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Super or not so super? The best and worst of Super Bowl LII’s commercials

A clip of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. from the NFL Dirty Dancing commercial.

Graphic by Elizabeth Anderson

A clip of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. from the NFL Dirty Dancing commercial.

by Elizabeth Anderson, Editor

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/jv3u3

Statistics say that 103 million people across the United States watched the 52nd NFL Super Bowl on February 4th. But how many of us were just there for the commercials? As someone who identifies with the latter (sorry, football fans), stellar commercials are a must for those nearly four hours of game time. This time around, there were quite a few advertisements that seemed up to par, but along with those came some weird ones, some confusing ones, and a couple of really terrible ones. So, without further ado, I present my list of the great and the ghastly of Super Bowl LII.

David Harbour and Tide

Rating: Super!

Youtube

Whether you’re a fan of Stranger Things or not, after this set of commercials from star David Harbour, you won’t be forgetting his face any time soon. From hijacking Old Spice and Mr. Clean to breaking something of a fourth wall, Harbour made all thoughts of Tide Pod challenges and stereotypical laundry commercials vanish from viewers’ heads. This was one of the purely funny commercials of the Super Bowl this year, and it wasn’t overdone or cheesy like some of the others. Big-name companies, take notes- you have a lot to learn from this genius ad.

Pringles Stacks Flavors

Rating: Not so super.

Youtube

I’m sorry, but this commercial just wasn’t thought out well. At first, it wasn’t awful–I mean, it is an interesting concept to put different chip flavors together to get something totally different, but what was with the few seconds of filming at the beginning? Was that really necessary? And how about the excessive “wows” at the end? At some point in there, the whole thing just got a little to weird to be comfortable with.

Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice

Rating: A little strange, but still super.

Youtube

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this commercial when it started, probably because I wasn’t totally prepared for Peter Dinklage to start lip-syncing Busta Rhymes while the rapping sensation watched from a portrait on the wall, but after accepting that fact and seeing Morgan Freeman channel Missy Elliott, I have to admit I couldn’t pull my eyes away from the screen. If every company teamed up like this, the world would be a better place.

Dodge Ram: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rating: SO not super.

Youtube

I was so excited when the first clips for this campaign came on, the words appearing slowly on a black screen, the shots of people working hard, inspiring others–but then came that first glimpse of a truck, and I knew it wasn’t going to be good. The company may have tried to make their pitch appealing by being sensitive, but they overshot big time. I’m not so sure King would approve of his voice being used beyond the grave to advocate for truck companies, and especially of things like the military being used in said commercials, seeing as he protested against violence and supported peace. All in all, not a good idea, but maybe Ram will learn from their mistakes.

Winter Olympics Best of US: Lindsey Vonn

Rating: Super!

Youtube

I guess it’s not really a commercial commercial, seeing as it’s for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but it should definitely still be included in this list for the sheer cinematography of it. It was a very emotional advertisement, definitely one to pull on the heartstrings, and did its job perfectly. With it’s documentary-like quality and fantastic music choice, I’m positive it swayed more than a few people not planning on watching the Olympics the next few weeks to sit down and have a look. Thank you so much for this, NBC! And don’t forget to watch the opening ceremonies on Friday, February 9th at 8 PM!

NFL Dirty Dancing

Rating: Super super super.

Youtube

I don’t care if you like Eli Manning or Odell Beckham, Jr., or even whether you like the New York Giants. THIS is a commercial that will go down in the history of commercials, the king of all advertisements, NFL or not. To see two football players doing one of the most famous dances of all time from one of the most famous movies of all time is hardly something you’ll see twice in a lifetime (of course, now I’ve had that liberty after the Spencer Young/David Beck performance of Mr. Linganore 2017). Do not underestimate the power of music!

Which Super Bowl LII commercial was your favorite? Head on over to our Twitter poll and vote!

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1 Comment

One Response to “Super or not so super? The best and worst of Super Bowl LII’s commercials”

  1. Norie Shipley on February 7th, 2018 1:43 pm

    None begin to compare to “Dirty Dancing”! Who knew Eli could break out of his stern face?!

    [Reply]

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Super or not so super? The best and worst of Super Bowl LII’s commercials