Super Bowl Commercial Breakdown: Winners, Losers, and Those Probably Getting Fired Over Their Ads
Dishing out $4 million for a 30-second commercial is a risky move, but with big Super Bowl advertising bets come big payoffs… and even bigger failures.
Who did it best and worst, and who might be getting fired? We're breaking down the ads from Super Bowl XLVIII so you know what people will really be talking about.
1. RadioShack, "Phone Call"
"The '80s called. They want their store back." Remember RadioShack? The store — yes, it's still in existence — simultaneously became cool again, told us they were aware of their brand image, and got unanimous approval on the Internet for their flashback-tastic ad (above). Featuring Mary Lou Retton, Ponch, Cliff Clavin, Hulk Hogan, Dee Snider, Kid 'n' Play, Devo, Jason Voorhees, the California Raisins, Teen Wolf, Chucky, Sgt. Slaughter, and Alf all cleaning out a Radio Shack store for a much-needed makeover, the ad ended with them loading up the old junk into a DeLorean and peeling off. Of course.
Well, @RadioShack just took the lead in my Super Bowl ad rankings. By a mile.— Joe Adalian (@TVMoJoe) February 3, 2014
Was that RadioShack commercial an episode of The Goldbergs? #SuperBowl— Jesse David Fox (@JesseDavidFox) February 3, 2014
The Broncos are too busy thinking about how cool Radio Shack is now.— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 3, 2014
I think the best commercial has been the Radio Shack 80s commercial. Alf is aging surprisingly well.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) February 3, 2014
2. Audi, "Doberhuahua"
A couple at a pet store were told they could breed a Doberman and a Chihuahua together, and imagined the possibilities: a giant-headed Doberhuahua hybrid. This ad featured a hilarious cameo by animal-rights activist Sarah McLachlan (she of the sob-inducing basic-cable animal rescue commercials) and a town running scared from the terrifying new breed, with the tagline "Compromise scares us, too" and then an Audi. Could've been for anything, and sometimes those are the most fun. Bonus points for having the couple rescue an adorable mutt in the end.
3. Heinz, "Hum"
If you're happy and you know it, hum this song and pick up some Heinz! The ketchup ad capitalized on the need to "tap" a bottle to make the condiment come out in one of the cutest, simplest, sing-songiest ads of the Bowl. We wish they didn't have to make fun of their own squeeze bottle to do it, but they're not wrong — those bottles do make a gross sound.
4. Cheerios, "Gracie"
Sassy kids are crowd-pleasers. It's just a fact. But the Cheerios kid — who was told that her parents were having another child, adding a little brother or sister to their brood, by adding a Cheerio to her pile — one-upped an easy target dad by adding one more Cheerio to the bunch and declaring, "And… a puppy." Adorable.