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2015 Super Bowl Ad Recap: The Good, the Bad and the Meh

It’s Super Bowl time again!

As a long-suffering fan of the New York Jets, watching the New England Patriots play in the biggest game of the year is pure torture. Thank goodness for the commercials because without them, I would have definitely switched to the Puppy Bowl. Last year I assembled a crack team of experts (aka my kids) to praise those spots that entertained us and ridicule those that fell short.
At 6 p.m. I announced I wanted to get the band back together for another round of glory! And I was greeted with a deafening silence. I even tried to bribe them with an offer of cake, but that didn’t work. I then tried to threaten to take the cake away but again, no luck. The only input I received from my four kids regarding any commercial was from 8-year-old Meghan, who wants to see Minions. So I was on my own, and the kids got cake anyway.

For me, this year’s crop was not entirely terrible. Most of the time I was left with just a “meh” feeling, instantly forgetting what I had just watched. That’s worse, if you believe Oscar Wilde: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” So without further ado, here are the ads being talked about—and whether they were good or bad (in my humble opinion).

  • Anheuser-Busch: As usual they did not disappoint with the lost puppy spot. They know how to be sentimental without being sappy. I always enjoy hearing stories about interspecies friendships, and though this was taken to the extreme, it still gives the warm fuzzies. Another win for Anheuser-Busch was the Pac-Man spot for Bud Light. I’m hoping one of those will be built someday.
  • Insurance Companies: They seriously brought the funny this year. Mindy Kaling’s Nationwide commercial is just further proving she is one of the funniest people on the planet. Esurance brought their A-game as well, with Lindsay Lohan playing on her “psycho-chick” reputation and Bryan Cranson working with drugs, er, “pharmaceuticals.” The exception: Nationwide’s “Make Safe Happen.” After the hefty initial shock wore off, I did a quick mental review of everything going on in the house. Hopefully, most Americans did as well.
  • Clash of Clans/Game of War: The more I see of Clash of Clans, the more likely I’ll give it a shot. What you see is what you get. On the other hand, Game of War makes it seem like you’ll be going on an epic adventure similar to Lord of the Rings when in reality, you’ll just be building walls and collecting crops.
  • Snickers: It’s amazing this campaign is still going strong, but it continues to be original. One would figure the well would have run dry by now, but it looks like they’ve just scratched the surface with this one.
  • Carnival Cruise Lines: A speech by JFK is nowhere near enough to get me on one of those things.
  • They finally made a commercial that didn’t make me cringe. Always’ #LikeAGirl: This is a message that needs to be repeated often.

And my “Turkey of the Year” goes to:

  • Nissan: Do they even know who Harry Chapin was? All I saw were car crashes to the tune of “Cats in the Cradle.” Yet another entry in the “advertisers who don’t research the music” category.

So there you have it: my personal assessment of Super Bowl 2015 ads (blame my kids). Nothing was terrible, and nothing was earth-shattering. Now it’s time to countdown the days until pitchers and catchers report.


Ken Auld


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