My initial feeling was that 2013 was the worst year for Super Bowl commercials I could remember. After reviewing the crop, I realized that there were several at-least-half-decent entrants. One big reason I thought it was a bad year at first was because I was at a loud party, and I could hardly hear any of the first half commercials. Interestingly enough, though, I was mostly able to enjoy my choices for the best over the din of the party without needing a re-watch to confirm their worthiness. While this year actually ultimately did have plenty of good ones, it may have had more bad ones than any other year. But I won’t go into detail on that, because I don’t like doing worst-of lists.
I was worried that this list was going to be made up of just some pretty good selections, but then came the last commercial of the game, which was something else…
1. Samsung – “The Next Big Thing”
With Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd, this just seemed like an Apatovian scene, which would have worked well enough for me, but I understand that bothers some people. But then Bob Odenkirk strolled in, and it’s like, “Oh, it’s something more.” Odenkirk always kills it as an executive, and he leavens the meta nature of the bit, which could be annoying, but managed to be dutifully satirical. Also, my brother has a friend from college named “Sam Song.”
2. Tide – “Miracle Stain”
What a triumph of minimalist, well-structured storytelling. What a terrible wife, and what a great punchline.
3. Best Buy – “Asking Amy”
“Are we in the cloud now?!”
Rather small-scale for a Super Bowl commercial, but when considered just as any commercial, Super Bowl or not, well, then, obviously, it’s great. Typically, commercials are seen many times over, so it’s ideal if it has maximum replay value. Amy Poehler asking wittily goofy questions to a sales rep? Most def maximum replay value.
4. Go Daddy – “Perfect Match”
It got people talking. That’s what an effective commercial does.
5. Kia – “Space Babies”
Above all else, worth it for the shot of the astronaut babies of various species walking out on the platform.
As I said, I don’t like worst-of lists, so instead of picking the worst commercial, I’ll pick the Most Eh? Commercial. And that would be the Coke chase. What was that? Come on.