The Super Bowl is as much about the in-game antics as the Big Game style commercials in between. This year proved to be no different, as 30 seconds of ad space ran for an average of $2.7 million. How were the commercials? As always, they varied from instant hits to awful misses.
With high-hype standards and growing concern about the quality, it seems almost impossible to top the golden days of the Budweiser Frogs. But companies including Coke, Bridgestone and Anheuser-Busch threw their hats into the ring and hoped for national acceptance.
Bud Light presented a mediocre lineup this Super Bowl Sunday. They started strong, pushing the "Bud Light, Now With" theme, this time with fire breathing and flying capabilities. Both commercials were laughable, but it was the "Wine and Cheese" spot, a group of men concealing Bud Lights in cheese wheels and bread loafs, and the Will Ferrell Semi-Pro plug, that won big from the king of commercials.Other standouts came from Pepsi's Justin Timberlake commercial, FedEx's carrier pigeons, and "The Moment of Truth" with Chad Johnson. Coke hit hard with CGI floats battling for a bottle, then later with the union of Democratic pundit James Carville and former Republican Sen. Bill Frist (anything where Carville rides a Segway is worth $2 million). Vitamin Water's "Shaq the Jockey," and Dwayne Wade finally making Charles Barkley's "Fav 5" were also in the winner's circle.
Outside of a few ads from Gatorade, Cars.com, and film trailers of WANTED and Ironman, the other commercials relied on dead clichés and imitative witlessness.
The race for worst commercial honors was as close as the game score. The big winner (or is that loser?) had to be GoDaddy.com, whose sexually-driven ads remain base and ultimately dumbfounding. Next was the fusion of Bud Light and Carlos Mencia. When will America learn that Mencia's racial stereotypes lack any comedic poise?
Careerbuilder.com and GMC were also in line for the award of who could spend $2.7 million the worst. SoBe Life Water's rendition of "Thriller" portrayed by CGI lizards was viewable at best. The low end filled out with ads from Planters, Salesgenie.com, and Amp.
Though the Super Bowl was one of the best this decade, the quality of its commercials may have actually spiraled a few steps down since the pressure to perform seems almost too unbearable for advertisers, unlike the players on the game's brightest stage.
For those who may have missed the ads, Myspace has set up a page where they can all be viewed: myspace.com/superbowlads.