A&E breaks down this year’s Super Bowl commercials

The commercials were fine, but they weren’t enough to entertain the sports-weary stuck at Super Bowl parties.

by Maddy Folstein

For viewers across the country, the annual Super Bowl viewing is made up of three crucial parts: the game, the halftime show and the commercials. With advertisers paying millions of dollars for the best ad slots, the comedic commercials can bring sports fans and the sports-ambivalent together for a night of entertainment.  

Previous years’ commercials have included the E-Trade babies who made investments funny and Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses. Did this year’s offering measure up to the advertisements of recent year? 

A&E breaks down the best and the worst of this year’s commercial offerings here. 

The Best

The highlights of the 2018 Super Bowl were commercials with some of 2017’s favorite celebrities. Only Cardi B could make a Jeff Bezos ad funny — her stint as a substitute Alexa for an Amazon Echo, though buried late in the game, was a great pick-me-up when the commercials seemed to drag on. Jeff Goldblum in a Jeep brought movie nostalgia to the night with a welcome throwback to the “Jurassic Park” series. Combining the forces of Peter Dinklage, Morgan Freeman, Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes was the best way to make a Doritos and Mountain Dew ad funny. And getting Margot Robbie, Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman together to promote a fake movie about Australia? Priceless.

But, if you were worried about Tide suffering after the lethal Tide Pod Challenge, the detergent company’s commercials last night proved that they could make a comeback. Led by David Harbour, the actor who plays Jim Hopper on “Stranger Things”, the recurring commercials made every ad set-up an opportunity for a Tide commercial. Harbour took on everything from the Old Spice man to Mr. Clean, proving that everything can, in fact, be a Tide ad. 

The hidden gem of the night was a “Dirty Dancing” parody, taken on by Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr. The two football players performed the final number from the film, so maybe the best commercials are the ones that can engage even the non-sports-minded viewers. 

The Worst

Only one commercial stuck out as being blatantly bad — the attempt to sell Dodge Ram trucks through the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. just seemed off. Political commercials during the Super Bowl can be moving and powerful — take Coca-Cola’s frequent celebrations of diversity in their ads — but using King’s words to sell trucks was a misguided choice. 

In general, the Super Bowl commercials seemed to take a while to build to the comedy they are known for. Commercials like Amazon’s Cardi B ad could have been moved up, making the night move along faster. Here’s to hoping for more David Harbour next year.