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Super Bowl 2015: Hits, Misses, and Fumbles

Some people watch the Super Bowl for the football. But everyone watches the Super Bowl for the ads.

Like other years, there was a buzz of advertising anticipation leading up to the big game. But did this year’s ads deliver what they promised? Let’s see how they stacked up:

Hits

BMW i3 — “Newfangled Idea”

This one starts off curiously, with a clip from a 1994 TODAY show in which anchors Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel are cluelessly debating what exactly the internet is. Fastforward to 2015, and Couric and Gumbel are riding in a BMW i3 and pondering what exactly i3 is. It’s a cute ad that instantly draws the parallel between Internet and i3 as the “next big thing.”

Snickers — “The Brady Bunch”

Snickers has been running the successful “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign for quite some time — in fact, it launched during the 2010 Super Bowl — but this commercial takes that campaign to the next level. Featuring Danny Trejo as drama queen Marsha and Steve Buscemi as equally melodramatic Jan, this ad serves up a classic Brady Bunch scene with a twist. And like BMW’s commercial, it finds it success at the intersection of nostalgia and quirky fun.

Misses

Nationwide — “Make Safe Happen”

Nothing, and I mean nothing, got more traction on social media than this Nationwide ad. In this case, however, the buzz was not at all positive.

It started off cutely and innocently enough, with a little boy declaring he’d never get cooties and never get married, but things quickly took a dark turn when the boy revealed he’d never do those things because he’d died in a “preventable accident.” Okay! As if parents don’t have enough to worry about. Thanks for the good feelings, Nationwide. Now remind us, how exactly is your insurance supposed to prevent kids from falling out of a window or drowning in the bath?

Humans are often able to find the beauty in tragedy, however, and in this case we didn’t disappoint ourselves. Out of the dual tragedies of this commercial plus a bad play call which caused the Seahawks to throw an intercepted pass that likely cost them the win, Twitter user Jared Smith created what is hands down the best meme of the Super Bowl:

run-it-with-lynch-meme

Happiness and faith in humanity restored.

Doritos — “Middle Seat”

Here, a dude on an airplane tries every gross trick in the book to prevent boarding passengers from choosing the seat next to him — until he spots a hot chick coming down the aisle. As she slowly approaches he waves a bag of Doritos at her and it seems the romance deal is sealed, but suddenly the person in front of her steps out of the way and we see that the hot chick has a baby strapped to her chest. Womp womp. In a desperate attempt to be funny, Doritos trips and grabs every stale trope on the way down. Tell us something we don’t already know, dudes.

Fumbles

T-Mobile — #KimsDataStash

Here, T-Mobile taps Kim Kardashian to deliver a “sincere” PSA urging people to “save the data” so she can ostensibly take more photos of her makeup, outfits, and vacations. I’ll admit it sounds funny on paper to poke fun at the Kardashian reputation for narcissim, but something gets lost in the execution. I can see where they were going but it doesn’t quite get there.

Squarespace — “Om”

Hey look, it’s Jeff Bridges! He’s in someone’s bedroom as they sleep! And he’s… chanting? Okay, I’m not dumb, but I had to watch this a couple of times to get what was going on. Apparently it’s about how Jeff Bridges made an album called Sleeping Tapes and used Squarespace to build a website to promote that album. I like simplicity in advertising as much as the next girl, but I think in this case the message is so simple that it gets lost.

What were your best and worst commercials from the 2015 Super Bowl? Let me know in the comments below.

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