Usually if the Super Bowl is disappointing, at least the commercials are a highlight. This year, it felt like a failure all around with only a handful of ads leaving even a remote impression on us, while some of them were just awful. And it probably didn't help matters that the majority of the spots were released a few days early, taking the anticipation factor out altogether. Instead, the only real highlight of the night (unless you were a Seahawks fan, in which case, congrats!) was Bruno Mars (with the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and the calming ticking of the 24 teasers that made us excited for that show's return. Here's what you missed if you (wisely) opted to watch Downton/Sherlock instead of the big game.
Obviously, the best part of this game wasn't the commercials, or even the halftime show, or hell, even the game. In this case, it was all about the blackout, or the partial power outage at the stadium that caused reporters' heads to explode and players to lie on the ground "stretching" but looking like they were dying. That's good entertainment for us non-sportsy types, even if it made this game end even later than normal. But before we get to the commercial spots, can we just give a shout-out to the lovely Jennifer Hudson who looked fantastic and sounded even better while belting out "God Bless America"? And can we ask again if Alicia Keys has a codependent relationship with her piano? Because, honestly, her "Star-Spangled Banner" was average, and the piano was a major distraction. And while we appreciated the Destiny's Child reunion, it was a little sad that Kelly and Michelle only got to do snippets of their songs before having to sing one of Beyonce's solo numbers and then be shooed off stage. We kept expecting something more. Like maybe Beyonce to actually hit her mark in the opening so the body-forming lights would have gone around her. But whatever, on to the commercials.
Before we get to the commercials, we have to give credit to Madonna for putting on a well-executed half-time show -- much to our surprise. She's got quite a bit of energy for her age (or, our age) and manages to lip-sync successfully. Bonus kudos to the tech guys who made the Vogue covers dance on the ground. And the performance was filled with an eclectic group of guests from Nicki Minaj (in a somewhat toned down cheerleader outfit), Cee Lo (dressed like a giant sparkly monk) and LMFAO (as their normal dirty selves). If only MIA hadn't been so... MIA, what with flipping the bird at a cameraman and all, it would have been a smoothly run eight minutes that was memorable for the right reasons. Wish we could say the same about all of the commercials.
I don't usually attack TV ads (even the freaky Burger King ones), but ask.com started it with their whole "nagging questions" campaign. They've got random people going about their day staring vacantly into space with other people (who look nothing at all like them) hanging off of their shoulder asking random questions. It is supposed to be their inner monologue... or something like that, and then the gimmick is that they can find out all their answers at ask.com. Or not. When I was trying to find video footage of these spots... I had to go to Google to get it quickly. It might have been on ask.com somewhere, but it was probably buried. Or perhaps I didn't put in my terms in the form of the question. But since I'm not on Jeopardy!, I don't feel the need.
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