The Best of the Rest: Evaluating Everything But the Game

By Dustin Brewer

So Super Bowl XLVIII wasn’t the most competitive game we’ve ever seen (to say the least) but fortunately, some top notch commercials came through. We take a look at some of the best, the worst and oh yeah, a Time Warner Cable Catastrophe.

Photo from: USA Today

This year advertisers spent $4 million for each 30 second commercial we saw during the Super Bowl. The fact that networks can now command that much per ad shows just how hard companies will vie for your attention, so much so that the commercials have now become as big a part of Super Sunday as the game itself. Fortunately, a good majority of companies brought their A-game and we’re here with our choices for some of the most memorable, for better and for worse. (Click the titles for links to the ads)

-Rob Riggle and James Franco– This was literally the first commercial I saw before kickoff and it set the bar pretty high. If it was just Rob Riggle talking about Ford getting double the gas milage of their competitors, I’d still be pretty pumped about it but then, to drive the point home that Ford is getting double, we get a double sized ad with James Franco that reminds everyone that James Franco is in a zone where he can do literally anything he wants. 

-Doritos Time Machine-  The Doritos commercials have been some of the most consistently funny from the last few years, ever since the introduction of the “Crash The Super Bowl” contest that invited Doritos eaters to compete for a $1 million prize. If this one, featuring a kid with a time machine that runs on Doritos doesn’t win, there’s no justice.

-RadioShack in the 80’s-  My pick for best commercial of the day goes to this one. “The 80s called, they want their store back.” With that, a barrage of 80s characters looting the store while “Working for the Weekend” plays over it. When I say barrage, I mean an Army of 80s. Jason Voorhees, Hulk Hogan, Teen Wolf, Devo, I think Sgt. Slaughter at one point and even more than you can see in one viewing and then, after the looting, they all pile into a Delorian and bone out. Well played Radio Shack.

-Timmy T-Mobile-  Even though he wasn’t on the field Sunday, Tim Tebow still had quite a large presence with some wonderful commercials celebrating the benefits of not having a contract (cause T-Mobile requires no contracts, get it?) It starts out ridiculous and just goes balls to the wall from there.

-Ellen Red Riding Hood-  This one wasn’t too funny, it played up Ellen DeGeneres loving to dance and went by pretty quick but what caught our eyes was a much more subtle joke. Watch it again and look at the bears when she turns around. One of them is wearing a shirt that says Hyber-Nation, clearly the hottest band in the woods these days.

-Chevy Getting Weird With Bulls- This was arguably the weirdest thing we saw Sunday. I don’t know why they felt the need to play “You Sexy Thing” throughout the whole minute of commercial because let’s face it, it really seemed like that guy was going to drive off with that bull so they can live in peace together, but no, he’s taking him to see cows like a buddy playing wingman for his pal in need. Then there’s a ton of lip licking and no one feels comfortable.

-Scientology- If you want to play a game more fun than watching this commercial, try guessing how much of the $8 million the Church of Scientology paid for this 60 seconds to air came from Tom Cruise’s pocket.

-24 Return Clips- Did you catch all the weird brief clips before finally, we saw Kiefer “Jack Bauer” Sutherland back in action, in what appeared to be in London coming this May. Honestly, we got more excited with the image of him shooting and screaming than we did for the vast majority of the game.

However, there’s a chance you might have missed some of these commercials if you have Time Warner Cable.

In case you missed it, TWC subscribers in the LA and Ventura Counties in Southern California were without channels 2, 4, 7, 9 and 11 for over an hour. That’s right, there was no stadium blackout this year, but for millions of viewers, an hour of the biggest television event of the year was lost. How did Time Warner handle this you ask?

By airing a commercial that their customers can’t even seen! No wonder their service is blacked out for over an hour; look at all the calamity going on in their headquarters, Diddy really needs to handle the situation a bit better.

They also had a Tweet that’s since been deleted that said “Who’s ready for @BrunoMars and the #SuperBowlHalftimeShow?” which almost caused a Twitter uprising.

Time Warner should be hearing from quite a few angry people Monday morning so that’ll be fun to watch unfold.

Lastly, companies looking to sell cars, cell phones and food weren’t the only ones with ads during the Super Bowl. We finally got a look at some of the most anticipated movies of the year.

From best to worst, here’s the movies we got a glimpse of:

-Transformers 4-  No, it doesn’t look like the best movie ever but let’s be real- we get so much jam packed into the brief 30 seconds that it’s almost impossible to imagine the craziness we’ll see in the full thing. DinoBots, cars getting cut in half, a Transformer with parachutes and Optimus Prime riding Grimlock. Bonkers.

– Need For Speed- Coming to the rescue to fill the void audiences will have until the next “Fast and Furious” is Aaron Paul, Kid Cudi and the film adaptation of the video game”Need for Speed.” It looks like a pretty basic and simple plot but the car tricks and stunts look like they’re going to more than make up for plot holes and possibly even contend with the “Fast” gang for most ridiculous car-oriented action movies.

– Amazing Spider-Man 2- The biggest complaint from “Spider-Man 3” was that there was too much going on for a cohesive plot to be found. Did Sony not pay any attention to that? This movie not only looks like it’s going to have Elektro and Rhino, but also Norman Osborn and set up a “Sinister Six” movie either as a sequel or its’ own stand-alone film. Not to mention, an extended focus on Peter and Gwen Stacy’s relationship which most likely will not end too well for Stacy.

– Noah- This movie looks absolutely insane. Russell Crowe is Noah trying to build his famed Ark as others seem to try to take the Ark for themselves only for the devastating storm to hit. If anyone can make this movie, it’s Darren Aronofsky so it may just be best to wait and see the whole thing before any judgements can be made.

What were your favorite ads from Super Bowl Sunday? Least favorite? Do you have Time Warner Cable and did you throw something through your TV or change providers? Let us know in the comments or at 

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