Superbowl 2017: Best and worst ads

The best and worst advertisements, commercials, and trailers from Super Bowl 51


Casey Loving, Reporter

Worst: 5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

With the summer movie season right on the horizon, the Super Bowl always comes packed with trailers for the year’s upcoming blockbusters. This year’s event was full of lackluster previews for movies I have no real interest in, and the fifth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise takes the cake for the worst trailer with all of the nonsense I’ve come to expect from the franchise. The ocean splitting in half? Huh, that’s neat I guess. A zombie bird and a ghost ship rising from the water? That’s pretty much par for the course at this point. Orlando Bloom with stuff on his face and Johnny Depp covered in mud? Now this is the reunion I’ve been waiting for. After this trailer, I will be sure to head straight to the theaters when “Dead Men Tell No Tales” comes out in May so I can see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” again.

Best: 5. Avocados From Mexico – Secret Society

It wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without a few silly commercials using an insane concept to sell their product, and, in that respect, Avocados From Mexico was Sunday’s winner. The jokes in this advertisement come fast and furious, from an obvious knock on “50 Shades of Grey” to a recurring gag on the existence of Bigfoot. My personal favorite joke of the commercial comes in the form of a parody of blatant subliminal advertising techniques. While an advertisement with an important message is great, sometimes you just want to sit back, laugh a little, and get on to the game, and this commercial lets you do just that.

Worst: 4. Skittles – Romance

While Avocados From Mexico demonstrated a funny concept working well to make a Super Bowl ad, Skittles went just a bit too far with their TV spot on Sunday. This ad sees a teenage boy try to romance his girlfriend by throwing Skittles through her window as family and more line up for candy. While the commercial starts off strong, the joke simply wore out its welcome for me in it’s 30-second run time. I can’t help but feel like Skittles beat the dead horse, or rather the dead gopher, with this one.

Best: 4. Snickers – Live Commercial

Snickers made a bold move last by having its first ever live commercial. Although the ad didn’t have much to do with product (as most Super Bowl spots don’t), it was a very impressive demonstration with stunts, practical effects, and pretty great cinematography, not to mention the great comedy. Also, who doesn’t love seeing Adam Driver?

Worst: 3. Bai – Bai Bai Bai

You know what would be great? What if we spent several thousand dollars on a commercial where Christopher Walken sat on a couch and quoted an old N’Sync song. Maybe Justin Timberlake could also be on the couch, but he wouldn’t say anything. Seriously, who approved this? Watching this advertisement made me feel as awkward and uncomfortable as I imagined Walken and Timberlake were when they read the script.

Best: 3. Honda – Yearbook

I think I have to give Honda the most creativity points for their Super Bowl spot. Although the faces looked fake and a bit creepy, the concept of taking old yearbooks and using CGI to digitally recreate the celebrities in them was a unique one with a really nice message. As far as Super Bowl commercials go, Honda’s was ambitious, creative, and it got me talking about it. What more could you want?

Worst: 2. Bud Light – Ghost Spuds

While I was not around when the original Spuds MacKenzie advertisements were aired, I can’t help but feel like this commercial simply wasn’t a good idea. The jokes in the commercial are alright, but the last thing I want to be reminded of during the Super Bowl is a dead dog. The commercial as a whole was just awkward and uncomfortable, like an Air Bud reboot with Buddy the Wonder Dog‘s ghost. The comedy in the ad is funny, but the message is terrible, the use of MacKenzie is tacky, and overall I was just left confused and sad. 

Best: 2. Anheuser-Busch –  Born the Hard Way

Of all of the commercials I watched Sunday night, this one felt the most cinematic. In one minute, Budweiser managed to show what is essentially a mini movie, showing an epic journey in a beautiful, compact way. This commercial was shot in a way I didn’t think Super Bowl ads really could be, with stunning visuals and a nice story.

Worst: Honorable Mentions

Transformers: The Last Knight

Here we go again. Is that supposed to be Unicron or something? I guess that’s cool, but I know I’m just in for another exhausting four hour metal monster mash, so what’s the point? The trailer is incoherent, the explosions and jumbled robotic messes are present as always, and I really wish Michael Bay would just step down once and for all.

Mobile Strike – Arnold’s One Liners

Really, Arnold Schwarzenegger? It’s just getting sad at this point. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that I these one liners are so forced and awkward, or the fact that I’m watching another Mobile Strike commercial. I’ve never met a single person who’s played the game, and I don’t know if I ever will, all I know is that these awful ads need to stop.

Worst: 1. T-Mobile – #UnlimitedMoves

I think this advertisement might be more awkwardly out-of-date than the Spuds MacKenzie and Bai commercials. The whole “Gronk is an idiot” schtick is so overdone at this point, and Justin Bieber hasn’t been relevant enough for an ad like this in years. Even the title “#UnlimitedMoves” sounds tacky and outdated. I don’t know what studio executive is in charge of finding out what is “hip with the youngin’s,” but he deserves to be fired.

Best: Honorable Mentions

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

I think the “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” Super Bowl Spot could be the best trailer they’ve had yet. Every bit of advertisement for this movie looks fun, unique and insane and I cannot wait for more.

Kia – Hero’s Journey

This was probably the Super Bowl’s best example of an advertisement that was funny without having anything to do with the product it was selling. Melissa McCarthy’s quest to be a hero is pretty funny, but, like with most car commercials, I couldn’t tell what they were selling until the end of the ad.

Best: 1. Stranger Things 2

Even though I tuned out at first because I thought it was a waffle commercial, it’s probably no surprise that the Stranger Things season two trailer is topping my list. This ad had everything you could want from a teaser. The 30-second trailer gives you everything you need to know about the new season without giving away anything you wouldn’t want spoiled. Everything I saw showed me that what is to come will be more of the same from season one, and there is nothing I could want more. Also, who doesn’t love Ghostbusters?