Whether you tune in for the game, the ads, or both, watching the Super Bowl is the last of the great American live communal viewing experiences. And on a medium as anachronistic as network TV no less. Even with two relatively unheralded teams, the projected viewership should top out at around 117 million, a 12% lift from last year, making it the most-watched Super Bowl of all time. Despite scandals, miscues, and lawsuits, the NFL juggernaut continues.
Enough with the scandals and football talk! What about the ads? We BNOers had our own ad-meters going on Sunday, and unlike your typical best and worst yada, yada, yada, we pulled out some new categories to make things a bit more fun. Why just bet on the game winner beating the spread, when you can bet the coin toss, who scores first and how, and whether a long snapper will get a tackle or an assist?
Gathering after gameday, our iconoclasts tossed out some general impressions on the number of celebrities we knew, the number of supposed celebs we were supposed to know (and didn’t), and of course, how many people lined up their phones to catch that tricky/smart/idiotic (pick one) QR code for—wait, who was that for?
“Should I be standing for this?” Award for Most American was “A Clydesdale’s Journey” by a landslide. Face it: the Budweiser Clydesdales own the Super Bowl. Well, at least they did when they lined up for a respectful bow before the missing twin towers after 9/11, and when that cute little puppy showed up. This one didn’t give us the goosebumps, just the queasies, thinking of the hoof in the barbed wire.
“Um, could you rewind that please?” Our Hottest Cast Award goes to a cast of one: Zac Efron playing his bearded and mustachioed alter ego in AT&T’s “Zac Efron Gig-ifies Fishing.” Peeps didn’t specify which Zac was hawtest, but we have a pretty good guess.
“Yo, I’m still thinking about it.” Most Catchy was Uber Don’t Eats, which planted a number of earworms, it seems. With The GMC Austin Powers, Doritos/Cheetos Flaming Hot, and BMW’s Zeus and Hera nipping at its heels.
“That was totally me!” Many people related to our Most Relatable Award given to the Scarlett Johansson/Colin Jost Mind Reader spot for Amazon’s Alexa. Despite their superstardom, the couple came off as relatable, funny, and warm. Kinda like those oysters that sat in the car for five hours. But there were a few BNOers who cringed at the Orwellian aspect of Alexa in general.
“ROTF.” Comedy is subjective, which is why our Funniest Award was a three-way tie between Pepsi’s Road to the Super Bowl, Lay’s Golden Memories, and the relatable Alexa Mind Reader spots. Here’s where you can see contrast in taste: Johansson being real vs. Rogan marrying a ghoul. And a pretty scary one at that.
“They paid how much for that?!” Our Worst Overall Award usually has a lot of nominees, 2022 being no exception. But Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda’s “Land of Loud Flavors” took home the trophy thanks to an obnoxious Guy Fieri and his population of Guy wannabes with the Meta weirdness, with the WeatherTech yawner and the Taco Bell Doja Cat purple hair as runners-up. But what about that eToro swarm of people banging off buildings, making an odd Facebook thumbs up, and kidnapping people off the street? Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in some of these war rooms!
“That. Was. Amazing.” Well, apparently not one of these Super Bowl ads blew away enough BNOers to create a runaway leader for the Best Overall Award. It was a four-way tie between the aforementioned Lay’s and Alexa spots, joined by the Michelob Ultra Superior Bowl and the Planet Fitness “What’s Gotten into Lindsay?”—a great use of celebrity, and one not worried about poking fun at herself. Judging from the number of positive comments for this one during our discussion, and the Danny Trejo scene where she trades “DUI for DIY,” we tip our hat to Lindsay and Planet Fitness.
Sixty-four ads, hundreds of millions spent, some belly laughs, and some scratching of heads. Let’s see how brands get some legs from their investments in the next couple weeks. We’ll see you back here next year for what we bet will be more ads, bigger spends, and more celebs piling on. Speaking of piling on, enough with the tired tackling-focused themes, please. On the same note, don’t fall for the creepy electric dog theme either. And what kept him from smashing to bits when he hit the pavement?