The Best (and worst) Super Bowl Commercials of 2012 – Super Bowl XLVI Commercial Roundup
We heard the other day how you're more likely to get a bladder infection during the Super Bowl than any other sporting event: Because people want to watch the game, the halftime show, AND the commercials.
And Super Bowl 46 showed why: The game was exciting, the commercials delivered all game long, and Madonna still had the goods.
For the ads, there were all the usual themes: Beer, scantily-clad women, dogs, cars, dogs in cars. But there were enough new variations to make things interesting. And even though a lot of the big ads were online before the game, there were still surprises.
This isn't in any order, but here are our favorites, other winners, and some that just didn't work.
Just My Shell (M&M's)
What's funnier than a naked M&M? Gotta love those little chocolaty treats....in all their glory.
Watch the "Just My Shell M&M's Super Bowl commercial:
A Dream Car. For Real Life (Kia)
A lot of people really liked the Kia Optima ad, where the Sandman elf dumps too much magic dust on the guy who's dreaming, and he has an incredibly macho dream with all his male fantasies rolled together.
He's driving on a NASCAR track in front of tons of hot chicks in bikinis, Adriana Lima is waving the checkered flag, Motley Crue is playing "Kickstart My Heart", and Chuck Liddell makes a guy's head explode in an MMA fight.
There's also a rodeo dude riding a rhino, and two lumberjacks sawing a giant hoagie. It came late in the game, but it's great when a commercial makes fun of all the clichés the other commercials rely on.
Watch the Kia "A Dream Car. For Real Life" Super Bowl commercial:
The Dog Strikes Back (Volkswagen)
The other great car commercial we loved was the Volkswagen one, where the chubby dog has to lose weight to chase cars. But it was actually two commercials in one, so it segued into a parody of the Creature Cantina in "Star Wars".
Darth Vader had to choke a guy who liked the dog ad BETTER than the ad from LAST year . . . where the kid dressed as Vader used the Force to start his dad's car.
Watch the Volkswagen "The Dog Strikes Back" Super Bowl commercial:
"Weego" The Rescue Dog (Bud Light)
In terms of one brand really dominating, you have to go with Bud. They had a great balance between the serious and the stupid. There were two standouts: The one that took you through all the decades of fads and music since prohibition, And the Bud Light one with the dog named "Weego" who ran around getting beers whenever anyone said the Bud Light catchphrase, "Here We Go".
Watch the Bud Light "Weego" The Rescue Dog Super Bowl commercial:
Another good Bud ad only aired in Canada: They staged a flash mob at an amateur ice hockey game, and had a ton of super-fans come in to cheer for a bunch of guys who weren't expecting it:
Watch the Budweiser "Flash Fans" Super Bowl commercial:
Man's Best Friend (Doritos)
Doritos nailed it for yet another year too. Some people liked the one where the Great Dane kills a local cat, then used Doritos to bribe his owner not to talk about it.
Watch the "Man's Best Friend" Great Dane Doritos Super Bowl Commercial:
Other people liked the slightly less morbid one, where the grandmother uses the baby like a slingshot to grab a bag of chips from a greedy kid.
Watch the "Sling Baby" Doritos Super Bowl commercial:
Happy Graduate (Chevy)
We liked the Chevy ad, where the kid graduating THOUGHT he'd gotten a car as a present and flipped out.
Watch the "Happy Grad" Chevy Super Bowl commercial:
Stunt Anthem (Chevy)
There was also the stunt-filled Chevy Sonic ad, featuring yet another super-creative Ok Go.
Watch the "Stunt Anthem" Chevy Sonic Super Bowl commercial:
Monkey Business (Career Builder)
And since we're immature, we loved the Caeerbuilder.com ad where the chimps ruined the guy's business trip.
Watch the "Monkey Business" Super Bowl commerical:
We also liked the GE ad about the turbines used in beer-making, and the Best Buy ad about the guys who invented Instagram and Words With Friends. In the middle of all the stupidity, it's cool to see the real human beings behind the stuff we use every day.
Car companies have always dominated the Super Bowl, except for a small dip during the height of the dot com bubble. This year they REALLY dominated, and led with the best commercials. Specifically:
Matthew's Day Off (Honda)
There was the one where Matthew Broderick basically recreated "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" for the Honda CRV. That one made the news last week when they teased it.
Watch the "Matthew's Day Off" Honda Super Bowl commercial:
Jerry Seinfeld Transactions (Acura)
Same with the one where Jerry Seinfeld wanted an Acura NSX so bad, he got 'The Soup Nazi' to actually say, "Soup for you?" The only problem was, they kept playing it over and over. And it wasn't THAT funny.
Watch the Transactions Acura Super Bowl Commercial:
Eskimo Sled (Suzuki)
Even the car commercials without big-name celebrities were good - like the one where the Eskimo guy trades in his sled, and drives around with his sled dogs in a Suzuki Kizashi, jamming to 50 Cent.
Watch the "Eskimo Sled" Suzuki Kizashi Super Bowl commercial:
Vampire Party (Audi)
One of the BEST ads this year took on the whole played-out tween vampire thing. That was the one where the vampire showed up with a big supply of blood to a party in the woods - except the LED headlights on his Audi killed all the other vampires.
Watch the Audi "Vampire Party" Super Bowl commercial:
End of the World (Chevy)
Another of our favorites was the Chevy ad where the guy survived an alien invasion and the Mayan apocalypse of 2012, all because of his truck. Then he meets up with his buddies, because THEY survived TOO . . . except for the one friend who drove a Ford.
Watch the "End of the World" Chevy Super Bowl Commercial:
Vocal Combat (The Voice)
In all the promos for NBC shows like "Smash" and "Celebrity Apprentice", there was a great ad for "The Voice". It was the four hosts - Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine, and they were all battling "Kill Bill" style to get to . . . Betty White. Who then made a joke about her cans. It's played out, but involving her in anything is a good idea, ever since she revitalized the Super Bowl ad with Snickers in 2010.
Plus, the second season debut of "The Voice" was right after the game, so you have to admit they're riding high. Especially compared to the hype and the letdown of Simon Cowell and "X Factor".
Watch the "Vocal Kombat" The Voice Super Bowl commercial:
King's Court (Pepsi)
Speaking of "X Factor", that was the winner - Melanie Amaro in the Pepsi commercial with Elton John, in case you didn't recognize her. It was actually a pretty funny ad. Especially the end, with Flavor Flav in the dungeon.
Watch the King's Court Pepsi Super Bowl commercial:
Howard Stern (America's Got Talent)
Watch the Howard Stern "America's Got Talent" Super Bowl commercial:
"The Avengers" Trailer
One of the most anticipated movie trailers of the year, "The Avengers", aired last night too. If you're a huge nerd, it was cool to finally see The Hulk in action.
Watch the extended version of "The Avengers" Trailer:
Mean Joe Greene (Downy)
Finally, Downy had a good ad during the pre-game show. It was a parody of Coke's famous "Mean" Joe Greene commercial from 1980. Only this time, Amy Sedaris gave him a Downy spray, he gave her his dirty jersey - and she threw it back at him.
Watch the Mean Joe Greene Downy Super Bowl Commercial:
Oh, and Will Ferrell did an ad for Old Milwaukee, but it only aired in Nebraska?
GoDaddy.com commercials always seem to look cheap, no matter how much money they spend. And as sexy as they try to be, they don't come anywhere CLOSE to that awesome Fiat commercial, where the hot model flirted with a coffee-drinking nerd.
Watch a GoDaddy.com Super Bowl Commercial:
The talking E*TRADE baby is just getting old. The Super Bowl is a good time for companies to unleash something new or edgy, not rehash the same tired ideas.
Watch the Talking E*Trade Baby Super Bowl commercial:
Coke went with a whole line of its animated polar bears. Everybody loves the Coca-Cola polar bears, and it's not that they were bad. But for some reason, they just weren't as magical as they should have been - it's not Christmas, it's the Super Bowl. Which means Pepsi continues its streak of actually making BETTER Super Bowl ads than Coke. They continued this year with the theme of the Pepsi MAX worker who gets busted buying Coke Zero. This time, Regis Philbin showed up to congratulate him.
Watch a Coke Polar Bear Super Bowl commercial:
Watch the Pepsi MAX Super Bowl commercial:
Smarter. Bolder. Faster (Century 21)
The Century 21commercial featuring such rock star celebrities as Donald Trump, Deion Sanders , and Apolo Ohno. What's not to like? All of it.
Watch the Smarter. Bolder. Faster Century 21 Super Bowl Commercial:
Thing Called Love (Samsung)
The Samsung Galaxy did a decent fourth quarter knock on the people who wait in lines at Apple. The problem is, it was all centered around "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness. A newer song, or an earlier quarter maybe?
Watch the "Thing Called Love" Samsung Galaxy Super Bowl commercial: