Steven Bryant – Doritos (2009): The 2009 Doritos Super Bowl commercial brings about all the things that one wants to do whilst working in the typical office setting.
It begins with two coworkers discussing a crystal ball. “Free Doritos at the office today?” the man says as he shakes the crystal ball.
Without so much as a devious eyebrow flip, the man hurls the ball at the Doritos-filled vending machine, exposing all for the taking.
The non-believer in the ball’s power picks it up at the end of the commercial with a glaring question: “Will I finally get that big promotion?”
He then chucks the ball at his boss’s pelvic area, hitting him in his crystal balls.
Something we have probably all wanted to do to our boss at some point.
Connor Doyle – Volkswagen (2011): While I may be in the minority in finding “The Last Jedi” to be boring and subpar at the very best, I’m confident that I speak for countless Star Wars fans in my love for the Volkswagen “Darth Vader Kid” (for lack of a better title) Super Bowl commercial.
What shocked me the most when I went to watch it again was that it was, for all intents and purposes, ancient by today’s standards. The ad is from 2011 and aired on the evening of Super Bowl XLV. I don’t even think I had armpit hair in 2011. The advertisement features a young boy in a Darth Vader costume attempting to use “The Force” on various objects throughout his house. His frustration grows as the ad plays out, but, at the very end, he successfully starts his dad’s Volkswagen Passat sitting in the driveway (that or his dad used the automatic start; both conclusions are open to speculation).
While the laughs are very well warranted, the most lasting impression of the ad was that “Darth Vader Kid” would be both a more qualified and more talented villain than the lame and laughable Kylo Ren, but that’s an entirely different issue for an entirely different story.
Gabriel Pantoja – Taco Bell (2013): While the lights in the Mercedes Benz Superdome were out, Taco Bell lit up the faces of the millions watching at home. They premiered their commercial “Viva Young,” starring about six elderly citizens. They are seen meeting at a retirement home late at night and partying as if they are young again. In this commercial, one gets a tattoo, one does the robot in the stiffest way possible and one even plants his bare chest on a glass window while two people are trying to enjoy a meal. All of this is happening while the song “We Are Young,” by Fun., plays in the background, but in Spanish. The commercial is basically a way to promote the fact that Taco Bell stays open incredibly late, but what better way could they have done it? It’s raunchy, it’s funny and it is overall something that was not completely expected, even for a Super Bowl commercial.
Jeremy Flood – Budweiser (1995): 1995 was truly a year for the record books for various reasons. “Toy Story” was released, yours truly entered the world and Budweiser aired one of the best Super Bowl commercials to date. For those of you who may remember, you might recall the “Frogs” ad. The premise of this marketing masterpiece is three frogs sitting in some marshland at night. Each frog has its own “ribbit.” It just so happens that one frog’s call sounds like “Bud,” while the other two have sounds like “weis” and “er.” They are each “ribbiting” on their own cadence, when they discover that all their calls together made a beautiful sound – “bud-weis-er.” How creative, no?
Come on, frogs finding their long-lost acapella purpose in life? That’s pure gold.
Aran Singh – E-Trade (2000): I’m a fan of absurd comedy and E-Trade aired an ad during Super Bowl XXXIV that was delightfully absurd – as opposed to, say, the horrific, Lovecraftian-abomination-kind-of-absurd that was Puppy Monkey Baby.
The ad starts with a chimpanzee trotting up a driveway of some random house. The chimp walks into a garage, pushes play on a boom box and stands on top of a bucket, which is flanked on either side by two random dudes in flannel. A version of “La Cucaracha” starts playing, and the two dudes start awkwardly clapping along while the chimp gesticulates wildly for about 10 seconds. The screen goes black, and these words appear: “Well, we just wasted 2 million bucks.” A voice then says with E-Trade you can blah blah … but who cares about all that? It’s weird and random, but also clever and funny. This, to me, is the “football to the groin” of Super Bowl commercials. It works on so many levels.