There may be small pockets of people out there who well and truly love the pomp and circumstance of the Super Bowl, a football game that really only matters to two teams’ fan bases. Sure, some people just enjoy football for football’s sake. They’re called Texans. For everyone else, though, the Super Bowl isn’t the most important football game of the year, it’s the most important ad day of the year, the one day a year when companies pull out all the stops in the hopes of emerging victorious as the most talked about commercial on Game Day. Here are some of the best of 2016.
Some thought Snickers’ ode to one of the most iconic scenes in movie history was disrespectful. But those are the kind of people who just go looking for controversy, honestly. Willem Dafoe’s silly performance makes this new take on Snickers’ old catchphrase something really delightful.
Coca-Cola is really one of the perennial Super Bowl commercial favorites. They can go endearing or funny and typically meet with solid results. This year’s best commercial (one of the company’s many attempts this year) was a quick chase between Ant-Man and the Big Green Guy himself, the Incredible Hulk. Sure, it may have been shallow and predictable (and no wonder people are annoyed with superheroes if they’re causing rampant destruction over a soft drink), but you can’t deny the appeal of a little Paul Rudd.
3. The Prius 4
You have to tip your hat to the marketing team working for Prius. This year’s ad for the Prius 4 managed to be as informative as it was entertaining. The commercial depicted a bank robbery gone wrong after the thieves’ car is towed from the front of the bank (this is why you have a wheelman). Thankfully, a Prius is nearby, offering the thieves awesome gas mileage, maneuverability, yada yada yada. It’s both funny and really well done.
4. Jason Bourne
Not everything excellent is funny, right? Such was the case for the teaser trailer for Jason Bourne the Matt Damon actioner that’s set to premier this summer. The whole crew is back — including director Paul Greengrass — and working from a script from Damon and Greengrass. Yep, Matt Damon has finally helped write something else besides Good Will Hunting. Add to that the fact that Bourne’s last outing, 2007’s Bourne Ultimatum was easily one of the best action films of last decade and this is something to really look forward to.
5. The Quesalupa
Taco Bell’s commercial for its latest monstrosity, the Quesalupa, is showing up on a lot of people’s “best” lists. It’s a series of people talking about how cheese in the shell of a grade-D taco will be bigger than … and then a series of people chatting about the latest big trends. To cap it off, there’s a quick blip of George Takei cackling in a huge room covered with monitors for some reason. Takei is always welcome (watching him giggle is charming), and this is one of the cleverer entries this year.
6. Coca-Cola (again)
Coca-Cola’s second entry on the list is called, “Brotherly Love”. It shows a poor, goofy-looking little kid being abused by his older brother in a series of vignettes. Then, said dork is getting abused on a park bench until older brother swoops in and saves the Coke-related day. Then, it’s time for more brotherly abuse. It’s a quiet joke that’s funny for older siblings and a little too close to home for the younger siblings out there.
Okay, this one is probably funnier if you go ahead and get high beforehand, just like the father-to-be who chuckles his way through his future kid’s ultrasound while totally killing his munchies with a bag of Doritos. It seems, however, that the husband isn’t the only moron the poor pregnant lady will have to handle as her fetus is intent on getting itself some Doritos, even going so far as to … I’ll let it be a surprise.
It’s hard to call this one funny, but what’s not to like about a horde of dachshunds, long ears flapping in the breeze, tongues lolling excitedly, each one clad in a hot dog costume, running through a field to an entire team of people dressed as the various members of the Heinz condiment family. It’s freaking adorable, and if you don’t think so your heart is made of ice.
9. Hyundai Genesis
Admittedly, Hyundai’s commercial is a one-note gag. It stars Kevin Hart as an overprotective father using his new car’s locate feature to keep tabs on the little twerp who’s trying to woo his daughter. It’s basically just Hart following the couple around and menacing the poor kid from the shadows with silly, threatening faces. Yep, on paper, it’s a one-note gag, but when your star is one of the funniest people on the planet (and a grand master of the silly face), what you get is something really special.
10. Captain America: Civil War
Another teaser for a summer juggernaut, last night saw an extended look at Captain America: Civil War. It still didn’t reveal much of the plot, but we did get a closer look at the two sides of the civil war, which is shaping up to be a battle for the ages. It remains to be seen how the already promised Spider-Man will factor into the plot, but seeing the prominent inclusion of both Ant-Man and the Black Panther is pretty exciting to fans of the MCU.
Looking back at his recent international Miss Universe gaff (in which he read the name of the wrong contestant when it came time to announce the winner), Steve Harvey is shilling for T-Mobile, making sure to read the right thing this time and coming up thrilled at the fact that someone else made a mistake. And yet … quick: name this year’s Miss Universe. And yet Steve Harvey just got a deal as a pitch man on the biggest commercial day of the year. Who’s the real winner, here?
12. Avos In Space
This silly commercial for avocados sees a host of cleverly designed aliens walking through a museum of humanity; features include a Rubix cube, airplane seats (“a torture device”), and even Scott Baio. The centerpiece of the museum, however, is a fresh avocado tree. The jokes are clean, but cute, and who can be mad about an ad that spreads the word of how freaking delicious avocados are?
And finally, Key and Peele hyping squarespace.com as fake sports commentators living out their dreams. It’s basically a super short Key and Peele sketch; what could possibly be bad about that?
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