Super Bowl Commercial Reactions from The Villanovan Editorial Staff



The Villanovan Staff

As fans watched the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLIX last weekend, most of us were not just concerned with whether or not Tom Brady would dominate, but we were also closely following the much anticipated commercials. Some members of The Villanovan Editorial Staff reacted to the entertaining advertizements.

Larry Flynn—Nationwide Commercial:

This year’s festive Super Bowl Sunday featured Katy Perry singing at the beach with sharks, Ickey Woods getting some cold cuts and Mexico selecting Avocados over a Polar Bear, all of which were uplifting entertainment to the millions of TV viewers.

Nationwide, however, decided to ruin the party with the darkest commercial since the invention of the television. It began as a potentially inspirational commercial, but quickly took a sinister turn. A curly-haired boy says that he will never fly, never get married, and never travel the world “be- cause I died.” The images which ensued, especially the overflowing bathtub, were horrifying to every viewer.

Seriously, Nationwide. How does a parent explain to their child this disturb- ing commercial? Couldn’t we have seen Peyton Manning inhale another Chicken Parmesan sandwich? In a way, Nationwide succeeded in their ad campaign since this commercial is a hot topic of conversation. On the other hand, it was a buzz-kill in one of the most entertaining Super Bowl games in recent years.

Nationwide is on your side? Yeah, right. More like ‘Nationwide: that messed-up commercial where the little boy died.’

Matt Sheridan—Brady Bunch Snickers Commercial:

Ever since Eminem and Chrysler decided to air a two-minute epic ode to the city of Detroit during Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the trend has been to go with the dramatic rather than the hilarious for the commer- cials on America’s biggest stage.

On Sunday night, we had at least one example of an ad that did the exact opposite of this. The latest in Snickers’ “You’re not you when you’re hungry” commercials was the best yet, with Danny Trejo, Hollywood’s ultimate bad guy, playing a hungry Marcia Brady in a recreation of the famous sitcom.

The simple premise of these ads—that you change identities completely when you’re hungry—gives Snickers endless pos- sibilities. Never have they pulled this off as hilariously as they did in this ad, as Trejo stood in that familiar Brady living room, donning a black leather vest and spiking a hatchet into the coffee table, complaining to parents Mike and Carol about how his nose was broken and he wouldn’t be able to go to the school dance anymore. They literally could not have picked a funnier person to play the role of the dramatic oldest sister.

Cap that off with the always creepy Steve Buscemi playing an equally hungry and extremely jealous Jan Brady, and we had at least one commercial that was not recreating “The Godfather” and instead was going for the cheap, ridiculous, yet incredibly well- done laugh.

Audrey Eyring—Dove Men+Care Ad:

Maybe it was the delirium from not hav- ing slept the past few nights or maybe it was because I had just spent 10-plus hours in a small cubicle in Bartley, but while watching the Dove Men+Care Super Bowl ad on the computer, I started to tear up. I thought of those times my dad and I have taken awk- ward pre-dance photos and how he used to coach my Little League soccer team. A trend this year seemed to be marketing to men and Dove did a great job in this instance. They made me remember how awesome Dads are while connecting strength to car- ing and then brought out their product. BAM! They tugged at my heart strings and made me feel the urge to text my dad. Good job Dove.

Neil MacDonald—TurboTax Changes History:

Shouts fill the air as angry colonists storm a British ship and boxes of tea are hurled into the water. My favorite ad from Super Bowl XLIX began with a familiar scene from American history—the Boston Tea Party. One man climbs the ship’s mast and cries out, “No taxation without repre- sentation!” A British soldier, huddling with his comrades in a nearby lifeboat, replies, “We hear you on the tax thing, but what if it were free to file your taxes?” The colonists pause, look around and decide that is a per- fectly acceptable solution. Feel-good music plays, and the rest of the ad shows Brits and Americans making up. We even see George Washington, during the famous crossing of the Delaware, stop mid-way and declare, “Back it up!” An announcer then says that TurboTax will file basic tax returns for free.

Among mostly serious ads that went for an emotional jugular, this ad took a some- what dull subject, taxes, and made it funny by twisting a well-known event in Ameri- can history. Sure, people remember sad or shocking ads, but laughs work just as well. This was one of the few commercials that didn’t take itself too seriously and creatively got its product out there. The unexpected twist of history definitely grabbed my at- tention. TurboTax decided to change history with a ‘revolutionary’ product.

Kristian Stefanides—Budweiser “Lost Dog” Commercial:

After Budweiser’s adorable Clydesdale Puppy Love Super Bowl commercial last year, America expected big things once again from “The Great American Lager” beer company. They got just that.

The moment that cute yellow Labrador puppy popped his head out of the hay, Bud- weiser instantly broke hearts across the U.S., not to mention the attractive farmer that also gave us the feels a second later. With “I’m Gonna Be” by Sleeping at Last playing in the background, Budweiser paints a pic- ture of the true companionship between the owner and his dog. Unlike the revoked Go Daddy commercial that showed a puppy being sold after being lost, or Nationwide’s depressing commercial featuring a young boy who talks about what he’ll never be able to do because he died, the Budweiser commercial seemed to give us all that happy sort of feeling inside.

The moment when we realize that the poor little pup goes missing and our farmer is posting “lost dog” signs, along with the coyote that scares not only the dog, but us too, we get a little worried for a split-second. But when we finally see the puppy storming back to his home, muddy and all, leading a pack of Clydesdales, we feel a sigh of relief. Tears. Tears and goose bumps. Thank you, Budweiser.

Sophia Pizzi—Coca-Cola #MakeItHap- py:

I loved this commercial because I’m all about optimism. In the matter of a minute, this commercial managed to capture an entire story. It first painted a hateful world, where the internet is full of bullies and negativity. But then it took a creative spin where a Coke bottle spills onto the internet server, thus enlivening it with positive en- ergy. When this spread through everyone’s system, it turned arguments into laughter and hate mail into reassuring messages. This tugged at my heartstrings a little, because I’m a sucker for happy endings. However, despite the obvious “Coca-Cola makes life happy” message, I think there was an underlying message that applies to the world beyond just soda-drinkers: happiness is simple.“The world is what we make it,” the commercial read at the end. I think this statement criticizes the negative energy that’s all around us in our media-crazed world. We all have the power to spread positivity, Coke or no Coke. So I don’t know about you, but after watching this I’m totally inspired to go out there, cre- ate some positive vibes and #makeithappy. And maybe drink some Coke.

Deanna Crusco—Kim Kardashian #Sa- veTheData:

T-Mobile reached a new low during this years Super Bowl, choosing Kim Kardashian-West as the star of their latest advertisement. While we all know who Kim K is, a “famous person,” according to the ad, I’m still confused as to why we care so much. While losing data on a monthly basis to overpriced phone bills is indeed a tragedy, I’d like to think that if I had more data I’d spend it much more productively instead of scrolling through Kardashian’s multiple selfie uploads each day.

The dramatic music that played through- out the commercial and Kardashian-West’s serious tone is reminiscent of one of those depressing commercials that advertises for hungry children or abused animals. The only thing that is more depressing to me than that kind of commercial is knowing that Kardashian-West probably made more money off of that 30-second ad than I, or you, will ever make in our entire life. As much as I’d like to say we’re all becoming less obsessed with this over-the-top, often annoying family, it seems they have only gained steam over the last few years. With the recent launching of their own beauty supply brand we’re in for a lot more Kar- dashian craziness in the coming years, and I couldn’t be more over it.

Brett Klein—Bud Light:

If someone offered you a beer, assuming you’re of age, and asked you if you’re up for whatever happens next, would you just be like “yeah, sure, let’s do it”? Well that’s the question Bud Light asked this Indie-looking Riley character during their Super Bowl ad and that’s more or less how he responded. Quite a marketing strategy—no matter what the hell is going on in your life, this beer is perfect!

Saying you’re game for absolutely any- thing this random bartender has planned for you is quite the leap of faith. I mean, what if what happened next was a best-of- seven series of archery dodge ball against a Japanese Olympian? Bud Light might not be the perfect beer for that situation, wouldn’t you agree?

Anyway, luckily for Riley he got to play a real-life game of Pacman and gobble up those tiny dots in front of a completely random group of raucous onlookers. We’ll ignore the fact that he had to approach a creepy, seemingly abandoned construction site and deposit a giant coin into a six-foot slot because the end result was awesome.

If you told me you wouldn’t want to play a giant game of human Pacman than either you’re lying or you don’t like fun. Well played, Bud Light, well played.