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Super Bowl ads tend to come in two flavors: inspirational and humorous. With so many eyeballs watching, the advertisers want to evoke an emotion, be it warm or chortle-worthy.
No matter which approach they took, here are 10 ads that made a mark:
Jason Bateman plays an old-time elevator operator taking people to unpleasant situations like “root canal,” a middle seat on a plane and “the talk” about the birds and the bees. At the bottom: car shopping at a dealership. Once the customers point out they used Hyundai Shopper Assurance, he shoots them to the top.
A woman asks for a Coke. The waiter says, “Is a Pepsi OK?” Steve Carell shows up, indignant, saying it’s more than OK. This gives Lil Jon the excuse to say his trademark, “OK,” followed by Cardi B’s trilled version.
Verizon brought Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn to a firehouse to talk about his experience after a drunken driver hit his vehicle and almost killed him. He extols the first responders who saved him, then finds out they are actually there and tears up.
Microsoft profiles several kids who have disabilities that limit their abilities to use a traditional video game controller. The company unveils a special adaptive controller to help make it easier for them to play because, as one parent tearfully says, “He’s not different when he plays.”
The Planters Nutmobile flies through the streets and passes Charlie Sheen, who says, “People think I’m nuts.” Alex Rodriguez is about to eat kale chips, and Mr. Peanut subs it out with nuts – just in time.
Tony Romo exudes easy-going charm in this ad for Skechers slip-on shoes where he seeks an “easy life,” meaning his Roomba picks up his dropped popcorn, a cannon shoots tennis balls for his dog to retrieve, a huge golf hole makes putting easier and a “hover tray” keeps drinks handy.
Crooner Michael Bublé makes fun of his name and its confluence to the sound of Pepsi Co.’s Bubly drink by insisting that it’s pronounced like his last name, not like “bubbly.”
Robots are superior to humans when it comes to jogging, hitting golf balls, boxing and spin class. But they can’t enjoy a Michelob Ultra. Take that, robots!
Whatever a man says, it happens, be it making a putt, changing a traffic light, making money burst out of an ATM, turning an opera singer into Ludacris or willing Wile E. Coyote to ride on a rocket. At the end, he’s in his Mercedes, turning on his music, changing the console color and making it cooler.
This ad starts as a fun Bud Light bit focused on jousting, but then the Bud Light jouster loses, and a huge dragon starts sending hellfire onto the field. Then “Game of Thrones: Final Season” pops up. That was a twist!
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