Whether you're a Seahawks fan, a Patriots fan or just a fan of bingeing on Doritos and beer on a Sunday afternoon, we all know what the Super Bowl is really about.
Even if you're not in the market for a mid-sized pickup, a new MMORPG gaming platform or life insurance, the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of televised advertising, reaching the largest broadcast audience of the year — and charging $4.5 million per 30-second spot for the privilege. Despite millions of dollars and countless man-hours spent on these spots, only a select few rank as the best commercials of the game.
Toyota's Super Bowl spot shattered stereotypes about women and athletes with disabilities with its use of Amy Purdy as its newest spokesperson. The ad, titled "How Great I Am," showcases the accomplishments of Purdy, a Paralympic athlete who won a bronze medal in snowboarding at the Sochi Paralympics and was a finalist in Dancing With the Stars. Elegant and powerful, Purdy's a smart choice for a car company hoping for those qualities to rub off on their new two-door.
In an age of online bullying, "The Fappening" and the YouTube comments section, this commercial gave anyone who's been on the receiving end of a nasty tweet a case of the feels. Coca-Cola also launched a social media campaign encouraging people to respond to negative tweets with #MakeItHappy. Whether this catches on as a defense against trollery remains to be seen, but it does have more than a few people thinking about how the Genius Bar folks will respond to Coke-related computer damage.
This guy loses his dog every damn year. Fortunately, the Clydesdales are there to rescue him. We're still unclear about the connection between beer and draft horses, but it's a strategy that seems to be working for Budweiser — the Clydesdales have appeared in 23 Super Bowl commercials commercials since 1986.
Reviving its tagline, "You're not you when you're hungry," the candy bar's spot replaces classic '60s girl-next-door Marcia Brady with Danny Trejo, the actor perhaps best known for killing lots of people with improbable objects in films like Machete and Machete Kills. The scene: The Brady living room immediately after the iconic Brady Bunch moment when Marcia ("Marcia Marcia!") was hit in the face with a football.
Using "You ____ like a girl!" as an insult to women everywhere — even your sister. This spot from Always show how damaging stereotypes about women can be, and how important it is to instill confidence in young women. "In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand," said Lauren Greenfield, the commercial's director. "When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women."
In the era of Too Many Cooks, Loctite's dadaist commercial put some fun back into a Super Bowl dominated by depressing, faux-moral commercials. "Loctite saved our marriage." And the Super Bowl.
And an honorary worst: Nationwide
This commercial's message? "Buy Nationwide. Or else your child will be crushed by a television. Now back to the game!"