This year’s Super Bowl wasn’t exactly the most memorable in terms of commercials, but at the very least, there wasn’t anything horrifically sexist, either. From Lindsay Lohan to CGI turtles to Liam motherf–kin’ Neeson, here’s the 10 best (and after that, the 5 worst) Super Bowl 2015 commercials.
The commercial wasn’t as funny as you’d expect from a spot that features both Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler, but Silverman handing a newborn baby to her mother and saying, “Sorry, it’s a boy” was priceless.
A CGI version of the classic hare and tortoise race fable — this time, the turtle wins because he buys a Mercedes mid-race — gets special mention simply because a CGI turtle is almost always adorable.
Pierce Brosnan gets pitched a tepid car commercial and continually interrupts to reimagine it as a James Bond-esque action film. A sort-of funny concept made superb by Brosnan’s spot-on ability to play a subtly buffoonish version of himself.
Kim Kardashian takes aim at (or simply acknowledges) her narcissism in a T-Mobile ad that finds her urging the world to pay more attention to her. Well played, Kim Kardashian West.
Everyone loves a self-deprecating celebrity, and arguably no one has more comedic fodder than Lindsay Lohan. The infamous DUI offender got behind the wheel for a hilarious Esurance commercial. Lohan screeches up to a curb, attempts to pick up two children that aren’t hers and then peels out when they decline. Kids, never accept a ride from strangers or Lindsay “Sorta Mom” Lohan.
How do you top Lindsay Lohan? If you’re Esurance, you resurrect Walter White and cast him as a substitute pharmacist. “You’re not Greg,” a suspicious customer asks. “We both have a lot of experience with drugs,” White retorts. “Excuse me, pharmaceuticals.” Who knew Esurance would rule the Super Bowl commercial game?
Kudos to former Today show hosts Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel for letting BMW dig up some hilarious, embarrassing footage from the past. The spot features real Today show footage from 1994 where Couric and Gumbel talk about the nascent Internet and try to work their heads around the @ symbol and email. “Do you write to it like mail?” Gumbel asks, while Couric suggests that @ is short for “around or about.”
When you want to make people drink more Budweiser, you send the world’s cutest puppy on a small-scale reenactment of Homeward Bound and get a slowed-down version of the Proclaimers‘ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” to soundtrack it. Wait, what does that have to do with beer? Who cares, it’s a cute puppy! A+
You’d think Snickers’ “You’re not yourself when you’re hungry” campaign would have run out of ideas after all these years. But when you have Danny Trejo and Steve Buscemi on your side, anything is possible. Set in the world of The Brady Bunch, Trejo played the hangry version of Marsha Brady while Buscemi was the upset Jan Brady. Having Buscemi exclaim the classic “Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!” is genius.
1. Clash of Clans
Clash of Clans wins for nabbing Liam Neeson to turn a generic mobile game ad into a complete winner. Neeson plays Clash of Clans and gets Taken-style enraged at his virtual opponent, vowing to destroy him and his family. A barista interrupting his rant to pronounce Liam as “Lie-am” was a nice touch, too.
Coke suggests a novel solution to cyberbullying: Dump a Coke onto a motherboard and wait for the sugary concoction to transform the world. Less treacle, more polar bears, please.
If you’re going to create a car commercial that prominently features a car crash, maybe don’t soundtrack it with a song (“Cat’s in the Cradle”) by a guy who was killed in a car crash (singer-songrwriter Harry Chapin, who died in 1981). Nissan tweeted this was their way to honor his memory, but it still feels off. Is the message that he should have been driving a Nissan?
Fiat’s Viagra ad was extremely well-directed, but anything that ends with a car getting a boner is a complete fail.
2. Game of War
Kate Upton clearly cares nothing for video games that exist for boys to live out their vicarious war fantasies. Her disinterest was so obvious that she might as well have been reading the periodic table for all the enthusiasm she put into her dramatic narration.
An anthropomorphic toe covered in fungus wearing a football helmet? Please never put this on my, or any, television again.