2008 Super Bowl Commercials

Feb. 4, 2008, midnight | By Julia Mazerov | 16 years, 5 months ago

With the buzz surrounding this year's Super Bowl and its history-making potential, it's no wonder that advertisers were willing to shell out between $2.7 and $3 million for a mere 30 seconds of screen time. This year's lineup featured over 50 commercials, ranging in products from the traditional Budweiser plugs and the ever-present auto insurance company endorsements to the more recent additions of tech gadget and web site ads. But marketers brought nothing new to the 90-something millions of Super Bowl watchers, since nearly all the ads followed classic Super Bowl formulas of celebrity abuse, movie parodies or strange-looking animals. The first quarter commercials looked promising, but things only went downhill from there, and the ads were no match for Manning's exciting fourth quarter performance.

Tide: Talking Stain
Who hasn't been distracted during a conversation by something in their fellow conversers' teeth/nose/hair/you name it? Tide brilliantly illuminated the distraction that appearance malfunctions can cause, portraying the unfortunate result that a coffee stain has on a hopeful young man during a job interview. As his coffee stain begins singing loudly in an unidentifiable language, the man awkwardly continues with his pitch. Tide ends with the clever slogan: "Silence the stain, instantly."

Diet Pepsi: What is Love?
Recognized for their most recent commercial featuring contagious yawning that sends a Dallas Cowboys' offensive play haywire, the Diet Pepsi franchise took a different, but quite hilarious approach in portraying the early-morning blues. With Haddaway's "What is Love" bumping in the background, the camera travels from factory to office building to Emmy Award Show to sports broadcast recording studio to observe individuals of many different professions nodding off to sleep. The head-nod, undoubtedly reminiscent of Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell's head-jab in "Night at the Roxbury" and later SNL appearances, transforms into a full-out, enthusiastic jab as employees are handed a Diet Pepsi with Ginseng extract. As an added bonus of hilarity at the end, Chris Kattan makes an angry appearance as he commands everyone to stop stealing his gimmick.

Bud Light: Wine & Cheese Party
Perfect for the Super Bowl's target audience, this commercial shows four men, forced to attend a wine and cheese party by their significant others, as they congregate in the kitchen and reveal that their wheels of cheese and French baguettes are nothing of the sort, but rather cases and of Bud Light and even a small television set. At the end of the commercial, one husband even leaves go to on a "cheese run." C'mon, what guy in the audience can't relate?

Under Armour: Athlete Training
Creator of perhaps one of the most anticipated commercials of the night and usually a franchise rife with compelling ads, Under Armour did not deliver as convincingly as expected. Depicting a plethora of athletes training for a variety of athletic events, the commercial focused more on the fact that each individual was wearing the same Under Armour hat, rather than showing that what the group shared was the same steadfast dedication to their sport. Considering how much money Under Armour spent on creating and airing the commercial, they definitely could have come up with something more appealing.

Gatorade: Derek Jeter
Undoubtedly one of the worst commercials shown during the first quarter, this ad was a boring, pretentious display of Derek Jeter's egocentrism. Why Gatorade would choose to feature a player on arguably the most hated team in baseball is quite the mystery, and why they would choose to have him do nothing beyond walk around holding a Gatorade bottle as a baseball field forms at his feet is simply unfathomable. Here is a prime example of unsuccessful celebrity endorsement.

Pepsi: Justin Timberlake
While this ad was probably only appreciated by loyal JT fans (or anyone that enjoys watching him get abused), it was sadly the best one shown during the entire second quarter. Based on a clever premise, the ad shows Justin Timberlake being dragged throughout the city as a girl sips Pepsi from a straw. The idea was that every sip brings a lucky customer one step closer to winning Justin Timberlake MP3s from Amazon.com. Several other celebrities make an appearance, as Timberlake is dragged along a cross-dressing Andy Samberg's apartment window and slammed against the windshield of Tony Romo's car. All is well for Timberlake in the end, however, as he finally lands in the backyard of the sunbathing, Pepsi-sipping hottie.

Planters: Unibrow
It is probably safe to assume that there were very few Super Bowl-watchers who could keep from cringing during this one. Set to a pleasant soundtrack of Frankie Valley's 1967 hit, "You're Just Too Good To Be True," a homely woman with a large mole and a unibrow is shown parading around town, turning heads and stopping traffic wherever she goes. Her secret? She douses herself with the scent of Planters Cashews before she leaves the house every morning. After watching this commercial, it is doubtful that anyone would ever want to eat peanuts again.

CareerBuilder.com: Heart
Despite what CareerBuilder.com may have thought, images of one's own heart jumping out of their chest, sprouting legs and walking away is does not exactly constitute as fun, carefree entertainment, nor a compelling means of getting consumers to use a product. Most people tune into the Super Bowl for some football and some mindless humor, not a look at the human anatomy. This one was just plain gross.

T-Mobile: Barkley/Wade
Watching Charles Barkley call Dwyane Wade over and over for a minute straight is neither funny nor entertaining, and would probably not lead anyone to utilize the "Fave 5" function, which the commercial seeks to endorse.

E-Trade: Baby
This two-part commercial debut features a matter-of-fact, opinionated baby informing viewers about how easy it is to invest in the stock market using E-Trade as he spits up on himself. The dialogue, rich with subtle sarcasm, is what makes the commercial so cute. That, and society's mysterious obsession with talking babies (enter Bob the Quiznos sales-baby).

Coca-Cola: Carville/Frist
Democrat James Carville and Republican Bill Frist say the same thing at the same time during a debate, get jinxed and must each buy the moderator a Coke, as the rule goes. In the process of making their purchases, Carville and Frist put their ideological differences aside and share an afternoon of Coke-drinking, city touring, museum hopping, scootering and caricature posing. The ad has a cute message, but the target audience of the commercial is questionable. It would be interesting to see how many Super Bowl viewers recognized either of the men, let alone cared.

Vitamin Water: Horse Race
To put Shaquille O'Neal on a horse has to qualify as animal cruelty in some country, and the connection between O'Neal's drinking of Vitamin Water and the horse's ability to win a race is somewhat intangible.

Bud Light: Cavemen
No one wants to see another caveman on TV, ever again.

Amp: Jumpstart
While hooking electrical cords to one's chest and drinking Amp in order to jumpstart a car is hardly pleasant, it makes for an amusing commercial when coupled with an overweight man dancing and Salt N Peppa's "Push It" playing in the background. Hopefully, viewers won't try this one at home.

Victoria's Secret: Valentines Day
Perhaps the least expensive ad aired on Super Bowl night, this commercial featured Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima holding a football and looking seductively into the camera. And that's about it. She may be gorgeous, but the dullness of this commercial certainly conflicted with the excitement of the fourth quarter. Most viewers were probably too busy screaming to even notice it.

Julia Mazerov. Julia: -is a SEENIORRRR -is obsessed with Entourage -makes to-do lists like it's her job -takes naps a lot -is a riflery pro -goes to lots of concerts -has a weakness for cute tote bags, Starbucks Java Chip Ice Cream, and Kate Harter More »

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