Our pick of the 5 best and worst Super Bowl commercials 2013. Watch them all on USA Today’s Ad Meter and vote for your favorites.
Another year of Super Bowl commercials is in the books, and it looks like the best of the bunch tugged at the heartstrings or had a feel-good message. I’m judging on ads on creativity, originality, entertainment value, and how well the ad leaves a memorable impression of the brand. Based on that, here are my five best and worst Super Bowl commercials:
Budweiser “The Clydesdales: Brotherhood”
I’ve been rough on Bud for its Clydesdale commercials in the past, but even my cold-filtered heart was melted by this one. It won’t make be thirsty for a Bud anytime soon, but I must crown the King of Beers the King of Commercials this year.
Dodge RAM “Farmer”
So the down-home feel of this ad got some abuse in social-media circles, but the narration by the late Paul Harvey and the images of farm life really held my attention.
Best Buy “Asking Amy”
“Will this one read 50 Shades of Grey to me in a sexy voice?” Lots of good stuff here, and a good brand impression for Best Buy, who’s looking to bring people into its brick-and-mortar stores with knowledgeable customer service. It’s entertaining and funny. Plus, my wife works at a technology retailer (not Best Buy) and I can relate to a customer-service person being asked some really dumb questions.
JEEP “Whole Again”
Emotionally powerful ad, and the Jeep brand — while taking somewhat of a backseat in the video — looks really good in its support of the USO.
Samsung Mobile USA “The Next Big Thing”
Playing like a short Judd Apatow film, this ad sublimely rips on Super Bowl ads and has some great self-deprecating humor between Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. Lots of Samsung brand impressions, plus some creative displays of Samsung products being used. “I’d wear a diaper for Samsung.”
Go Daddy “Perfect Match”
People generally hated this one, and the close-up macking is incredibly uncomfortable to watch. Past Go Daddy ads have been ripped for being stupid and overtly sexual T&A shows, but I’d watch a thousand of those before watching this one. Say what you will, Go Daddy has found its niche in being the advertiser that you love to hate, and the method has been really successful for its brand.
E*TRADE Baby Game Day
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Damn you, E*TRADE.
Taco Bell “Viva Young”
Taking the tired formula of old people doing stuff that old people typically don’t do, Taco Bell pitches its food as something that can only be consumed after a night of drunken revelry. The Spanish version of “We Are Young” doesn’t make the song any less played out. I saw a few tweets — and contributed one myself — on how those tacos are going to wreak havoc on the geezers’ digestive tracts.
Subway “A story 15 years in the making”
Subway runs through its lineup of sports pitchmen (some you won’t even recognize) and then gets to the payoff: We’ve been subjected to Jared as Subway spokesperson for 15 friggin’ years.
Calvin Klein “Concept”
So we get CK’s artsy-fartsy ad for high-end undies alluding to the human body (albeit only like a few people’s human bodies) as a well-oiled machine. Meh. Maybe chicks dig this one. But as Calvin Klein underwear commercials go, it can’t hold a candle to Back to the Future.