Our apologies to the ad agencies that endeavored to craft the perfect Super Bowl commercial because the strongest celebrity endorsement of Sunday night might have been Rihanna briefly pausing her halftime show performance to fix her makeup using products from her Fenty Beauty line.
Oh, RiRi. Ever the businesswoman!
Though the commercials were underwhelming this year, a handful rose to the occasion: Dunkin’ smartly harnessed star power by enlisting Ben Affleck, the chain’s most famous fan. Blue Moon decided to cut through the usual beer-commercial nonsense by calling out its competitors. Workday made corporate culture funny, somehow.
Cleverness counts for a lot. Here are the five best ads shown during the big game.
[Mahomes, Chiefs beat Eagles 38-35 in Super Bowl comeback]
Who is considered a rock star? Certainly not your co-worker Susan. In Workday’s commercial, musical artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Gary Clark Jr. and Paul Stanley of KISS demand that “corporate types” stop using the term “rock star” to describe people succeeding in the workplace.
“Oh, Ted in finance, you’re a rock star!” Osbourne says in a mocking tone.
Workday, for those unfamiliar, is an application handling some human resources and financial matters for companies - including The Washington Post, where it has caused some ... let’s say occasional grief. It is obviously run by exactly the sort of people who would call your co-worker Susan a rock star, even though she is simply a competent employee and not cool or edgy or dangerous in the slightest. (For the record, we still love and appreciate her.)
It seems the Workday overlords have a sense of humor about themselves, though, and that’s worth something. Turns out the call coming from inside the house is still an entertaining one.
In order to market consumer technology, you must first understand the mind of the consumer. What do they like? What bugs the crap out of them? Google chose to answer the latter: Imperfect photos.
That photo of your family on the beach would’ve been perfect had that random man not been chasing a Frisbee behind you. You always loved that photo of you dancing, but your horrible ex was right beside you. With the Google Pixel’s magic eraser tool, you can remove unwanted things from the photos.
Hold on, says comedian Amy Schumer. You’re saying she can remove her exes from her favorite photos? What a miracle. Both funny and very real, the Google ad understands how we crave perfection.
Ram spoofed commercials for erectile dysfunction drugs while advertising its electric trucks, with former “Daily Show” correspondent Jason Jones appearing as the pharmaceutical spokesperson. “Are you excited about buying an electric vehicle but worried that it could leave you unsatisfied? Then you could be one of many Americans concerned about premature electrification,” he says.
Symptoms include “fearing you may not be able to last as long as you’d like.” Multiple couples appear to talk about the problems they’ve encountered with ... their other electric vehicles. One woman complains about having to “stop, start, stop, start.” It’s quite an ad to air on a night fueled by masculinity.
Given all the anticipation, Super Bowl commercials have earned the right to go meta: “For the first time in 30 years, Coors Light has an ad at the big game,” a man says at a bar while looking into the camera. Another taps him on the shoulder and announces, “Actually, this is a Miller Lite commercial.”
It’s Godzilla fighting another monster. Let them fight! The men continue their dramatic brawl until their attention returns to the bar. “Actually, it’s a Blue Moon commercial,” the bartender says.
There isn’t much to this commercial, but the simplicity of its last-minute reveal is refreshing.
You don’t need to keep up with Page Six to know Ben Affleck loves Dunkin’ coffee. The man has been endlessly photographed picking it up. The habit has carried him through different relationships.
So it only follows that Dunkin’ would enlist Affleck, the patron saint of Massachusetts, for its most high-profile spot of the year. He returned to New England for the commercial, in which he serves customers in the drive-through lane. They are surprised by his presence - but none so much as his wife, Jennifer Lopez, who asks whether this is what he’s referring to when he says he has to work all day.
Celebrity stunts are great fodder for commercials, especially when they play off established personas like this one does. It’s silly fun. Lopez’s appearance is the cherry on top.