Commercials in Super Bowl LI fall short

So one more time we are left wanting when it comes to the annual Super Bowl commercials. I cannot believe companies actually paid the kind of money it costs to run this year’s batch of commercials – something like $5 million per minute. The companies would have done better giving me the money and allowing me to stand on a street corner with a sign promoting their products or whatever.

But, no, these companies had to waste their money paying for the prestige of advertising during the Super Bowl. Yes, there were some good commercials. There just were not enough good commercials. When we think back on Sunday night’s game – Super Bowl LI – they will remember the big lead the Atlanta Falcons blew, how Tom Brady overcame a four-game suspension to start the season and still got his team to the game and won and the incredible catches made by Atlanta’s Julio Jones and New England’s Julian Edelman. Boy, will they ever remember that catch by Edelman. That was unbelievable. It probably secured the Super Bowl victory for the Patriots.

People will also remember this game as the one that cemented Tom Brady as the best quarterback ever to play in the Super Bowl. He has now won five Super Bowls with the Patriots and played in seven. He has now won four Super Bowl MVP awards. He brought his team from a 25-point deficit to win the game – the first ever to be decided in overtime. In the future, they may rename the game the Brady Bowl. Or perhaps it will become the Patriots Bowl – after all, the Patriots have been in nine Super Bowls so far, the most by any team. The Patriots lost their first two Super Bowls in 1986 and 1997. They finally got a victory in 2002 over the St. Louis Rams. They won back-to-back Super Bowls in 2004 and 2005. They followed those wins with losses in 2008 and 2012 before winning again in 2015 and, of course, this year.

All of that, however, is not what I intended to write about this week. I wanted to write about a resurgence of great Super Bowl commercials. Unfortunately, I cannot do that this year. Maybe the commercials will get better next year. Lately, the games have been more entertaining than the commercials and that was not always so. I still remember the great Budweiser commercials with the Clydesdales, the Dalmatians, the sheep, the puppies, the frogs . . . the great commercials came every year. Well, they once did. Now we get a political statement about immigrants. I do not know about you, but I watch the Super Bowl for one reason – to be entertained. There were too many political commercials this year. There were so many you would have thought Hillary Clinton won the presidency. Did 84 Lumber really need to do a commercial about a mother and daughter trying to enter the United States illegally only to be barred from entry by a wall? 

Anyway, there were no good Budweiser commercials among this year’s Super Bowl offerings. Yes, I saw Spuds, but it was an awful commercial. It was not as bad as last year’s puppybabymonkey commercial, but it was bad.

One of the better commercials was one with Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake for the fruit drink Bai. When you first hear Walken saying the words that begin the commercial, you do not immediately recognize them as words from the *NSYNC song “Bye, Bye, Bye.” Walken says, “I don’t wanna make it tough. I just want to tell you that I’ve had enough. It might sound crazy, but it ain’t no lie baby, bye, bye, bye.” The camera turns to Timberlake sitting on the same couch as it appears he is judging Walken’s performance and then the music plays as the bottle of Bai becomes the focus of the commercial. It was one of the better commercials of the night.

I did like the secret society commercial for avocados, but you have to watch the entire commercial on to get the full effect. They jammed the whole commercial into 30 seconds for the Super Bowl when the full commercial was a minute and 39 seconds long. It just did not work in 30 seconds.

The Hyundai commercial which aired after the game was over was nice. The Audi commercial about what a man should tell his daughter was also nice and thoughtful. The Snickers “live” commercial was a complete waste of money. It made no sense. 

I enjoyed the Melissa McCarthy KIA Niro commercial about being an environmental hero was somewhat political, but funny. It ranked among the best of the night for sure. The Buick commercial with Cam Newton and Miranda Kerr was as close to sexy as this year’s edition offered. Well, maybe the commercial with Jason Statham and Gal Adopt was a little sexier.

What was my favorite commercial? That was easy for me to select. It was the Mercedes commercial spoofing “Easy Rider” with Peter Fonda, who starred in and helped write the original movie back in the late 1960s. 

Well, maybe the next Super Bowl will give us something better to talk about than the game. This year’s game did not, but that is okay. I rather enjoyed watching Roger Goodell have to present the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP Trophy to Brady. Maybe next year there will be a commercial based on the awards ceremony starring Goodell – Plop, Plop fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.

By Mark Clark. Clark is a local sports 

writer for The Citizen.