According to the buzz, this was a kinder, gentler year for Super Bowl commercials.
The buzz is right. The ads were less sexy, less edgy, more warm and mushy.
Also according to the buzz, the best of the lot (or one of the best) was the Budweiser ad with the horse and the puppy.
There, the buzz is wrong. Talk about belaboring a good thing. The one last year with the horse and the trainer was cute. This was cute with a candy coating. Too much.
Here, for your edification, are the Top Five Super Bowl Commercials of 2014:
- Radio Shack — “The ’80s called. They want their store back.” When’s the last time you saw an advertiser accurately and honestly describe its own greatest weakness, and have this much fun with it? Never, that’s when.
- Chrysler — “America’s Import.” They got Bob Dylan to do a car commercial. Bob. Dylan. And he did it with a pseudo-profound tone that mocked his own music and his reputation as some sort of American cultural prophet. I wonder how much they paid him. And I suspect it’s not enough.
- Budweiser — “A Hero’s Welcome.” The kind of warmth that Bud was going for with the puppy one actually works in this one. And yes, every soldier does deserve this kind of hero’s welcome. It’s been done, but this was done well.
- Turbo Tax — “Love Hurts.” Deals honestly, though in a twisted, ironic way, with the fact that most of America probably didn’t want these two teams in the Super Bowl. Kind of makes you wonder why all of those people watch the game, when you think about it.
- Pepsi — “Halftime Intro.” I don’t know why, I just really enjoyed the giant hands playing the Brooklyn Bridge like a giant electric bass, and the traffic circle like a turntable. Not all that complicated, but well executed.
I thought about including the Doritos/Time Machine one. But my colleagues at ADCO were mad at Doritos for not picking the one with the ostrich, which they loved. So I left it off…