Besides being the biggest day of the year for football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest advertising days of the year. Companies don’t hesitate to buy advertising time, despite the fact that they must pay $4 million for a 30-second spot (approximately $133,000 per second). Every year, the ads seem to get bigger, funnier and more creative, and this year was no exception. Here’s my countdown of the five best commercials that made their debut on Super Bowl Sunday.
5. Jaguar, “Rendezvous”
Jaguar’s hilarious commercial plays on the classic Hollywood cliché that villains tend to be British. During the course of the minute-long ad, familiar British actors Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston describe why, perhaps, Hollywood chooses them to play the Big Bads while cleverly describing the car at the same time. Between the overly serious tone and the cinematic score, the commercial served as one of the most exciting and enjoyable of this year’s ads.
4. Kia, “The Truth”
Kia’s commercial is sure to thrill fans of 1999’s hit “The Matrix,” as it sees Laurence Fishburne reprising his role as Morpheus in a riff on the film’s iconic red pill, blue pill scene where Morpheus offers Neo the blue pill that will take him back to the reality he knows or the red pill that will lead him to the Matrix. However, the catch to the ad is that instead of offering a couple pills, Morpheus offers them red keys or blue keys. The latter will return them to the luxury they know while the former will change the way they look at luxury forever. The couple, of course, chooses the red keys and is given a new Kia K900. Kia’s marketing team did a fantastic job putting this ad together, assuring that they will find an audience in both people in the market for a new vehicle as well as fans of the classic science-fiction film.
3. Toyota Highlander, “Joyride”
The executives at Toyota have clearly learned one of the most important rules of marketing: The Muppets make everything better. The highlander ad stars Terry Crews as a driver who pull his vehicle off to the side of the road to help a broken down car of Muppets, including Animal and his band. The Muppets essentially overrun Crews’ car while pointing out key features of the vehicle and even features a cameo by Kermit. Not only does this ad serve Toyota, it should also add some buzz to the March release of “Muppets Most Wanted.”
2. Doritos, “Breakroom Ostrich”
Doritos’ ads seem to get better every year, and this year is certainly no exception. In fact, the final two ads on my list belong to them. The first lands perfectly in the “what did I just watch” category that Doritos commercials so often fall into. In the ad, an executive is seemingly having a meeting with two employees as to who ate the Doritos in the break room. However, when the camera pulls pack, it is revealed that he is talking to an employee and an ostrich. A flashback shows the employee stuffing his face with the nacho cheese flavored chips while the ostrich backs away slowly, and culminates in a laugh-out-loud funny moment at the end of the commercial when the ostrich is blamed and lets out an audible gasp. The commercial offers a novel twist on a clichéd idea and the ad as a whole plays out in the best possible way, making it clear as to why it is one of the five candidates in the million-dollar competition for best Doritos commercial.
1. Doritos, “Cowboy Kid”
My favorite commercial this year is essentially a take on “The Lone Ranger.” When their mom returns home with Doritos, two brothers must race to get the bag. However, one brother, dressed as a cowboy, rides his dog to the car to the William Tell Overture akin to Britt Reed riding Silver to hunt down a bad guy. He lassos his brother and takes the chips for himself, tying his brother up like an outlaw who attempted to rob a bank. The commercial is clever, sweet and excellently produced. This is my pick to win the million-dollar grand prize awarded in the Doritos commercial, however, I have a feeling it may not be “funny enough” to win the general public votes. That being said, it will be interesting to see which ad wins.
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