Super Bowl XL Commercials (Live Blog)

While I’m nominally rooting for the Seahawks (I’m an NFC guy and Shaun Alexander is an Alabama alum), the real story in the Super Bowl for those whose team didn’t make it is the commercials. I’ll give my take on them as I see them.

Lays Potato Chips: Isaac Hayes is getting a bit too ubiquitous. Still, he was clearly enjoying those chips.

Blockbuster DVDs by Mail. Not your classic Super Bowl spot. It’s not particularly memorable or enjoyable. It does, however, actually tell you something about the product and why you might want to buy it. It won’t be talked about much tomorrow but it may well get a lot of people to sign up for their service.

Bud Light: Hiding Bud Lights around the office as a morale booster? Classic. The beer still sucks, though.

Burger King: The resurrection of the classic “Have it Your Way” theme from the 1970s was nice but the commercial itself was quite lame. A bunch of people dancing around dressed as vegetables is neither particularly clever nor likely to stir up an appetite for charbroiled meat.

Toyota Camry Hybrid: Quite lame. The “for your future” pitch and the nod to bilingualism was rather weak.

FedEx: Cave men are in too many commercials. Ugh.

Bud Light #2: Hikers being chased by bears. “Always worth it.” The first one was better.

V for Vendetta: Interesting. I’d see it.

Diet Pepsi: I’m not sure what recording a hip hop song has to do with a soft drink. I’ll continue not to buy any.

Good Morning America: I won’t watch it tomorrow, either.

[Non commercial interruption: OFFENSIVE pass interference? In a Super Bowl? What a lame call.]

Aleve: Leonard Nimoy can do his Spock “Live Long and Prosper” gesture if he takes meds. Not sure whether that’s funny or sad. The old Advil ones with Nolan Ryan were better.

Ameriquest Mortgage: Doctors kill a fly with defibrulators and say “That killed him.” The family of a patient walks in and thinks their dad is dead. Ha. Ha. Sure makes me want to refinance my house with these fine professionals.

Bud Light #3: A bunch of lame-o men are hiding from their wives on the roof of their homes. A fat guy falls through. “Always worth it.” Worth what, exactly? And your beer still sucks. Make mine a Sam Adams Light.

Lost: I’m not watching this all-new episode Wednesday night, either.

[Editor’s note: Steve Bainbridge is live-blogging the non-commercial part of the telecast.]

[Telecast note: Who dressed Michele Tafoya? And why do they still have sideline reporters? They’re always annoying.]

[Officiating again: Thanks for interrupting the game to tell me that there wasn’t a penalty on that play.]

Diet Pepsi #2: Well, Jackie Chan is better than P-Diddy. Still not buying any.

Cars the Movie: A kids movie that may be a bit too risque for the kids. Plus, I don’t have any kids.

Dancing with the Stars: A little more T&A than I remember from the old days. Still not watching.

Acura MDX: The wife has one and we’re looking to trade in soon. They didn’t convince me to stay with the MDX over, say, the BMW X3.

[Nice runback. As usual, it gets negated by a lame penalty.]

[Sideline babes redux: Suzy Kolber is cuter. Still, trite nuggets of wisdom gleaned from Jim Zorn about how to play in the Super Bowl are not interesting. Especially since Zorn never came close to getting to the Super Bowl.]

[Jeremy, ya gotta hold on to the ball.]

Budweiser: Animals playing football. “Didn’t need to see that.” True.

Mobile ESPN: Buy this product and miss out on the exciting things going on around you–and possibly get killed. Hmm.

Grey’s Anatomy: All-new after the Super Bowl. I won’t be watching tonight, either. Here’s a clue for you: Debut new shows after the Super Bowl. Few people are going to watch soap opera type shows unless they are already doing so, since we’re out of the loop. And no need to advertise shows to people who are already watching. Monkeys. “A better job awaits.” For the monkeys?

Cadillac Escalade: Apparently, it’s new. And it is submersible. They’re apparently trying to rebrand it to Matrix fans instead of pimps.

[Nice INT by Boulware.]

M.I.3: Tom Holmes. Katie Holmes. Creepy.

Campaign for Real Beauty: Neurotic people. Self-esteem fund. I don’t believe I’ll be contributing.

The Evidence: The evidence so far indicates that the show will be very, very lame.

[Nasty landing for Randel El. Hope he’s okay.]

Shaggy Dog: Chris Berman, Tim Allen, and yet another tired remake. Woof.

Ford Escape Hybrid: “It’s not easy being green.” Kermit the Frog beats P.C. bilinguilism, I guess. The best of the four SUV ads thus far, although I’d still take the MDX over the other three.

Michelob Ultra Amber: Hot chick playing football gets tackled. Later tackles guy in the bar. Not sure why that should inspire me to buy the beer. The point of hot chicks in beer ads is to make male viewers think they’ll get laid, not body slammed.

Desperate Housewifes: Shaq is funny. But if I’m not watching it for Teri Hatcher, I’m sure not watching for Shaq. And I don’t think he’s actually in the show.

Super Bowl Trophy Promos: This is the second, both featuring Steelers, saying what it would mean to win one. Wouldn’t it be better asking somebody who has actually won one?

Go The Go Daddy girl is smokin’ hot. Not sure what that has to do with domain registration, though.

Poseiden: Yet another remake of a 1970s flick. It looks like it’s pretty interesting, though.

Gillette Fusion: The miracle of fusion. Dudes, it’s just adding additonal blades to the razor.

Desperate Housewives #2: Actually a very enjoyable spot. Hef and Sugar Ray were funny. Still not watching, though. “All about the 0.” A commercial for chicks. At a football game. No wonder they’re in trouble.

Walt Disney World
: 50th anniversary smaltz. I grew up watching World of Disney but not sure if I’m the target demo. Good commercial, though.

[It’s halftime and spousal duties call. I’ll catch up via TiVo delay.]

Sprint: Phone with crime deterrent. Geek throws phone at somebody. Ha. Ha.

Super Bowl: “We’re all connected by the game.” Dude, we’re already watching.

Desperate Housewifes #3: An amalgamation of 1 and 2.

United Airlines: You guys are bankrupt. Quit spending money on Super Bowl ads. Especially lame ones that don’t tell me why I should fly with you.

Grey’s Anatomy #2: Not sure if it was the same ad. Not watching regardless.

Sons & Daughters: Nazi jokes. I believe I’l pass.

Lost #2: “Addicted to Lo[st].” Robert Palmer must be hurtin’ for money.

Fast forwarded through halftime show. As best I can tell, Janet Jackson’s nipples were not featured.

The Evidence #2: A better commercial. Still not watching.

Nationwide: “Life comes at you fast.” Right.

Wachovia: Spam from my bank. Woohoo!

Ford: We’re going bankrupt but we try hard.

Grey’s Anatomy #3: I thought it was a commercial for a sci-fi movie. Pretty interesting. But it’s some sort of hospital soap opera. Not watchin’.

Disney World: Various Super Bowl participants practicing their “I’m going to Disney World” sound byte in case they’re Super Bowl MVP. Mildly amusing. One of the great catch phrases of the last twenty years. But I’m actually not going to Disney World and have no plans to go. Maybe when I have kids. Certainly if I develop late blooming athletic talent and they’re paying.

[Great run by Willie Parker. 75 yards!]

Ameriquest #2: “Don’t judge too quickly.” A misunderstanding that looks like ugly people having sex on an airplane. Seriously, this is making me want to refinance my house.

MotoPEBL: Apparently, it’s a phone.

Sharpie: Pens for pirates.

Lost #5 I’ve lost track of how many of these there have been. Now, you couldn’t pay me to watch “Lost.” Well, you couldn’t pay me a little, anyway.

Budweiser #2: More animals. Small horses trying to fit into the Clydesdale rigs. “I won’t tell if you won’t.” Uh huh.

Nationwide: Joke Fabio shampoo commercial. “Life comes at you fast.” Yes, that’s true. Let me buy some insurance and take investment advice from you guys, pronto, because I don’t want to accidentally mistake some old guy for Fabio.

ESPN Mobile #2: Old guys reminiscing about the old days of the Internet. Funny. Much better than the first one.

Hummer H3: Godzilla and Ultra Man fall in love? “It’s a real monster.” More like a real dog.

PS: Some sort of lame cleaning product. Because, you know, cleaning ladies watch the Super Bowl, too.

[Jeremy Stevens finally catches the damn ball. In the end zone. Good job.] 2 More monkeys. And jackasses, too!

Taco Bell: Apparently, the Crunch Wrap Supreme is back. And dorks love them.

Slim Fast Optima: Apparently, these are diet shakes for hot, skinny chicks who don’t have big appetites.

Sons & Daughters #2: This is going to be one lame-o sitcom.

Gillette Fusion: A rerun.

The World’s Fastest Indian: I assumed this was another parody ad but apparently it is just one of the world’s lamest movies.

Toyota Tacoma: A pickup truck for surfers. Get the rustproofing.

[Stevens drops yet another pass. Geez.]

Sprint #3: You can apparently download some lame songs with this.

Range Rover: An SUV for going down stairs and such. “Designed for the extraordinary.”

eTrade: “Be extraordinary.” Panders to audience without actually telling why they’re better.

GEICO: The Gecco explains he is part of an ad campaign. Edgy. I’ll stick with USAA, though.

[Stevens catches another pass but it gets called back.]

Degree Anti-Perspirant: 3x the protection of something unspecified. Apparently, good enough for wannabe action heroes.

Emerald Nuts: Druid networking. I have no idea why this is supposed to be entertaining, let alone convince me to buy their nuts. I’ll stick with Trader Joe’s.

Fidelity Investments: If you use them, you can be Paul McCartney. I’ve used them for nearly twenty years but apparently not well enough.

Boston Legal: Tom Selleck, Candice Bergan,and Michael J. Fox will be guesting on it. Apparently, the show’s in trouble.

[Randel El, a former college QB turned pro WR, throws a TD to Hines Ward, another QB cum WR.]

Budweiser #3: Apparently, a new version of the wave emulating drinking Bud from a bottle. Not sure I get it. People who like mediocre beer already drink Bud, don’t they?

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest: I’ll wait for the DVD. And then wait some more.

Debit MasterCard: MacGyver. Priceless. Not, however, ageless.

Dancing with the Stars #2: Chicks still hot. Still not watching.

Mobile ESPN #3: These keep getting lamer.

Honda Ridgeline Truck: Yosemite Sam and some hot silouette from a mud flap. Hmm.

Budweiser #4
: Apparently, they drink beer and speak different languages in other countries. Oddly, not Budweiser, though.

World Baseball Classic: Hard to get too patriotic over a competition between people who make a phenomenal living playing baseball in the United States wearing other countries’ uniforms. Mike Piazza excluded, of course. Rerun.

Nationwide: Marriage isn’t so romantic if he’s a deadbeat. Not sure what that has to do with investing with Nationwide, though, unless you get a prenup.

[Fitting: The Seahawks finish up with a dropped pass by Jeremy Stevens.]

This was, quite easily, the worst collection of Super Bowl ads that I can remember.

Update: Should you wish to view them for yourself, AOL Sports has them. (via Steven Taylor)

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Popular Culture, Sports, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Robert Schwartz says:

    Robert Palmer, like the Parrot, has joined the choir invisible.

    Walt Disney World: 50th anniversary smaltz.

    The German word for rendered fat is schmalz. In Yiddish (the Jewish dialect of German), which is written in Hebrew letters, the word is spelled shin, mem, aleph, lamed, tzade.

    The shin is usually transliterated sh, rater than sch. The mem is always m, the aleph a fairly uncontroversial a, and the lamed is l. The tzade which transliterates the German final z, is usually transliterated as tz or ts (it’s hard for English speakers to separate those sounds).

    The usual transliterations include: schmaltz, schmalz, shmaltz and shmalz.

    The sch at least reconnects to the German root, and I think most Americans would do better with the final sound if it were spelled tz, rather than z. I would be inclined to go with the schmaltz.


    *Germanic root, transliterated from Yiddish, same problems.

  2. Robert Schwartz says:

    Why did it

    Eat my links?

  3. Richard Gardner says:

    There is no joy in Jet City tonight. I watched much of the game in the corner brewpub, as Starbucks (and Cutters Point Coffee) closed early. (BTW, still miss my old corner brewpub, Founders in OT Alexandria, Monday night steaks rocked.)

    On the Hummer Godzilla commercial, we were wondering if this was some sort of Brokeback Mountain allusion.

    Budweiser animals playing football, thought it was funny, but we didn’t need to see a naked sheep, indeed.

    Overstock dot com – nowhere near as good as last year – glad I sold the stock

    Micheob Ultra Amber – It this supposed to be about domestic abuse? In general, the Busch commercials were violent – like the savagery of the Buds hidden in the office. – the “more at” makes me want to go to the site

    Pirates of the Caribbean II – might go and see it

    Toyota Tacoma – we just had a major winter wind/wave storm around Tacoma, and everyone was calling BS. Computer Graphics, bad computer graphics. Toyota, bring back the Supra and I’ll respect you.

    ESPN on cell phones, good commercials, but who needs it? What carriers?

    Grey’s Anatomy – screw you West Coast – it comes on 2-3 hours after the Superbowl, but the ads kept saying immediately after (then a local station script would say a couple of minutes later, Grey’s Anatomy will show at 10 PM Pacific)

    The Real Beauty folks. Self-esteem? Too chick-related, lost on the audience.

    Career builder – #1 monkey, ho hum, #2 with the jackasses too, much better. Where is

    Emerald Nuts – What, you are finally shopping at TJ? Part of the evil ALDI empire. Um, ditto.

    Regional Ad – Jack in the Box – At least they arenÂ’t blowing him up any more – but I still wonÂ’t eat there 10 years after the e. coli issues as I personally know a child affected (handicapped, with hearing and eyesight loss).

  4. G A PHILLIPS says:

    no packers, no care.

  5. Paul says:


    >It’s halftime and spousal duties call.

    >I’m actually not going to Disney World and have no plans to go. Maybe when I have kids.

    Are you maybe telling us a bit more than we need to know. 😉

  6. Anderson says:

    I missed the “V for Vendetta” ad? Damn!

    Actually thought the H3 commercial was kind of funny. It certainly had surprise going for it.