Our apologies to the advertising agencies who struggled to create the perfect Super Bowl commercial, because perhaps Sunday night’s strongest celebrity endorsement was Rihanna taking a brief break from her halftime show appearance to fix her makeup with products from her Fenty Beauty line.
Oh RiRi. Always the business woman!
While this year’s commercials have been underwhelming, a handful have jumped at the chance: Dunkin’ made good use of star power by hiring Ben Affleck, the chain’s most famous fan. Blue Moon decided to break the usual beer commercial nonsense with a phone call its competitors. Workday kind of made fun of the company culture.
Cleverness counts for a lot. Here are the top five ads shown during the big game.
Rock legends like Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol and Paul Stanley poke fun at office culture in Workday’s Super Bowl commercial. (Video: Working Day)
Who is considered a rock star? Certainly not your colleague Susan. In Workday’s commercial, musicians like Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Gary Clark Jr. and Paul Stanley of Kiss demand that “corporate types” stop using the term “rock star” to describe people who thrive in the workplace.
“Oh, Ted in finance, you’re a rock star!” says Osbourne in a mocking tone.
Workday, for those who don’t know, is an application that handles some HR and financial matters for companies – including the Washington Post, where it’s caused some… shall we say trouble. It’s obviously run by the very people who would call your colleague Susan a rock star, even though she’s simply a competent contributor and not at all cool or edgy or dangerous. (For the record, we still love and cherish her.)
However, it seems that the Workday overlords have a sense of humor about themselves, and that’s worth something. Turns out the call from the house is still entertaining.
Amy Schumer, NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Doja Cat use Google Pixel’s magic eraser to remove unwanted stuff from the background of their photos. (Video: The Washington Post)
In order to market consumer technology, you must first understand the consumer’s point of view. What do you like? What bothers the crap out of them? Google went for the latter: Imperfect Photos.
This photo of your family at the beach would have been perfect if it wasn’t for that random man chasing a frisbee behind you. You always loved this photo of you dancing, but your horrible ex was right next to you. Google Pixel magic eraser allows you to remove unwanted things from the photos.
Hold on, says comedian Amy Schumer. You mean she can remove her ex boyfriends from her favorite photos? What a miracle. Both funny and very real, the Google ad understands how much we crave perfection.
Ram Trucks’ Super Bowl 2023 ad parodies pharmaceutical commercials in which EV owners discuss issues with their pickup trucks. (Video: Ram Trucks)
Ram faked erectile dysfunction drug commercials while promoting his electric trucks, with former Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones serving as pharmaceutical spokesperson. “Are you looking forward to buying an electric vehicle but worried it might make you unhappy? Then you could be one of many Americans worried about premature electrification,” he says.
Symptoms include “fear that you won’t be able to hold out as long as you’d like.” Several couples appear to be speaking out about the issues they’ve encountered with… their other electric vehicles. A woman complains about having to “stop, start, stop, start.” It’s quite the advertisement for a night of manhood.
Coors Light and Miller Lite battle for attention in a Super Bowl ad for Blue Moon. (Video: Blue Moon)
For all the anticipation, Super Bowl commercials have earned the right to go meta: “For the first time in 30 years, Coors Light has an ad at the big game,” says a man in a bar, staring at the camera. Another taps him on the shoulder and announces, “Actually, this is a Miller Lite commercial.”
It’s Godzilla fighting another monster. let them fight! The men continue their dramatic brawl until their attention is drawn back to the bar. “It’s actually a Blue Moon commercial,” says the bartender.
There’s not much going on in this commercial, but the simplicity of its last-minute reveal is refreshing.
Ben Affleck returns to his home state of Massachusetts to serve Dunkin’s customers as they come through the drive-through window. (Video: Dunkin’)
You don’t have to keep up with Page Six to know that Ben Affleck loves Dunkin’ Coffee. The man was endlessly photographed picking it up. Habit carried him through various relationships.
It only follows that Dunkin’ would win Affleck, the patron saint of Massachusetts, for his most iconic spot of the year. He returned to New England for the commercial in which he serves customers in the drive-thru lane. They’re surprised by his presence – but not as much as his wife Jennifer Lopez, who asks if he’s referring to when he says he has to work all day.
Celebrity stunts make great commercial fodder, especially when they play off established personalities like these. It’s silly fun. Lopez’s performance is the icing on the cake.