Super Bowl 50 disappointed most of us not high on the Rocky Mountains. However, the event did excel in its secondary function as a royal rumble between the world's largest brands and commercial factories.
I've compiled my picks for the 10 best ads, below, and tagged on the two worst for good measure. Share your favorites in the comments.
10. Amazon Echo - #baldwinbowl
This isn't an especially good ad. But, it features Missy Elliott and Jason Schwartzman, and I will watch both of them read the phone book. In fact, Netflix should greenlight that asap: "Missy & Jason Conquer the Yellow Pages." Get Michel Gondry to direct and we have ourselves a hit.
9. Hyundai - First Date
Kevin Hart's humor is built for the commercial medium. His hammy acting grabs your attention from the chips and salsa. Once his over-the-top schtick has worn out its welcome, the commercial's over and you've bought a new Hyundai.
8. Pepsi - Joy of Pepsi
Janelle Monae gives the no-frills Pepsi ad a splash of panache. Monae is a gift to the world, and any company that introduces her to more potential fans is doing a little bit of good alongside their self-interested pursuit of customers.
7. Mountain Dew - Puppymonkeybaby
I can't defend this choice, but I'll try. You see, this puppy is also a monkey and a baby, and that's funny. Okay, maybe funny isn't the right word. It's hypnotic. Yeah, hypnotic, that's what it is!
6. Mini - Defy Labels
A commercial with a message, "Defy Labels" connected with a lot of folks in my Twitter stream. Here's Eater's Ryan Sutton:
Mini Cooper on defying labels = A+ car commercial and best Super Bowl commercial so far.— ryan sutton (@qualityrye) February 8, 2016
5. Skittles - The Portrait
Steven Tyler can do no wrong, no matter how hard he tries.
4. Avocados from Mexico - #Avosinspace
I'm reluctant to describe a company that advertises in the Super Bowl as an "underdog," but Avocados from Mexico doesn't have the fandom of Budweiser's Clydesdales or a car company's A-list celebrity endorsement.
This is specific to my weird brain, but I enjoyed the Scott Baio appearance, if only because it reminded me of a high school friend's band: Baiowolf. It's a play on Scott Baio and Double Dragon-star Scott Wolf.
3. Independence Day: Resurgence - Trailer
Is it summer yet? Am I crazy to think that, after years of countless superhero films, an Independence Day sequel rolls over me like a cool breeze of originality?
2. Coca Cola - Ant-Man / Hulk
When I buy a ticket to a Marvel film, I'm not paying for the convoluted plots. What the superhero machine does best is action spectacle and oddball friendships. This commercial delivered as much for free in under a minute. Okay, what if instead of Marvel movies, we get a new commercial each week following our favorite character mash-ups? I'm okay with it, if y'all are okay with it.
1. Heinz - Wiener Stampede
Small dogs in cute costumes running in slow-motion: it's a cliche for a reason. Is it the most original commercial? Not at all. Is it the best? Yes. And you can prove me wrong in the comments.
2. NFL - Super Bowl Babies Choir
"Data suggests nine months after a Super Bowl victory, winning cities see a rise in births." So begins the NFL's ad for itself, a sweet-as-it-is-creepy collection of "Super Bowl babies" singing about their moment of conception. But I can't get past that opening line. When has the NFL cared what data suggests? Data shows that "96 percent of former NFL players whose brains were studied tested positive for a degenerative brain disease."
1. T-Mobile - Restricted Bling
Why, Drake? Why?