Aside from the spine-chilling clash between two competing teams, the Super Bowl wouldn’t seem as “sacred” as it is right now without the commercials.
Each 30-second slot is priced at a whopping $5 million. The goal of advertisers: to win over and stand out in the minds of the 114 million people who stay tuned to the big game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Some commercials indeed deliver; some could have been done better; while others were just downright weird. Here we randomly list down the best, the worst and the most offbeat commercials this year.
Budweiser’s 2016 ad is stripped and simple, but it definitely leaves its viewers cackling.
A very stern-looking Dame Helen Mirren, sitting behind a table-for-one, rants off about drunk drivers, calling them the “oxygen-wasting human form of pollution.”
“If your brain was donated to science, science would return it,” she says.
And it works, despite the dim setting and the strange-looking burger. Mirren’s star quality definitely helped the ad stand out.
No More’s Text Talk
Like the Budweiser ad, No More also chose to portray a serious message in its spot.
The commercial showed a real-time conversation between two friends during the Super Bowl.
One friend, Jess, texts her friend that she cannot make it to the Super Bowl party because her boyfriend “is in one of his moods.” When Jess’ friend asks her about her safety, Jess starts to type a reply, but never finishes the text.
It’s a simple ad with a powerful message about domestic abuse. At the end of the ad, a sentence flashed on the screen:
“There are many signs of domestic violence and sexual assault. Learn how to help. Text ‘No more’ to 94543.”
The airtime for the spot was donated by the NFL.
Pantene’s Strong Is Beautiful
The bond between father-and-daughter is highlighted in this Pantene commercial. It also sends a message: little girls who spend time with their dads grow up to be strong women.
Honda’s “Somebody to Love”
It’s a Queen song! A flock of sheep with amazing voices! Plus a farmer’s sheep dog speaking at the end. It’s not as memorable as the others, but the “Somebody to Love” sing-a-long was enough to give us #feels.
Hyundai’s First Date
It’s another commercial concerning fathers, and Kevin Hart’s presence definitely makes it endearingly funny.
Imagine being on a first date with a pretty girl you really like… only to see her dad’s unnerving presence everywhere you go.
“A dad’s got to do what a dad’s got to do.” We definitely agree.
Xifaxan’s Little Pink Intestine
Valeant’s spot was among the most cringe-worthy commercials this year.
It features a little pink intestine as the brand mascot. It’s apt because Xifaxan is a prescription for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, but it was not enough to impress viewers.
Skittles’ The Portrait
Ah, the magical Steven Tyler portrait made of Skittles. Is it memorable enough? Not really. All we could think of is, “What a waste of Skittles!”
The Weirdest… Which May Not Be Bad At All
This one contains the archetypal Annoyed-Pregnant-Wife and the Seemingly-Slipshod-Husband, both on their visit to the doctor to see their baby on the ultrasound machine.
The storyline is very simple and clear, but it was weird enough to stand out.
Fair warning: once you understand the power of Doritos, you may not want to bring it near pregnant women ever again.
Mountain Dew’s #PuppyMonkeyBaby
If you were on Twitter while watching the Super Bowl, the hashtag #PuppyBabyMonkey was trending throughout the show. It’s all because of Mountain Dew’s strange commercial.
The #PuppyMonkeyBaby is literally a puppy-monkey-baby hybrid. As soon as it gets out of a small square opening, it carries a bucket of drinks and shakes its small body. A voice continuously say “puppy monkey baby” as the creature walks up to and licks the face of one of the random dudes watching the game.
The “puppy monkey baby” chant turns into a song, the three dudes dance, and they’re led out of the room by the puppy monkey baby.
How weird is that?