For an event that's half a century old, the Super Bowl still has game. A lot of people (okay, a lot of my coworkers) counted out Manning and the Broncos assuming Cam Newton and the almost undefeated Panthers would have their way on the field, but I held out hope that a salty veteran would know how to handle a game that's as much mental as it is physical. Turns out I should have been focusing on the other side of the field: Defense. They win championships, and Denver's certainly proved that last night.
Beyond the football, there was a lot of weirdness going on all around. There were no Roman numerals. That field looked like a pilly sweater. Peyton Manning kissed Papa John. It was mostly good weird, some uncomfortable weird, and then a sprinkle of "what the shit just happened?" weird. Let's start with some good.
Good Weird (aka, We're All Little Monsters)
Lady Gaga Singing the National Anthem: Showing up like a last minute candidate for the Born This Way Party, Lady Gaga won over plenty of supporters with her pantsuit, matching eye shadow, and (duh) her voice. It surprises me that people are still surprised by her talent - the woman is a workhorse, and she's trained almost her whole life in a multitude of art forms.
10 Cloverfield Lane: Only because I just watched Cloverfield and my boyfriend is deep in the ARG for 10, a "blood relative" of the original - for such a mysterious movie, they picked quite the powerful (and expensive) platform to share the next trailer. Even I'm interested.
Avocados from Mexico: Avocados are 2 for 2 on Super Bowl commercials. As a food product that I don't ever foresee needing more PR, these ads are a little puzzling, but always entertaining. If anything, they reaffirm my desire to eat avocados at every meal.
Super Bowl Babies Choir featuring Seal: I mean, c'mon. Weird, yes - these kids are essentially singing about their parents getting it on as the result of a football game - but Oh So Good at the same time. How long did it take to even pull this ad together? How did they cast it? WHY ARE THE SEATTLE BABIES SO ADORABLE?
Audi's "Starman": In a beautiful homage to David Bowie, Audi gave a retired astronaut another shot at space travel. This commercial was more sweet than weird, but if you stop to think about it for longer than the 30 seconds it lasts, you do come away wondering how driving a car could ever be like taking a rocket to the moon.
Bad Weird (aka, Real Dads Are Not Like TV Dads)
Doritos "Ultrasound": Okay, yes. This ad made me laugh. It made me go "Ohhh man," and hold my gut. It gave me a visceral reaction. But. Do we need another doofus dad who eats chips in the history of Super Bowl commercials? If I'm judging these commercials by the $5 million they paid to get them on TV, I'm disappointed in this junk food stereotype.
Hyundai "First Date" w/ Kevin Hart: I was turned off during this whole spot which basically declared war between Hart and his daughter's date, leaving the daughter to play the prize to be won/protected. Not only is the overprotective dad thing way overdone everywhere, but in this ad, the daughter doesn't have a voice at all. Also: notice how this review isn't even about Hyundai at all? That's some ineffective marketing.
Every ad for bodily functions or finances: People of the advertising world need to understand something. Ain't nobody watching the Super Bowl to see bodily functions anthropomorphized. We're here to eat, watch football, and hopefully get entertained. Please don't preach to us about the economy.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaat Weird (aka I'm Too Old For These Commercials)
Taco Bell Quesalupa: How many different quasi-Mexican foods can you Frankenstein together before college kids and people who need food at bar close stop trusting you? Apparently at least one more.
Bai Horse Whisperer: It's not supposed to make sense, so I guess we shouldn't force it.
Mountain Dew "Puppy Monkey Baby": Clearly the winner of the weird last night. Will it be a sales winner as well? I highly doubt it.
I'll leave you with this: