This year's Super Bowl commercials -- the tradition mix of hyper-expensive cars, beer, snack food and, now, crypto advertisements, many featuring household names -- seemed to collectively continue last year’s trend of saying “everything’s back to normal now” without really saying it. We know how that turned out. Given that I rarely watch commercials -- I'm a Millennial, you know -- I'm happy to report that I did have quite a few serious favorites. In fact, there were enough to make a Top Ten list. So here they are (in reverse order to heighten the suspense).
10. Uber Don’t Eats -- The popular food delivery service Uber Eats promoted its decision to also deliver non-food products through its same app with a montage of various customers eating a bunch of obviously inedible products because they arrived in an Uber Eats bag. Among the gobblers were celebrities Jennifer Coolidge, Trevor Noah and Gwyneth Paltrow, who stole the show eating a candle that read, "This smells like my va …" Her thumb covers the rest of the word, but if you know anything about Paltrow, you got it.
9. Crypto.com -- Cryptocurrency has been all the rage lately, and one company proved it by spending a decent amount of it to put present-day Lebron James and 2003 Lebron James in the same room. King James gives his younger self insight into his future, warning him that fortune favors the bold. Not a bad way to spend a bitcoin.
8. NFL’s "Bring Down the House" -- As usual, the NFL wasn’t going to leave itself out of the annual ad frenzy and cooked up a few of their own, one of which looked as wholesome as did expensive. It features some kids being left with grandma while the parents are out, and their football video game characters jumping out of the screen and playing with them in real life (trashing the house in the process). It is cleanly animated and composited together, and genuinely brought a grin to my chin, like I’d just seen a fraction of a Pixar movie. Plus, I was a kid once, and the mess looked all too familiar.
7. Amazon’s "Mind Reader" Spot -- Celebrity super-couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost star in an SNL-worthy commercial about what it would be like if Alexa could actually read your mind. It’s mostly just the two of them going tit-for-tat throwing shade via Alexa’s voice, whether it be Scarjo hating Jost’s boring kitchen stories or Jost being willing to fake his own death to avoid what appears to be a one woman show Scarlett is planning. As per the usual with Amazon’s commercials as of late, this one hits all the right notes.
6. Cutwater Spirits "Here’s to the Lazy Ones" -- A lesser-known company, Cutwater Spirits, decided to push their line of canned premade cocktails by creating an ode to the innovators we all deemed "the lazy ones." This is a hilarious commercial that features such laziness as placing a beer cooler on a skateboard and kicking it over to a friend, using your sprinklers to wash your car, and, my favorite, using an icicle for your drink because you’re too lazy to walk to the ice. Finally, lazy gets the praise it deserves.
5. Rocket Mortgage "Dream House" -- Rocket Mortgage did one of my favorite things -- it took a popular toy and gave it grown up problems. Anna Kendrick and Barbie star in what appears to be a commercial for a Barbie Dream House but turns out to be a commercial for how Rocket Mortgage helped Barbie find and finance her home. The whole thing is over-the-top and silly in some of the best ways, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank goodness they were there to defend Barbie from Better Offer Betty and Cash Offer Carl.
4. Pringles "Stuck" -- Nobody does a ridiculous ad like a chip company, and the standout this year was Pringles. Their entry into the Super Bowl ad-a-thon was a story of a teenager who gets his hand stuck in a Pringles can during a party and then proceeds to just live his life with his hand in the can. The can catches some young lady’s eye, and they begin a whirlwind romance that turns into them getting married, having a family and growing old together. At the old man’s funeral, a completely different kid gets his hand stuck in a Pringles can. Funny and with feels.
3. Planters "Feed the Debate" -- I am a sucker for the right kind of nostalgia, and anything from Dan Harmon’s Community is the exact right kind of throwback for me. This one features Greendale Alumni Dr. Ken Jeong and Joel McHale sitting at a bar arguing over how to eat mixed nuts. Dr. Ken posts their debate online, which causes the entire world to go into a disagreement frenzy, which begs McHale to ask in a very Jeff-like manner, "Who knew the world would tear itself apart over a relatively minor difference of opinion?" Yeah, Jeff, er, Joel … who knew?
2. FTX Crypto "Don’t Be Like Larry" -- This magnificent ad featured a king of comedy, Mr. Larry David himself, bouncing from time period to time period as different incarnations of himself that didn’t see the appeal of any of the major advancements in society’s history. He scoffs at the invention of the wheel, tells Edison he wasted his time with the light bulb, and straight up tries to tear up the constitution when he realizes that everyone would be able to vote -- even the idiots. Then he turns on crypto.
1. GM's "#EVerybodyIn" -- My absolute favorite Super Bowl ad of the year is this nostalgia-filled masterpiece from General Motors, in which we are reunited not only with a perfect present-day Dr. Evil (pictured at top) but also Rob Lowe as Young Number Two, Mindy Sterling as Frau and Seth Green as Scott Evil. They bring back some old bits, and honestly give me hope that this “being the good guy so I can later be the bad guy” schtick is actually a doable thing. Maybe we could get a new movie. Hey, I can dream, can't I? This spot let me do exactly that, so … No. 1!
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