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Scott McIntyre / The New York Times

February 3, 2020

The Sun’s Super Bowl Commercial Awards

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The Super Bowl is one of the most recognizable American cultural phenomena in modern times. This year’s Super Bowl attracted 99.9 million viewers, making the ads a very lucrative — but expensive — spot for companies. A 30 second ad slot cost around $5.6 million. Therefore, companies do their best to make their ads stand out. In this article, we will award the commercials that have truly risen above the rest in these following categories: Best Trailer, Worst Trailer, Best Tearjerker, Weirdest Commercial, Funniest Commercial, Worst Commercial Best Commercial.

Best Trailer: Marvel Disney+ 

Marvel and Disney+ came out of nowhere showing footage on three of its new shows: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision and Loki. In the trailer for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we begin with Falcon learning how to use Captain America’s shield. We also get a first look at a new Captain America, called U.S. Agent. The Loki footage showed its titular star as a newfound prisoner of the TVA, an organization which protects the integrity of all timelines. This makes a lot of sense as in Avengers: Endgame, we last see Loki taking the space stone and teleporting away. The most interesting trailer, however, comes from WandaVision. We see Wanda and Vision living in an idealized world that pays homage to several sitcoms of the twentieth century such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch.

Best Tearjerker: Google 

Google managed to make everyone watching the Super Bowl stop eating pizza and wings and, instead, attempt to hold back tears while they watch a man using the Google Assistant to remember his late wife, Loretta. The trailer is just a view of the assistant, so all we see is the white screen, text boxes and various photos the assistant decides to show the man of his wonderful relationship with Loretta. This ad elicits the same feelings as the opening sequence in Up, but manages it with fewer resources and a much shorter runtime.

Weirdest Commercial: Rocket Mortgage 

This category is for the commercials that are so weird that they just boggle the mind of every viewer. In this ad, Rocket Mortgage decided to inexplicably take the body of Jason Momoa and revert him to a skinny, bald man. It is a surreal commercial for sure, as you see him take off his muscles as if he was wearing a costume the whole time. Forget the Old Muscle Man Momoa,  for 2020 it’s all about skinny man Momoa.

Funniest Commercial: Hyundai 

 

Funniest Ad is reserved for the commercials that get the most laughs from the viewers. It was a tough category, but Hyundai’s “Smaht Park” ad manages to get great laughs with a very simple premise. We see Boston natives John Krasinski, Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch employ the thickest of Boston accents as they argue over the parking abilities of Krasinski. Turns out that Krasinski doesn’t even need to know how to park as he uses Hyundai’s smart park feature The accents alone give great laughs, and the ad even goes into the Chris Evans sweater jokes of 2019 by having his dog wear an amazing knit sweater.

Worst Commercial: Hulu 

Hulu comes out with an ad that tries to make fun of a pressing issue that is on the mind of almost every NFL fan. That issue is the question of whether Tom Brady will retire. Hulu starts out the ad with Tom Brady telling the viewers how important this upcoming message will be, but then Tom Brady “refers to Hulu’s script” and promotes their live sports streaming capability. The ad wrongly messes with the emotions of the millions of fans that are watching the game as they all collectively sigh at the fact that Tom Brady subverted everyone’s expectations in the worst way possible. Also with this super bowl being the first in 3 years to not feature Tom Brady, having him come back for this one in an ad is pretty terrible for all of the Tom Brady haters in the NFL community.

Best Commercial: Mountain Dew 

This was the hardest category as many companies really stepped it up for Sunday. Our first honorable mention goes to Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” ad, that brought back the stars of the classic film from the 80s to recreate the film but with Bill Murray falling in love with a Grand Cherokee. Our second honorable mention goes to Planters with the resurrection of Mr. Peanut as #BabyNut during Mr. Peanut’s funeral featuring some great attendees.

But in our opinion, the best commercial of Super Bowl LIV goes to Mountain Dew Zero’s recreation of the Shining. In this ad, Mountain Dew recruits Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross to play the roles of Jack and Wendy Torrance in the iconic “Here’s Johnny,” scene but with a wonderful twist. The twist where Jack really just wants Wendy to try Mountain Dew Zero Sugar, and instead of screaming Wendy actually tries the soda and praises it. Bryan Cranston is really the star of the ad here as he plays the role as great as Jack Nicholson did in the past. His performance along with Tracee Ellis Ross’s performance really elevate this ad into something special and in our opinion the best commercial of Super Bowl LIV.

 

Ryan Richardson is a junior in the College of Engineering. He currently serves as the Snapchat editor on The Sun’s board. He can be reached at rrichardson@cornellsun.com.