Well, Super Bowl LVIII is over. Congratulations to the Kansas City Swifties on a hard-fought victory over the San Francisco … Pelosi’s? Poop maps? We don’t know. It was a long game, boring at times, but with an exciting overtime finish. Just like Roger Goodell scripted it. (Oops. Did we say that part out loud?)
But we know what everyone really tuned in for. The commercials, of course. Companies paid $7 million a pop for 30 seconds of ad time this year. For some, it was money well spent. For others … ehhh, not so much. But we will say, we think this year had more hits than misses, and there was very little ‘woke’ to be found. That wasn’t an accident. Madison Avenue saw what happened to Bud Light in the past year and LOTS of ads went with counter-programming to that. Again, some did it better than others.
So, with that in mind, we want to hand out some awards for Super Bowl commercials. Awards that we just made up. Let’s re-live some of the good, some of the bad, and some of the ‘WTF were you thinking?’ in this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials.
The Jean-Luc Picard Heisman Trophy Award: Paramount+ and Paramount Mountain
This was the first Super Bowl ad we saw this year (Twitchy wrote about it almost 10 days ago) and it had us — and all of social media — rolling. We’re not sure if it was Patrick Stewart dressed up in his old-timey uniform, Thomas Lennon’s Creed tramp stamp, or just the appearance of Creed themselves, but this was damn funny.
The ‘See? We’re Cool so Please Stop Boycotting Us’ Award: Bud Light
We’re a little surprised that Bud Light even bothered with a Super Bowl commercial this year. The brand is complete trash and even attempts to forgive Bud Light from the right have been justifiably mocked. And it doesn’t help that Bud Light’s ‘genie’ looks like a 1970s amateur porn star. Plus the commercial completely wastes Peyton Manning, who is actually really good at these commercials.
Hey, Bud Light: if you want to grant wishes, how about granting the world’s wish that you apologize to everyone for Dylan Mulveney and insulting your customer base.
The ‘Please Don’t Associate Us With Bud Light’ Award: Budweiser
We don’t really feel bad for Budweiser, they’ve gone woke too, but it is glaringly obvious that the original brand is doing everything it can to distance itself from its light beer sister brand. Budweiser brought back the Clydesdales this year (which they had previously retired), brought back a dog (and a yellow lab at that, the best of all dogs), set the entire commercial in red-state America, and threw in a beloved, recognizable Americana classic rock song.
It screams of desperation but … it also really works. The tried and true classics usually do. (We’re still not going to buy any of their beer though.)
The ‘Oh Look: Suddenly They Know What a Woman Is’ Award: Dove
Dove brands have gotten themselves into a lot of trouble recently on social media with their promotion of the woke gender cult. So much so, that ‘Shut up, soap’ has become a common reply to anything the brand says about transgenderism online. They must be feeling the heat because their Super Bowl ad this year is a celebration of tough, strong-willed young girls in sports set to ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’ from Annie. And wouldn’t you know it? There’s not a single boy pretending to be a girl in the ad.
We’re tempted to give them credit, but we know that as soon as the Super Bowl spotlight is over, they’ll go right back to promoting ‘gender-affirming care’ and men in womanface. Plus, their soap is ridiculously expensive, which kind of doesn’t help in the Bidenomics disaster.
The ‘Joe Biden Isn’t the Only One With Memory Problems’ Award: Uber Eats
President Biden and his ‘memory problems’ are front and center in the American political conversation these days, so the timing for this ad from Uber Eats could not have been better. We’re pretty sure it’s all a coincidence, but sometimes coincidences work in your favor. The ad, featuring many celebrities not remembering the basics because they’ve made room in their brains to recall that Uber Eats delivers all sorts of products, is pretty funny. For our money though, the best line in the entire sport is David Schwimmer at the end, looking around Hollywood and sighing, ‘I hate this town.’
Yeah, so does most of the rest of America, Ross.
The ‘Your Walken Impression Sucks’ Award: BMW
Everyone loves Christopher Walken’s distinct voice and speaking style. Everyone ALSO thinks they can imitate it. In truth, very few can. But BMW’s ad does a great and funny job of illustrating what Walken probably goes through every day of his life: random people just walking up to him and trying to do ‘the voice’ to him. We’re sure it happens and we’re sure it gets old fast.
(But we think BMW should have brought back actor Jay Mohr for the spot because he actually DOES do a great Walken impression.)
The ‘Good Will Hunting Sequel We Didn’t Know We Needed’ Award: Dunkin’ Donuts
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez had a pretty good commercial for Dunkin’ Donuts at the last Super Bowl and if there’s anything Madison Avenue knows how to do, it’s milk something until it’s dry. They also know how to step things up and make everything even bigger.
So Dunkin’ spokesman Affleck came back with J Lo to do another Super Bowl spot and this time he brought along Tom Brady and his Good Will Hunting partner Matt Damon. Damon does a great job pretending (or was he pretending?) that he absolutely doesn’t want to be there, especially when uttering a new version of his signature line, ‘How do you like them … donuts?’
Anyway, this one made us laugh. A lot. And loudly.
Chill. We’re naming a drink after them.
Head to Dunkin’ and try the new DunKings Iced Coffee TOMORROW 2/12 👑 pic.twitter.com/wk4dlzatJO
— Dunkin’ (@dunkindonuts) February 12, 2024
The ‘Nice Try But The World Still Hates You’ Award: Pfizer
We shouldn’t be surprised that Pfizer had a commercial in the Super Bowl. Big Pharma buys somewhere approaching 75 percent of television ads in America, which is horrible all on its own. But Pfizer — the company that brought us mRNA ‘vaccines’ that the Biden administration tried to force us all to take — committed some unforgivable sins here. Comparing themselves to the greatest scientists in history is hubris on a level that we can only hope they get karmic justice for one day. And then setting it all to one of Queen’s most fun songs ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ was just too much to take.
They finished it by promising to cure cancer … but said nothing about whether their cure would be worse than the disease.
Go away, Pfizer. No one likes you.
Their cure for cancer will probably cause cancer, or something worse than cancer.
— Conservative Masshole Stands With Israel 🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@TheTimDeFelice) February 12, 2024
The ‘Showing You Americana so You Won’t Notice We’re Selling an Ugly EV’ Award: Volkswagen
Volkswagen pulled out the nostalgia big time with their commercial for their new EV, which looks about as ugly as you would expect it to. They traced their history in America dating back to 1949 (conveniently skipping past their history in Germany in World War II), threw in a clip of Herbie the Love Bug, added a clip of Bart and Lisa Simpson playing ‘Punch Buggy’, included some kids dressed as Darth Vader ( a nod to one of their most successful commercials ever), and set the whole thing to the classic song ‘I Am, I Said’ by Neil Diamond. The whole ad oozes treacle.
And we barely get even a glimpse of their new EV, the ‘ID.Buzz.’ This was probably a smart decision on their part.
The ‘We Hate People Who Win a Lot’ Award – BetMGM
This one was pretty clever. To promote BetMGM, an online sportsbook, MGM brought in the always funny deadpan spokesman Vince Vaughn. But since casinos don’t like it very much when people win, the ad is centered around the idea that BetMGM is open to everyone … except Tom Brady.
The ad gets an additional boost from an appearance by The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, but it’s the interplay between Vaughn and Brady (especially the disguise) that makes it work.
The ‘George Michael Bluth STILL Creeps Us Out’ Award: CereVe
We’ve never heard of CereVe before, but apparently, they make a line of skin care products. For their commercial, they brought in Michael Cere, who pitches himself as the new face of the company … in the worst way possible.
The joke makes more sense if you know that Cera — mostly known for playing geeky characters in ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ — has an unexpected reputation as being quite the lothario in real life. And sometimes not in a good way.
We’re not sure if we love this ad or hate it (probably both), but it IS funny … in a creepy sort of way.
The ‘Lloyd Bentsen – You’re No Jack Kennedy’ Award: American Values/Robert Kennedy
We weren’t expecting a presidential campaign in this year’s Super Bowl, even though it is an election year, but we got one. And it was a weird one. American Values, a super PAC supporting the campaign of Robert Kennedy, created the ad by taking an old commercial for John F. Kennedy — Robert’s uncle — and replacing images of JFK with RFK, Jr.
Like we said … weird. A little ghoulish, even. It probably won’t move the needle for Kennedy’s presidential aspirations, but it definitely got our attention. Mostly not in a good way.
— Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) February 12, 2024
The ‘We Miss You, Carl Weathers’ Award – FanDuel
FanDuel was in a difficult position for the Super Bowl. They had created an ad for Rob Gronkowski’s ‘Kick of Destiny 2’ gimmick, but the ad featured late actor Carl Weathers, who just passed away on Feb. 1. So, do they leave the ad in, or pull it? We don’t envy their circumstance, given what they had invested in the commercial and the entire ‘Kick of Destiny 2’ campaign.
In the end, we think FanDuel handled this about as well as they could have. They left the commercial in but added a touching tribute to Weathers at the conclusion of the spot. A pretty good way to handle an all-around regrettable situation.
And finally, we want to include one last commercial. But this one is pretty serious, so we didn’t make up an award for it. Let’s just call it the ‘Stop Antisemitism’ award. Antisemitism is a plague today, and this ad needs to be seen. It stops short of saying where a lot of the hate is coming from these days, which is unfortunate, but being politically neutral is probably the only way they could get it to be approved for air. Kudos to Robert Kraft for paying for this ad to appear during the Super Bowl.
SUPERBOWL AD TO BE SHOWN TOMORROW
We thank billionaire businessman Robert Kraft who spent $7million of his own money just to run a single 60 second ad tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/GiP4SpgsTm
— Australian Jewish Association (@AustralianJA) February 11, 2024
Technically, this was shown in the pre-game, not during the Super Bowl, but we wanted to include it anyway. For a deeper dive into the commercial, what it got right, and what it may have gotten wrong, you can read the article written by Twitchy’s Aaron Walker. But we like the overall message of the spot, so well done.
That’s going to have to do it for our Twitchy Super Bowl Commercial Awards. We know there were SO many more ads but we couldn’t cover them all, and frankly, we’re out of funny award titles to give out.
In case you missed some of them during the game, on the good and funny side, we’d recommend the ‘Mullet’ ad for Kawasaki Ridge, the Chris Pratt ad for Pringles, the Flashdance-inspired commercial for Nerds, and Aubrey Plaza and Nick Offerman of ‘Parks & Recreation’ reuniting to promote Mountain Dew Baja Blast.
On the less successful side, the ads promoting Christianity and Jesus from the organization called ‘He Gets Us’ were remarkable failures. The overall goal is admirable, but for a group called ‘He Gets Us’, they really misstate a lot of Jesus’ messages … badly (particularly in their feet-washing commercial.)
We hope everyone enjoyed the Super Bowl, and laughed at at least some of the commercials, except those that just made us all cringe. Hope you enjoyed the recap as well.