With a game that turned out to be something of a snoozer -- at least if you enjoy offense -- the commercials during Super Bowl 50 didn't do their part to save the day.
Most of the spots, which cost $166,000 a second, failed to generate much buzz, leaving the ones that hit the mark even more impressionable.
T-Mobile turned out two commercials that made me smile. The first one employed Steve Harvey, who had an all-time gaffe at Miss Universe, taking a shot at competitor Verizon misunderstanding T-Mobile's coverage. Later in the game, it was a bunch of lawyers from a competitor convincing Drake to change his "Hotline Bling" song to include clauses that would make his song more truthful regarding what their company was offering.
Doritos, which has been crowd-sourcing its Super Bowl commercials for a decade, featured a soon-to-be father eating the snack while his wife was given an ultrasound. All of a sudden, the baby starts moving in the womb to reach for his dad's Doritos. When mom throws a chip, the baby leaps out and the next thing we know -- well, there's a happy, healthy baby.
There were car ads for a $156,000 Acura and a $173,000 Audi, but it was the Jeep ad that had me sitting on the edge of my seat. It's a 60-second spot that places the vehicle in the lives of people who have lived with the car throughout its 75-year lifespan. The final slate ends with the motto: "We don't make Jeep, you do."
I was also incredibly impressed with Budweiser and the copy they gave to Helen Mirren for their "Drink Responsibly" commercial. We all know that ads like this are often not very good and are done to satisfy certain requirements of responsible drinking campaigns. I thought the British actress managed to walk the incredibly fine line of being slightly comical, yet also smart, serious and impactful when putting down people who drink and drive. It's not an easy thing to pull off, and I'd hope the way it was done will save some lives.
Lastly, I loved the NFL's "Super Bowl Babies" spot, which was previously released. It captured people who were born nine months after their parent's team won a Super Bowl. And I didn't mind the Buick ad, which featured a woman catching the bridal bouquet one-handed, just like Odell Beckham Jr. For good measure, Odell happened to be at the wedding too, because, well, it's a Super Bowl commercial. But the point of the ad was that the wedding-goers were just as impressed with the catch as they were with the fact the convertible the couple drove away with, the Cascada, was a Buick. I liked this ad better than any ad Buick did with Tiger Woods, who was charged with lowering the average age of their buyer but failed to do so.
My least favorite? Mountain Dew's attempt to promote its Kickstart brand with a creature that was a one part puppy, one part monkey. I think.
Not far behind in the bad category were the drug companies. Astra Zeneca ran an ad for those who suffer from opiod-induced constipation. Valeant ran an ad about irritable bowel syndrome diarrhea, led by a pink intestine mascot, for its drug Xifaxan and an ad for Jublia, the company's toenail fungus drug. Timing is everything.