If you watched the big game last night, then you know that the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 on their way to their record-tying 5th Super Bowl Championship. You also know that Steeler Hines Ward won the MVP, and this year's crop of commercials provided some big laughs and some big duds. Considering that this isn't a sports blog, today's highlights are all about said commercials. When companies have to shell out millions of dollars for a 30-second spot of advertising (this year's price tag: $2.5 million), you expect the resulting ad/ads to be excellent and some were, but others were lacking. Here's a breakdown of the best and worst ads from last night's broadcast.
The 30 Seconds Well Spent Award - Dove: Self Esteem
In a rare moment where a beauty product company breaks from the picture-perfect models to sell its product, Dove used one of its spots to push its new self esteem initiative. In the ad, young girls were shown and we were told what they didn't like about themselves. It was moving and effective without being exploitive. It was one of those image-ads that serves more to sell an image than a product, and the image it sold was refreshing.
Things Aren't What They Seem Award - Ameriquest Mortgage: Turbulence
Continuing the hilarious streak that it started during last year's big game, Ameriquest Mortgage once again employed its "Don't judge too quickly" slogan with hysterical results. In its funniest ad, passengers are flying on a commercial airline at night with the lights dimmed. A woman, sitting in the window seat, decides to use the restroom once it becomes available. She attempts to walk over the two sleeping gentlemen in the middle and aisle seats. As she's stepping over them in her business suit skirt, the plane hits turbulence causing her to fall, straddled (with her skirt up) onto the gentleman sitting on the aisle just as the lights come back on. Everyone looks at them in horror. Cue the "Don't judge too quickly" slogan.
Household Appliance with Special Powers Award - Bud Light: Magic Frig
In the first of many well done Budweiser ads, a guy fills his frig with Bud Light as his buddy comes over. The buddy asks him if he's concerned that all the guys will drink his Bud Light when they come over, but he tells him that he installed a special set-up so they won't know about it. The set-up allows him to spin the wall around where the frig is located and a table appears in its place. Meanwhile on the other side of the spinning wall, a bunch of guys in the apartment next door run over to the frig and start taking all the beer that they can. One of them yells, "The magic frig is back!"
Best Airport Security Gag Award - Sierra Mist: Security Wand
In a clever spot by the soft drink maker, a man gets stopped by airport security and a security agent, played by Kathy Griffin, wands over him and makes her own beeping noise every time she moves the wand over the man's Sierra Mist. She tells him that she is going to have to confiscate the drink. When he challenges her by saying that she is making the noise herself, another security guard puts on the rubber gloves, and the man quickly hands over the Sierra Mist saying, "I'm good."
Cutest Ad of the Night Award - Budweiser: Little Clydesdale
This one was so cute that it deserves its own Hallmark card! One of the younger members of the Budweiser Clydesdales dreams of becoming one of the famous ones. After seeing the picture on the barn wall, he goes over to the Budweiser wagon and puts his head through the reins. He pulls with all his might, but still can't seem to get the wagon moving. Two older Clydesdales (most likely his parents) see what's going on and quietly go over and push the wagon, but little Clydesdale thinks he is pulling it all by himself and he just looks so proud. The farmer and his dog see the whole thing, and the farmer tells his dog that he won't tell if the dog doesn't.
Most Creative Costumes Award - Burger King: Human Whopper
The ad itself isn't remarkable, but the costumes were awesome! In a musical number lauding the Whopper, women dressed as the different Whopper ingredients dance around until the grand finale when they all stack on top of each other. I was especially impressed by the burger patty and the lettuce costumes, but all of them were fabulous. It couldn't have been easy to make them, so kudos to the ad's costume designer.
Best In Show Award - Budweiser Streaker
I should go ahead and confess that I am in LOVE with all the Budweiser Clydesdale ads that have ever aired (especially the donkey series that ran for a few years), so it's pretty much a guarantee that if Budweiser uses a new Clydesdale ad, then it's going to make my list. This was sheer brilliance. As the Clydesdales lined up at the line of scrimmage to continue their ongoing football game, the other farm animals gathered around to watch. Just as they were about to snap the ball, a shorn sheep ran onto the field and started streaking. The sheep even shook his tail feathers and stood up on his hind legs to "flash" the crowd and the cowboys watching. One of the cowboys said that he "could have gone without seeing that." It was a clever take on a sporting event that combined lots of humor and cute animals. What more can you ask for?
Biggest Head Scratcher Award - Hummer: Little Monster
Yes, yes I get that the Hummer H3 is a "little monster," but the ad was just weird. In it, two huge monsters meet while crushing the same city. They fall in love and have a baby Hummer H3. At the end of the ad, we see that the H3 is "a little monster." I don't know, I just didn't like it and it left me scratching my head as to why I just spent 30 seconds of my life watching it.
Worst In Show Award - FedEx: Caveman
I know that those in the know are all applauding this ad, but I really disliked it. First of all, it was stupid. Second of all, it had unnecessary cruelty to computer generated animals. In the ad, a caveman attempts to send a package by attaching it to the leg of a pterodactyl dinosaur, but the dinosaur is quickly eaten by a bigger dinosaur. The man tells his boss, and is fired because he didn't use FedEx. Problem is, FedEx hasn't been invented yet, but his boss doesn't care and fires him anyway. The man exits the cave and kicks a poor, innocent little dinosaur on his way out. The only good part of the ad is the end when a large dinosaur stomps on him.
There were plenty of other ads that fell somewhere in between the best of the best and the flops. What did you think of last night's offerings? Which ads had you cracking up and which left a bad taste in your mouth? You can view some of last night's ads at Yahoo!. Leave me a comment with your thoughts.
About Last Night... ABC's telecast of Super Bowl XL dominated all hours of primetime that it aired, leaving the other network's broadcasts of reruns in the dust. For the final hour of the night, ABC's post game coverage and the beginning of an all-new Grey's Anatomy also easily won the hour. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.
@8 p.m. - NBC's Surface concludes its first season with a finale packed with revelations, a tsunami and plenty of eminent danger. Also on NBC.com, you can catch another unaired episode of the now canceled Book of Daniel exclusively online at NBC.com at 8 p.m. tonight. Over on Fox, a third celebrity/skater pair is eliminated on Skating with Celebrities.
@9 p.m. - Agent Jack Bauer is realigned with the President's plan to track the looming terror threat, and he navigates CTU to a new lead on Fox's 24. Over on NBC, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson guest stars on NBC's Las Vegas. ABC's The Bachelor: Paris travels to each of the final four girls' hometowns in this special two-hour episode.
@10 p.m. - Allison slips in the bathtub and gets a concussion that affects her visions on NBC's Medium. Over on CBS, Horatio's nemesis returns and threatens to hurt someone close to him on CSI: Miami.
*NBC is backing off its original description for the upcoming Britney Spears appearance on Will & Grace. The network came under fire last week by conservative activists after details from the episode, including that Spears' character would be an evangelical type who hosts a cooking show with dishes such as "Cruci-fixin's" on Jack's talk show, were released. The American Family Association was upset with the episode, which is slated to air April 13th, because it feels that it "mocks the crucifixion of Christ" and airs the day before Good Friday. NBC says that Spears will still guest star in an upcoming episode, but it has yet to be written and "will not contain a Christian characterization at all" according to a network statement. The same statement goes on to say, "We value our viewers and sincerely regret if this information has offended them." Now word yet on whether the episode is still slated for April 13th.
*Actress Lucy Lawless, fresh off her appearance on Veronica Mars, is joining the cast of Sci Fi's Battlestar Gallactica. She'll reprise her role as D'Anna Biers in the show's upcoming third season, which begins filming this spring. Lawless is also set to make an appearance in the February 24th episode.
*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for Survivor: Pearl Islands to hit shelves tomorrow along with Wildfire (season 1), Sex and the City (essentials), Touched by an Angel (season 3, vol. 1), Growing Pains (season1), Blue Collar TV (season 1, vol. 2) and Moonlighting (season 3). For the complete list of tomorrow's releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for final thoughts on Surface's first season (What does this big finale have in store for us?) and Medium (What happens when a medium bumps her head in the tub? Sounds like a slippery slope to disaster!). Plus, all the latest TV news!
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