A Look at the Best and Worst of Super Bowl LI Commercials

By: Dominick Giannini

Super Bowl commercials, a hallmark of America’s game. Some companies such as Dorito’s, Budweiser, and Pepsi have already solidified themselves as primetime advertising legends and, at about $166,666 a second (per http://www.si.com), they better have. This year, however, some companies made their first real attempt at a memorable Super Bowl commercial. A few hit their mark, but most fell flat. Here are the best and the worst of Super Bowl LI, according to The Squire.

Top Picks:

  • Cam Newton: Buick                                                                                                                       In this gut buster, Cam Newton replaces a young Pee Wee Football league quarterback in order to represent the change in performance and aesthetic provided by Buick’s new line of cars. Between his pass, lifting an elementary schooler off his feet and carrying him thirty yards in the air, and stiff arming an entire mob of eight year olds to the ground, this one is sure to have you wiping tears from your eyes.
  • John Malkovich: Squarespace                                                                                                      This one shows acting legend, John Malkovich’s struggle to create a website. Because he didn’t use Squarespace, John’s name was already taken as a domain. This sends the actor into a furious rage; it’s a must watch.
  • Melissa McCarthy: Kia                                                                                                             McCarthy takes on the role of an extremely unlucky “Eco-Warrior” in this commercial. Kia uses her mishaps with everything from whales to rhinos to promote an easier way to “save” the environment – drive their new and greener Niro crossover. Although the point is obscured throughout most of the commercial, it’s still an entertaining watch.

Bottom Picks:

  • “Halftime Bathroom Break”: Febreze                                                                                              This is a commercial that can’t even begin to be put into words. Generally when designing a commercial the purpose is to make your product appealing, not associate with negative imagery. Congratulations Febreze, you spent $5 million to permanently etch some awful things into our brains.
  • “You Ruin Super Bowl Commercials When You’re Hungry”: SnickersNeed a third example.                                                                                                                                                       Snickers ads are usually a contender for a top commercial spot, but this year they just tried too hard. They broadcasted their commercial live in the third quarter, even reading the score off in order to verify its authenticity. Unfortunately for them, that’s about where everything they had going for them ended. Their timing was off and the whole premise of the commercial was cut out the moment it flashed on the screen. Great idea, awful execution.

So, as far as advertisements go this year was definitely still entertaining; however,it lacked a certain quality many Americans have come to associate with that fateful February day. Perhaps advertisers were trying too hard to not step on any toes after a stressful election cycle or perhaps they’re just out of touch with the viewers. Either way, hopefully we’ll continue to see some great output from the usual suspects and have some newcomers step it up next year.

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