Super Bowl Commercial Power Rankings: The Muppets Take New Jersey

  • Rick Chandler

What if they made a version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” starring The Muppets? I’d buy a ticket. This latest Super Bowl commercial teaser doesn’t look too far off from that — you’ve got a deserted road, an old broken-down bus, and a maniacal serial killer … or is that Rowlf the Dog? It’s hard to tell.

Fun fact: Rowlf was not originally a Muppet. He made his debut in a 1962 commercial for dog food. The Muppets didn’t come along until years later.

Anyway, he’s apparently in this Toyota commercial to be shown sometime during the Super Bowl, along with (hopefully) other Muppets, because how can you not like small, carpeted puppets selling you cars? Here are the most promising 2014 Super Bowl commercials so far, as presented in trailer form, with a couple of actual full commercials thrown in.

We’ll update these rankings as new Super Bowl commercials roll in, so check back every day.

1. Axe Body Spray. In “Axe Peace: Make Love, Not War”, Axe poses the eternal question: what if all the world’s most war-loving leaders and their minions all started the day with a refreshing dose of scented liquid? Included here I see, apparently, is the Vietnam War, which predates Axe by a full decade. Better idea for that spot: how about Chris Christie getting sprayed down (shudder), then canceling the George Washington Bridge closure?

2. Jaguar USA. A short teaser for their “British Villains” spot, which proves what I’ve been saying for the past two years: Tom Hiddleston needs to be the villain in every movie from now on.

3. Dannon Oikos Yogurt. The terrifyingly surreal quality of this commercial cannot be understated — I think each one of us at one time has awaken in a cold sweat having dreamed just such a scenario. You and your former roommates, now in late middle age, all still living together. And the image of Dave Coulier in footy pajamas is just too jarring for network TV, in my opinion. Anyway, the three “Full House” stars are reuniting for multiple ads during the game (John Stamos has been a spokesman for Dannon for the past couple of years). Good luck getting to sleep tonight.

4. Toyota Highlander. This whole thing seems ominous, foreboding and hopefully funny. The mind runs wild with ideas, among them a stranded, desperately hungry Miss Piggy making a small meal out of Kermit.

Toyota is taking its “Let’s Go Places” theme into the Super Bowl with an ad featuring Terry Crews — a former NFL linebacker, formerly an Old Spice guy, and current star of Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” It also stars the Muppets.

The ad, which runs in the second quarter of the game, evinces a cross-promotional deal with Disney. The 60-second TV ad does double duty by touting the carpeted characters’ new Disney movie “Muppets Most Wanted,” which premieres in March.

The NFL and Disney seem poised to take as much of your money as possible.

5. Volkswagen. Apparently things have gone horribly wrong back in the lab. The makers of my favorite Super Bowl commercial — little Darth Vader –have been traditionally strong during the big game. But as this teaser demonstrates, it’s not an exact science.

6. Doritos. The company’s “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is down to five finalists, and this one is our favorite. Because, wrongfully accused ostrich.

7. Pepsi. It’s unclear whether this spot, “Twice In A Lifetime”, is an actual commercial that will air during the game, or just a promotion for the Pepsi Halftime Show. Either way, it’s pretty cool. Rory O’Connor thinks he’s being interviewed about the time he attended Super Bowl IV, only to have that game’s halftime show recreated right in front of him. Carol Channing!

8. SodaStream. Has Scarlett Johansson jumped the shark? We’ll find out soon, when this commercial debuts during the game. This is a “behind-the-scenes” look at her ad for SodaStream, where stock has been plummeting recently: apparently the Israeli company has set up factories in the occupied West Bank, which is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way. Nice timing, Scarlett!

9. Doritos. Here’s another finalist, as we see a young Justin Bieber making morally questionable decisions when his mom asks for help unloading the groceries. This makes the list primarily for the final scene, in which the mom cheers her young son being painfully hogtied.

10. Doritos. In which a doofus is conned by a kid to hand over his delicious bag of flavored chips. Left unmentioned is why the boy has set up this elaborate scam in someone else’s front yard — someone who seems to hate him, no less.

READ: Everything You Wanted To Know About The 2014 Super Bowl Commercials (But Were Afraid To Ask) [SportsGrid]