The Best of the Best: Super Bowl Commercials to Remember

The Super Bowl comes once a year. Football fans across the country – even across the world – wait with building anticipation for early February to (hope­fully) watch their favorite teams compete in this epic match. Now, I can very safely say that I am not one of those die-hard football fans who can barely contain their eagerness for Game Day. I’m not really a huge sports fan, but despite that, every year I, and many of the others who share apathetic mentalities towards football, find that I look forward to the Super Bowl for a different sort of entertainment: the commercials.

It’s funny that viewers’ anticipation of the game itself is nearly matched by their excitement to see the commercials that air during it, but that’s exactly the case and has been for years. Typically put on by Amer­ica’s favorite car, insurance and/or snack-food companies, over time, the Super Bowl commercials have earned themselves the expectation of being somehow better on this day (and for some time after) than they are every other day of the year.

I think this year’s crop of ads did not let their audience down. There was a lot of variety in sponsoring compa­nies, angles and humor…all necessary for a good crowd-pleaser. Watching in a crowded room of both normal people and football enthusiasts allowed me to gauge which were the best commercials by the audience’s responses. These were generally big-name ads like Budweiser, Doritos and Chase Bank. Other favor­ites were those featuring eye candy like David Beckham or Adriana Lima (who appeared in two different commercials) or ads that seemed to incorporate the product with the game like Coca Cola’s nervous spectator polar bears. There were also a decidedly large number of car commercials, not all of which were a success. And of course there were a handful of ads for beer or (what is that?) that I fully expect to be brought up in discussion in my Intro to Women’s Studies class this week.

Of the many commercials featured during the game though, there were a few obvious favorites. The funniest ads in­cluded the M&M commercial, in which the rowdy red M&M sheds his shell at a party, the music-video-like Samsung Gal­axy New commercial and the Bridgestone Tire commercial that demonstrated the ‘sleeping baby’ test.

Most of the other crowd favorites were car commercials, likely because of the sheer number of car companies that sponsored ads during the game. Acura and Honda cast Jerry Seinfeld and Matthew Broderick, respectively, using their com­edy to promote their products. Kia’s Op­tima ad featured a masculine dreamscape that showcased their vehicle (and Adri­ana Lima). Chevy twisted the impending 2012 apocalypse to promote the durabil­ity and power of their Silverado in one ad while playfully teasing a college grad (who really only got a mini-fridge) with a brand new convertible in another. Volkswagen used an overweight dog’s comical journey to get in shape to comment on the com­pany’s advances – and threw in a tribute to last year’s Star Wars campaign at the end.

The most talked-about ad of the 2012 Super Bowl was Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” commercial. Clint Eastwood narrates this two-minute-long ad that ac­knowledges the hard times that America, and more specifically Detroit, powered through, and Eastwood gives inspiration for our upcoming “second half,” in which we will be better than ever.

As a non-football-fan, I may not have re­ally enjoyed (or paid attention to) the game during the Super Bowl, but I was certainly not disappointed by the commercials. Let the anticipation for the next commercial – I mean football – season begin!

Contact Claire Aziz at

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