Idiot Box: Touchdown Or Fumble?

The Best And Worst Super Bowl Xliii Commercials

Devin D. O'Leary
3 min read
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Best– A moose head in an executive’s office and an office worker with very bad job placement make for a perfect punch line in this simple plea to land yourself a new career. Well played,– Jeez, the economy must suck, because here’s another winning spot about landing a new job. The “12 Days of Christmas”-style rhyme about “wishing you were someplace else” and “punching small animals” proves the old ad-game adage: Repetition works!– Alec Baldwin is becoming a pitch-perfect, William Shatner-style parody of himself. God bless him and this hilarious spot in which the free TV download site claims to be “An evil plot to destroy the world. Enjoy.” You gotta love truth in advertising.

Pepsi– Self-referential humor was big this year, but Pepsi pulled it off best with its “MacGruber” parody. We got a funny send-up of “MacGyver” (complete with Richard Dean Anderson cameo!) and a winking critique of “embedded” commercials in prime-time television (our hero changes his name to “PepSuber” halfway through the sketch).

Bridgestone– A pair of funky astronauts bop around in their souped-up space buggy. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head go for a Sunday drive. Both Bridgestone Super Bowl spots end with nicely timed visual jokes viewers will remember.


Cash4Gold– Is this a witty spoof of direct-marketing infomercials or is it just sad watching Ed McMahon and MC Hammer prostitute themselves to a company that rips off people during tough economic times? Yup. The latter.– Every Super Bowl, like sleazy clockwork, Go Daddy promises viewers they might just see boobies if they log on to the website. Way to tease … but what the hell are you selling ?

Gatorade– So all those arty, vaguely sports-centric commercials for the mysterious “G” led to this: Gatorade is rebranding itself by a single initial. Gee, that was not worth the wait.

Budweiser– Every year people look forward to the sentimental Budweiser Clydesdale commercials. But at this point, it’s clear Bud has run out of ideas. There was no surprise, no pep in any of these spots, which have anthropomorphized these horses into beer-hawking Saturday morning cartoons.

Doritos– Most expensive ad agency commercials suck. These fan-produced “Crash the Super Bowl” spots are even more of a mixed bag. (Get it?) The crystal ball one had a laughable crotch hit gag. But the one in which crunching Doritos gives a dude the magical power to rip clothes off women and steal from ATM machines seems kind of … well, illegal .


Monsters vs. Aliens- -DreamWorks got hellacious publicity for airing the first 3-D Super Bowl commercial. The film looked like fun, but why confuse viewers by advertising a cutting-edge, digital, Real-D film by using crummy old anaglyphic red/blue glasses? It gave everybody a headache and made them think Monsters vs. Aliens was a throwback to the days of Bwana Devil .

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