Final Power Rankings Of The Super Bowl 50 Commercials: You Poor, Sad Hulk
This year the Super Bowl commercials send us forward in space and time, testing the very limits of mankind's goals and imagination, and also there's Willem Dafoe in a dress. It's our annual Super Bowl Power Rankings, in which we choose the 10 very best big game commercials. This was a down year for Super Bowl ads IMO, but some were good. Here are the top ones as determined by our panel of experts.*
10. Doritos: "Doritos Dogs"
It's the 10th and final year of the Crash the Super Bowl campaign, in which amateur filmmakers make Doritos commercials and compete for $1 million and a spot in the broadcast. This one was one of the three finalists, but didn't win. It was shown during the game, however, and it's our favorite.
9. Heinz: "Wiener Stampede"
Wiener dogs in bun costumes stampeding toward ketchup and mustard? OK, that's good enough to get into our rankings. This probably wouldn't have made it without the minor detail of a small child dressed as a fast food ketchup packet.
8. Hyundai: "The Chase"
In which two bears are chasing hikers, who escape by using the Elantra's new technology that allows you to start your car by talking into your smartphone. This is not only amusing, but would have made The Revenant a much better movie.
7. Death Wish Coffee: Storm's a-Brewin'
Winners of Intuit's "Small Business, Big Game" contest, the small company (11 employees) will get this 30-second ad during the third quarter. It probably cost more to get this in the Super Bowl than the company made all of last year, but that's the beauty of winning a contest.
6. Avocados from Mexico: "Avos in Space"
The same agency that created last year's "First Draft Ever" is back, and this time we go to the future. An alien tour guide at a human history museum is describing our ancient artifacts, among them the "Cube of Rubik"; an airline seat "torture device"; and, for some reason, Scott Baio. Also a chart of emojis, which the guide refers to as "our alphabet."
5. LG, OLED TV: "The Man from the Future"
Ridley Scott is back in the Super Bowl for the first time 32 years, when he directed the iconic "1984" Apple commercial. Now he's the executive producer and his son Jake Scott is the director, with Liam Neeson going a full minute without killing anyone. It's all for LG’s G6 OLED TV, with the best picture yet to watch Taken 3.
4. Coca-Cola: "Coke Mini"
Half of the Hulk's problems would go away if he just labeled all of his stuff in the refrigerator, but then we wouldn't have this entertaining ad. Ant-Man tries to snag a free Coke Mini and gets busted big time, as Hulk is having none of it. I'd also recommend that Hulk lay off the caffeine, considering his anger issues. But no one asked me.
3. Snickers: "Marilyn"
Snickers is back with its "You get grumpy when you're hungry" campaign, this time with Willem Dafoe as Marilyn Monroe (yep), with a cameo by the great Eugene Levy. It was always going to be hard to top last year's Danny Trejo-as-Marcia-Brady spot, but reaching back to 1955, when Marilyn did the iconic street grate scene in The Seven Year Itch, works very well.
2. Honda: "A New Truck to Love"
The RPA Agency created this 60-second spot -- they're the ones who made the Ferris Bueller reboot for the CR-V in 2012. This time around it's a Babe-esque bit of whimsy in which sheep secretly belt out Queen's Somebody to Love in the pasture. They learn the song because the pickup truck that the rancher uses to move them -- the 2017 Honda Ridgeline -- has a rear-bed sound system. That'll do, Honda. That'll do.
1. Audi: "Commander"
This one has all the early earmarks of a disaster -- profiteering off of a recently-deceased celebrity; cloying use of an old man who's lost his passion for life; and the overused car-as-spaceship meme. But by the time that the aging former astronaut and his son climb into the Audi R8 V10 Plus, and we hear the strains of David Bowie's Starman, it's clear that there's something special going on here. We're on the rocket with them, and when it's done, damn if we aren't getting a little misty-eyed. Well done, Audi. That was one sweet ride.
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners. Executive Creative Director: Will McGinness
* = Three dogs, myself, and someone on the phone claiming to be Jake O'Donnell.
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