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The 10 best Super Bowl 50 commercials — and the two worst

The 10 best Super Bowl 50 commercials — and the two worst

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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.

This years ads felt fresh compared to the crops of years past. The "dead child" count was kept to a zero, and the obligatory drunk driving commercial was fine — actually, it was good!

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.

Best commercials:

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:

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.

Worst Commercials:

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?

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 30 minutes ago Midjourneys

Alex Cranz30 minutes ago
After DART smashed into Dimorphos, I can’t stop thinking about the best “blow up an asteroid” story.

LucasArts and Steven Spielberg came up with The Dig, a game about an astronaut, scientist, and journalist blowing up an asteroid and finding a spaceship inside, and they did it years before Bruce Willis, or NASA. You can still buy and play it on Steam!

Richard Lawler42 minutes ago
Everything looks better in slow motion.

Apple’s Dynamic Island alert system isn’t sitting still around your iPhone 14’s front-facing camera array. We’ve been enjoying its contextual animations — and even an Android copycat — since it was unveiled, but take a look at it here, captured at 240fps, to see exactly how iOS applies animations that make it feel a bit more lively.

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Russell BrandomTwo hours ago
Oracle will pay $23 million to settle foreign bribery charges.

The SEC alleges that Oracle used a slush fund to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

This behavior is sadly common among software companies doing business overseas, and it’s not unique to Oracle. In March, a former Microsoft executive claimed the company spent as much as $200 million a year in bribes for foreign officials.

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External Link
Emma Roth3:16 PM UTC
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.

Mary Beth Griggs2:46 PM UTC
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.

External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.

The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.

The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.

External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.

Thomas Ricker6:45 AM UTC
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.