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Commentary: Super Bowl commercial spots win with trucks, goats, lose with repulsive kiss, PSY

Courtesy of MCT

Every year on Super Bowl Sunday, despite the day’s focus on football, a share of memorable advertisements fills our screens. Super Bowl XLVII was no exception.
In between a power outage, a Beyoncé halftime show and an insane near-comeback from San Francisco, dozens of commercials held our attention during the breaks. Here are the three best and worst ads from Sunday night’s game.
1. Dodge Ram Trucks: “God Made a Farmer” – Easily the most well-made commercial of the night, this tribute to perhaps the most underrated group of our civilization, the farmers, is definitely worth talking about. Running as a two-minute slideshow featuring a monologue by the late Paul Harvey about the importance of farming, I can’t say that it did a great job convincing me to buy a truck. Nonetheless, it was a beautifully-made commercial that gets more powerful on each viewing. Jeep had a similar concept, with Oprah Winfrey narrating a collection of videos of troops returning home, but I’m giving the edge to Dodge’s tribute to the hardworking rural men and women who don’t get nearly enough thanks.
2. NFL Network: “Leon Sandcastle” – One of several NFL-produced commercials throughout the evening, this one features Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders trying to prove he’s still got it by creating an alter ego, Leon Sandcastle. He wows at the draft combine, and the Kansas City Chiefs select him with the first overall pick. Though this does beg the question of why “Prime Time” couldn’t just come out of retirement as himself if he still had that kind of ability, this was a solid, fun commercial. It can also set up the Leon Sandcastle character to resurface in future ads, in a style similar to Pepsi MAX’s “Uncle Drew,” played by Cleveland Cavalier Kyrie Irving.
3. Doritos: “Goat 4 Sale” – Sometimes you just need a classic, silly commercial during the breaks, and Doritos has fit that mold in recent years. This fan-made commercial, which was voted for online, features a Doritos-addicted goat, which terrorizes each of its owners. To quote Bill Murray, the commercial was “short but pointless,” but sometimes that’s all you need. If you didn’t at least chuckle when the goat screamed upon realizing all the Doritos were gone, I feel bad for you. Doritos had a second fan-made ad about a father who dresses in drag in order to share Doritos with his daughter, but that one was clearly the lesser of the two.
1. GoDaddy.com: “When Sexy Meets Smart” – Granted, the annual GoDaddy.com ads are only designed to get people talking, and that’s exactly what this one did. In the commercial, supermodel Bar Rafaeli sits next to a chubby nerd named “Walter” (Jesse Heiman), complete with glasses and a red, blotchy face. Then, in a scene out of our worst nightmares (or possibly greatest fantasies), Rafaeli begins to very graphically (and loudly) make out with the guy. Between the repulsive kissing sound effects that sounded more like stepping in slush, and the very extreme close-up shots of the locked lips, GoDaddy.com tread a fine line between buzz-worthy and nauseating.
2. Bud Light: “Voodoo” – Oh, Stevie Wonder, what have they done to you? You could write a master’s thesis trying to figure out what on Earth was happening in this commercial. A 49ers fan walks into a bar in New Orleans, and is led into a back room where voodoo cult leader Wonder gives him a Ravens voodoo doll and teleports him to the Super Bowl, where the guy next to him is holding a 49ers voodoo doll. Somehow this inspired a second, equally perplexing commercial with Wonder’s character during the game, but I don’t even want to attempt to touch on that one. Drink Bud Light, I guess?
3. Wonderful Pistachios: “Crackin’ Gangnam Style” – A loud groan summarizes this painful venture. Korean Internet sensation PSY rides the “Gangnam Style” train just a little further, dancing with a group of people in pistachio costumes. With such uninspired lyrics as “Heyyy, crack your nuts now,” we can only wish PSY had been true to his promise of retiring “Gangnam Style” after his New Year’s Eve performance.

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