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The Super Bowl Commercials: The Worst

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 7th 2010 10:24PM
Super BowlIt has become a cliche to say "I watch the Super Bowl just for the ads," but I really do. I have no interest in football at all (even less this year because the Patriots aren't in it - the only reason I would have to even be a little interested in the game is if the team from my area was in it), so I really do look forward to seeing and reviewing the ads. Too bad the Super Bowl ads aren't what they used to be (except for that Letterman/Leno/Oprah ad ... wow).

This year I'm picking the seven worst ads, while Kona is handling the seven best. Two rules for my worst: no movie ads (they're in a category all by themselves and shouldn't be judged with the other ads), and I tried not to pick any commercials that aired before today.

1. Boost Mobile: "Shuffle."
This ad was the worst for two reasons. One, the original Chicago Bears "Shuffle" video in the 1980s was already horrible, and now they have to have a sequel? Were people actually yearning to hear this song again? I want to say I liked the humor about the guys getting old, but the whole thing was just lame. The second reason to hate this ad? It's one of those "go online to see the rest!" spots. You know what, Boost Mobile? I'm online right now and I couldn't care less.

2. Go Daddy: "Spa." Look, I'm a red-blooded American male and I love seeing scantily-clad women and breasts and all that (even if they don't have much to do with the ad), but come on. All of the Go Daddy ads are very one-dimensional, and there's never enough humor in them to justify the angle they take.

3. CareerBuilder: "Casual Friday" and Dockers: "Men Without Pants." Honestly, one guys-with-no-pants ad was enough, but then they had to show another one right after? I don't want to see guys not wearing pants on commercials. I already see that every morning before I get dressed.



4. Doritos: "Casket." I get it: guys are lazy and love televised sports and shoving snack chips into their faces. Even if they have to hide in a casket. I don't even know why the guy had to go to this extreme (and wouldn't the casket be kinda heavy with that TV in there?) You know what else I hate about it? How, except for a small gasp, the people in the church don't even seem to be amazed that the guy in the casket is indeed alive. The least they could have done was have all of the mourners suddenly dive for the Doritos on the floor at the end.

5. Bud Light: "Voice Box." Yes, auto-tune is all the rage ... if you're living in 2008. I kept waiting for the payoff. There must be one, right, something funny at the end to justify torturing our ears for the entire commercial? Nope, just T-Pain on the couch.

6. Doritos: "Underdog." Doritos has two commercials on my list this year -- and there was a third ad that almost made it to the list, but I figured three from the same advertiser was too much, which is pretty good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) since I'm picking a total of seven ads. I'm a sucker for dogs in commercials (and I love Doritos, except for those "Late Night" and "Midnight" flavors they have now, but that's another story), but this commercial just ... wasn't ... funny. How can you screw up a commercial with a dog in it?

7. McDonald's: "Lebron James/Dwight Howard." OK, yeah, it's an homage to the original Michael Jordan/Larry Bird ad from the early 90s. But you know what kills it? James and Howard don't know who Bird is at the end. Really? Are they trying to say that these two are cooler than Bird or are they trying to say that they're stupid and know nothing about the history of basketball? It would have been funnier (and more effective and logical) if they had either remained silent after Bird walked away and maybe looked at each other, or maybe said in unison, "Bird!" A really bad decision in a really lame spot.



Dishonorable Mention:
All the car ads. I mean, really, are car commercials even effective anymore? They're so dull, like video wallpaper on the screen until the next commercial comes on.

[Fanhouse has all of the ads.]

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Eric H

No on mentions the ads with the Baby Traders, I think those ads are generally the worst on TV. There is enough douche in the world, without Baby Douches playing up how much money they have.

February 10 2010 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
reverenddebby

No one has mentioned my least favorite commercial - the one with the guys who act like martyrs for doing everyday, ordinary things (yes, I will put the toilet seat down and separate the recycling) and then reward themselves with a super-testosterone-fueled Dodge Charger! Please give me a break!!!

Also, casual Friday dress just means wear your underwear to work - come on people, use some imagination!!!!!

February 08 2010 at 8:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

The Bud commercial with the "human bridge'' with the music from the movie Stripes had be laughing.

February 08 2010 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robyn

I disagree with your opinion on the Doritos "Underdog", I thought it was pretty funny the guy teased the dog in the collar to bark for a Dorito, then the dog turned the tables, lived the spasms and yelps..

February 08 2010 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

That was pretty much the consensus at our get-together as well - the commercials just weren't up to par this year.

The only real shockers were the Letterman ad and McD's ad, which engendered "How'd they get them in the same room without killing each other?" and "How the smeg could they not know who Larry Bird is? I don't even watch sport and I know who Larry Bird is!" respectively.

Most of the rest of them were either goofy or had us going "Oh yeah, THAT was 'family friendly'" (said with a heavy dose of sarcasm).

Oh, and add me to the list of green-trending folks who thought the Audi commercial was idiotic.

February 08 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NightOwl

Couldnt agree with you more about the Go Daddy ads. I too am a big fan of scantily clad women, an enthusiast even, but Go Daddy ads always seem so poorly written, pointless and lame than they give gratuitous T and A a bad name.
And really, who are these ads aimed at? It is my understanding that Go Daddy registers domain names for internet web sites. Since these ads seem to be geared toward appealing to barely pubescent boys, it makes me wonder if that particular group is really a big market for domain names? Am I missing something? Just doesnt seem like a good formula for a commercial.
A lot of people are all excited about the Opra, Letterman and Leno commercial, but I dont see what all the fuss is about. All in all, a pretty bad collection of commercials, in my opinion. After one particularly lame ad, my wife remarked " Someone just wasted three million dollars!" That pretty much sums up the whole evening for me.
The football game was great though.

February 08 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

The Green Police one just pissed me off. I'm a green minded person, but it made me want to start a forest fire.

February 08 2010 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Trevor

McDonalds ad...I yelled, "how can they not know Larry Bird?" Just dumb!
Audi...Green police very disconcerting. It probably would have played better in Europe. It actually made me a little mad and I have always liked Audis.
All go daddy and bud light ads were bad.
I liked the Doritos dog collar...pretty funny...make that d.b. spasm!

February 08 2010 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I was right there with you on this list until the last one. The McDonald's ad was actually on just as I turned the game on, and I got a big laugh out of it. I thought it was a clever homage/callback/sequel and maybe the best of the night.

Everything Doritos and Bud Light was lousy, and everything GoDaddy is always lousy.

February 08 2010 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GerryofNorVA

Agreed, I was really disappointed with the GoDaddy ads. And Audi's Green Police ad backfired I think, it wasn't cute, it was disturbing. I wanted to like Motorola's MotoBlur ad but it didn't quite cut it either.

February 08 2010 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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