TR's Top Ten Superbowl Commercials of 2013

By Luke Y. Thompson in Daily Lists, TV
Monday, February 4, 2013 at 6:00 am


If you're even slightly more than semi-comatose, you were probably aware of the big game yesterday. If you stuck it out until after the power-outtage-prolonged contest and went online, you may have even seen some of what I'm about to show you. And you may wonder how anything related to the highest-rated football event of the year has anything to do with us.

The fact is that there may be no finer American nerd tradition than that of watching the Superbowl for the commercials - unlike those who say they read Playboy for the articles, we generally mean it. And yes, there are the obligatory references to Joe Montana, and standard-issue depictions of males boosting their testosterone levels in the pursuit of mediocre beer; however, judging by the number of times the football fans I watched the events with kept saying "Who's that guy? Is he famous?" the majority of the ads are aimed at those with an obsessive interest in pop-culture...and that'd be us.

Not every ad is the same everywhere - and I didn't see that Kratos ad at all - but here are the ten best from where I was sitting, paper and pen in hand, and guacamole-salsa-chili-cheese-dog in mouth.

10. (Tie) Two Broke Girls and Calvin Klein.

Some of these ads are clever. Others just sell sex. I wouldn't be very nice if I didn't deliver at least some of the latter, so whether you prefer Kat Dennings on a stripper pole or Matthew Terry's abs that make the heart grow fonder, these were the two biggest blatant turn-ons in the bunch. Ironic objectification is still objectification, but at least I can be fair and balanced about it.

9. M&Ms - "Love Ballad."

Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (but I Won't Do That)" never made much sense - since the "that" in the title refers to cheating, it's not exactly a special declaration, because most lovers do expect fidelity. In this ad, though, the title has a much clearer meaning, and asks the question: "Would you let Naya Rivera eat you? No, really: literally eat you." Murderous meal time plus Meat Loaf: an inevitable combination, finally paired up under a sweet candy shell.

8. Go Daddy - "Your Big idea."

After all these years, Go Daddy finally came up with a clever ad that's actually about their product, and not just a come-on to watch extra "uncensored" cleavage online. It even has a positive message - get your butt in gear and do what you say you're going to do, or some other jerk will laugh at you while exclaiming, "More everything, Sky Waitress!" Line of the night.

7. The Rock - "Got Milk?"

Action hero Dwayne Johnson doesn't have time to save the world from bank robbers, clowns, escaped lions or aliens until he and his kids have had their milk. Haven't we all felt like that at one time or another? Except with Mountain Dew or coffee instead of milk, and "getting our lazy asses out of bed" instead of "saving the world." Dude, man, that's like, a metaphor. The first of two ads featuring The People's Champ which appear on this list, and almost enough to make me forget he beat CM Punk and is making a movie about a teddy bear next. Almost.

6. Kia - "Hotbots."

This ad induces conflicting feelings in me. On the one hand, I worry that endorsing any video in which a stereotypical nerd gets wedgied isn't good for any of us. On the other, there's the fact that it's done in such a perfect fighting-game-style combo by a femmebot. And that the slogan is "Respect the Tech."

I think I need to watch it a few more times before I issue a final verdict. Pardon me while I go do that for a sec...

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