coming in at number 10 is Death Wish Coffee. You wouldn’t necessarily think this was a coffee commercial from the start. The brilliant speech given by the captain of the ship makes the commercial look like a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean, but it is actually a large rush of coffee flowing into the mouth of man who wants nothing more than an ole cup of Joe. An awe inspiring story.
Earning ninth place is Heinz’s “Weiner Stampede.” In this winner of a commercial, a group of weiner dogs dressed in hot dog costumes elegantly run through a field of grass in slow motion. The cute scenery won over the hearts of many, but what really made the commercial amazing was when the hot dogs became reunited with humans dressed as bottles of ketchup and mustard. It was a heart-warming representation of the traditional American meal of hot dogs and Heinz products.
Doritos is well known for producing some of the best Super Bowl commercials year in and year out, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this one cracks our top ten list at number eight. In this commercial, a group of “Doritos Dogs” work tirelessly to sneak into the local store and snag a bag of Doritos chips. After many failed attempts, the dogs resort to coming together and dressing as a person, sneaking into the store, and walking away with their delicious chips.
Seventh place goes to Avocados From Mexico. A group of hideous looking aliens are touring a futuristic museum in outer space. The catch: the museum is a representation of human culture, where a Rubik’s cube, a crowded airplane, and the blue/gold dress make a guest appearance. At the end of the museum is an avocado tree from Mexico, which supposedly the aliens have kept well-nurtured. The tour guide mentions that avocado trees are in season year round, and that the best avocados are from Mexico!
Recently, Mountain Dew has produced some of the oddest commercials, and this one is no exception. In this sixth place Super Bowl ad, a group of friends are hanging out on a couch when an unusual creature with the head of a puppy, torso of a monkey, and legs of a baby comes strolling up singing, “PuppyMonkeyBaby, PuppyMonkeyBaby, PuppyMonkeyBaby.”
Doritos is at it again, and takes home the fifth place trophy. A soon-to-be-mother is getting an ultrasound while her nearby husband is munching on a tasty bag of Doritos chips. The father notices that wherever he moves the chip, the baby follows suit in the mother’s stomach. The wife fails to realize this, steals one of the chips, and throws it across the room. Let’s just say she went from soon-to-be mother to mother in a matter of moments.
In this serious Budweiser commercial that just missed cracking the top three, Helen Mirren is enjoying dinner at a restaurant while insulting the idea of drinking and driving. She suggests, “If you drive drunk, you, simply put, are a short-sighted utterly useless oxygen-wasting human form of pollution.” She then continues to talk about how people who don’t drink and drive make society better off.
Let’s face it, a Prius is not the fastest or coolest car on the market. However, its commercial was cool enough to snatch third place. Even though the Prius provides amazing environmental benefits, it gets the unfair stereotype of being one of the least desirable cars on the market — especially for getaways. A group of bank robbers are looking for a getaway car, and find themselves outrunning cop cars and helicopters in their newly stolen Prius. Throughout the commercial, snobby pokes are made at a Prius’ inability to reach high velocities and the unfortunate lack of pride held by Prius owners.
As much as I prefer listening to other artists, the T-Mobile commercial that features Drake was clever enough to warrant the second ranking on this list. While Drake is performing his popular “Hotline Bling,” a group of mobile carrier representatives try to change some of the lyrics to read more like what you see in the fine print of a contract. An enthusiastic Drake is on board with all of the atrocious changes, even letting the representatives into the music video. The idea: “Other wireless carriers ruin everything.”
T-Mobile did an amazing job this year, taking home both the first and second place trophies. We’ve all seen the exact same Verizon commercial with the different colored balls over and over again. Apparently, T-Mobile got just as tired of Verizon ripping on them as we did. What starts off looking like the beginning of the Verizon commercial with rolling colored balls being used to represent the differences between Verizon and competing mobile carriers is actually an opportunity for Steve Harvey to make a guest appearance. This commercial pokes fun at his recent blunder during the Miss Universe Pageant. In the words of Steve himself, “I’m not taking responsibility for this one! Oh-no! Verizon got it wrong. Yes! Not me!”
Though the game was entertaining in every aspect — the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 —- and Beyonce and Bruno Mars helped save the halftime show, the commercials as a whole were sup par. Overall, I give them a B-. Although some pretty hilarious commercials kept many Americans from taking bathroom breaks, such commercials seemed to be scarce this year. That being said, now we have to turn the page and hope that Super Bowl 51 will give us some better material.