Super Bowl 2013: Reviewing the Commercials (From the 2nd Half) — Plus: Rewatch Them Here!

2BG_SuperbowlIt’s time for the Super Bowl (airing on CBS), where every year advertisers pony up big bucks to wave their wares in front of 100 million viewers.

Who drafted big stars to shill? Who went for laughs? Who tugged at heartstrings? And who went out of their way to remind us with a sledgehammer, “Sex sells”?

RELATED | Super Bowl 2013: Reviewing the Commercials From the 1st Half

Read our quick take on the commercials from the 2nd half of Super Bowl XLVII — refresh for updates! — beneath this handy gizmo for playing back your faves (or ones you missed whilst hitting the loo), then share your own reviews in Comments. (Ratings from the 1st half are here.)

2 Broke Girls | As much an overproduced spectacle as anything from a car or soda pop peddler, this elaborate David LaChapelle-directed promo serves up Max/Kat Dennings and Caroline/Beth Behrs as tarty pole dancers and, ahem, batter-stirrers. If the intent was to sell sex, it gets a FIELD GOAL. But if selling a situation comedy, FUMBLE.

Iron Man 3 | Just a teaser, but one that captures the franchise’s mix of suspense, superheroics and humor, as Tony Stark struggles with the math in saving 14 airline Air Force One passengers four at a time. FIELD GOAL

Blackberry Z10 | Since I am (probably/possibly) waiting to get my hands on the Z10 (or its cousin the Q10) this spring, I’ve been waiting to see what this first ad would tout. Alas, the company fka RIM however took the easy way out, demonstrating the things “it doesn’t do.” FUMBLE

E*Trade | Yes, an annual crowd-pleaser — “How’d they do that! He’s just a baby!” Perhaps Mr. Joel McHale explains my SAFETY best:

Bud Light | Wow, they’re actually going for a theme here, with Stevie Wonder back as the mystical “mojo” man, who this time defers to his pretty assistant to turn a guy’s chair “lucky.” FIELD GOAL

Axe Apollo | Lifeguard punches out shark to save a pretty girl… who then up and leaves him for the arms of an astronaut (aka metaphor for the Apollo in the product name). Assuming this somehow appeals to those who drench themselves in the clubgoer’s parfum: SAFETY.

MiO FIT | Aww, we barely had a chance to miss 30 Rocker Tracy Morgan, here ruminating on how things change (or need to change back, in the case of boy/man bands). I appreciate the idea of MiO (and this might get me to finally try it), so I’ll score a SAFETY.

KIA | Pretty humanoid robots benignly look on as a guy inspects a KIA — until he kicks the(ir) tires. At that point, he gets pounded, atomic-wedgie’d and hurled across the showroom. “Respect the Tech,” indeed. FIELD GOAL

Gildan | Never heard of this T-shirt brand, not sure what it was going for. Wasted money. FUMBLE

Wonderful Pistachios | “Crack your nuts now” as PSY reinvents “Gangnam Style” to shell shill pistachios. Suitably noisy, snicker-worthy lyrics aside. FIELD GOAL

Mennen Speed Stick | The old “Caught fondling a girl’s bloomers” laundromat scenario. We’ve all been there. And since she ends up finding his gesture sweet, let’s go with a FIELD GOAL.

Beck’s Sapphire | A fish sings Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” (or as you may now know it, Addison’s wedding march) to an ebony bottle of Beck’s new brew. OK…. SAFETY

Budweiser | A Clydesdale reunites with the man who raises it as foal, as “Landslide” plays throughout. As the long-running series of Clydesdale commercials go, one of the very, very best. TOUCHDOWN

NFL Network | Irked by incessant talk of the hot new rookies (and a make-up lady unaware of his origins), a bewigged Deion Sanders enters the NFL draft as “Leon Sandcastle” — or “an ugly Deion Sanders.” A fresh, fun way to promote the network’s draft coverage. TOUCHDOWN

Dodge Ram | Had this piece of poetry, based on a Paul Harvey reading, been a pro bono promo for, like, the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, it’d be a huge TOUCHDOWN. But as a truck commercial, a mere SAFETY. Upgraded to FIELD GOAL, in light of information that Dodge in fact supports the FFA (denoted in mousetype at end of ad).

Tide | A 49ers superfan’s fantasy comes true when he gets a Jesus-like “Joe Montana” salsa stain on his team jersey. Cue elaborate dreams of fame, branded merchandise and a mansion. ‘Cept, his Ravens fan wife launders the evidence away before he can cash in. Predictable yet cute payoff to a well-realized concept: FIELD GOAL.

SodaStream | This spot has already been running, but caused a stir last week when CBS got antsy about showing Coke-and-Pepsi-type competitors exploding. Looks like the Benjamins won! FIELD GOAL, partly for the product’s inherent green message.

Mercedes Benz CLA | The Devil — played by Willem Dafoe, of course — offers a guy the new CLA and all that comes with it (jam sesh with Usher included) in trade for his soul. Guy opts for the $29,900 price tag instead. FIELD GOAL just for the casting.

Samsung Galaxy | Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen each believe they’re being courted as a pitchman for Samsung’s “next big thing,” only to realize they’re instead wanted for a brainstorming session. Much riffing, many zingers and a Lebron James cameo ensue. Rudd + Rogen almost always = TOUCHDOWN.

(Our ratings for the 1st half commercials — Amy Poehler, Naya Rivera et al — can be found here.)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. strachpa says:

    Not a big fan of Kat Dennings, but damn, that was hot

  2. kcostell says:

    The Budweiser Clydesdale commercial was really sweet.

  3. Bob says:

    That was Air Force One, not a regular airline jet. Gildan makes a LOT of shirts, esp for collegiate teams.

  4. gaby says:

    The Kia and Pistachios commercials were probably the worst I’ve seen in a long time

  5. Linda says:


    • Ann says:

      Aahh! Yes, it’s happening to me too! It’s so annoying! I thought it was only happening to me! I have to stop this page from loading in order to read it!

    • TV Troz says:

      People, people, for the very last time…. use Firefox and install AdBlock. Ads just magically disappear, including unwanted videos, pop-unders, overlays, and the like.

  6. Lindsey says:

    I have never heard of Gildan brand before either, but I enjoyed that commercial! It got the point across that the t-shirt was comfortable enough to be a favorite tee worth risking waking a one night stand to remove! Maybe not cutting edge, but surely worth more than a Fumble.

  7. aleksa says:

    Will admit to shedding a tear at the Clydesdale commercial.

  8. The God made a farmer ad was one of the best examples of pandering to a demographic I’ve ever seen. Ram commercials are pretty good at that, but this one made me angry.

    • Can’t people just enjoy a commercial and the sentiment behind it without being cynical jerks about it?

    • Whatever says:

      Why is that even a problem? So what if it does pander to a demographic? All commercials do. Not all sports fans drink, were you mad at the Budweiser commercials? Go Daddy clearly panders to men. To single out Dodge for what was a beautiful spot just because it apparently panders to some demographic that offends you is ludicrous.

    • The Beach says:

      I don’t care who it was pandering to, I just find Paul Harvey’s voice and mannerisms annoying.

      • vincent dante says:

        Mr. Harvey died a few years ago. Can you offer a little respect out there in trollville?

        • The Beach says:

          When does not caring to listen to a voice I feel is annoying, whether it belongs to someone living or dead, good or bad, make someone a troll? Give me a break…it’s called an opinion.

    • Steve says:

      Hello …. FARMERS BUY TRUCKS. Do you see rich folk on McDonalds commercials? Do you see men in high heels on women’s commercials? If nothing else, this Dodge commercial was far more uplifting and positive than 99% of the ad crap out there. You need to get over yourself.

  9. Ej says:

    Leon Sandcastle!!!!

  10. Matt says:

    Funny thing about Gildan, they’re chiefly a producer of apparel for large events and promotional purposes and leading up to this some of the discussion in the business pages was surrounding their Superbowl ad and what sorta play they’re trying to make.

  11. Ej says:

    Oh come on. The Tide commercial was awesome!

  12. Tran says:

    That Wonderful Pistachios big game spot with PSY was SUPER AWESOME!! I’m going all Gangnam Style.

  13. Snappy says:

    Tide commercial shoulda got a touchdown

  14. Brooke says:

    As a person from a family of farmers and hard working, blue collar Americans, I loved the Ram commercial. Maybe not as much as the Jeep/USO commercial but it was fantastic. People say its pandering and it is, but it’s also a tribute to those who work their asses off to put food on people’s tables. It’s a salute to those who actually use their trucks to work hard for what they do instead of driving a truck to try and feel like they’re a badass or feel country while driving through the suburbs. I appreciate your opinion, Michael, and for the rest if the people who are probably gonna flame this post, but Middle America and the rest of the farming communities of the US appreciate the shout out. Loved it!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      1) The name is Matt. 2) I took no issue with the MESSAGE at all, but said it’d have been much better suited (as you would seem to agree) to a promo for some farmers’ collective/organization. Heck, even show a Ram that’s been around the block and not one with gleaming chrome that’s never been within 10 feet of mud.

    • Mike says:

      I thought the message was great, but I agree that I would have never guessed it would have been a commercial for a car before the logo reveal at the end if the commercial. Is the only requirement for a car commercial these days, a single glimpse of a vehicle.

    • Ace says:

      *Excuse me Matt, my bad. I apologize for the name mistake, since I connected to this article from Ausellio’s twitter, so that was my fault. But at the same time, I respectfully disagree with your opinion on the commercial. Commercials pander to demographics as they see fit. That’s how commercials work. That’s how they sell products. So what if this was aimed at the farmers and blue-collar workers of America? That was the point! Just like Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan commercial pandered to the young techie generation, or how all of the Budweiser commercials try to pander to the younger, hip generations to drink whatever new beer they have out while trying to remain connected with the older generations that have supported them for years by bringing out the tearjerker Clydesdale commercial towards the end. That’s how they sell products and frankly, for the demographic they were going for, they totally hit the mark. They put out a quality commercial that was a bit of a tearjerker and hit people a little harder than some of those ridiculous other commercials like the GoDaddy or the Pistachio commercials. Hell, besides the old people Taco Bell commercial, the best commercials this year were the Ram Farmer commercial, the Jeep/USO commercial and the Bud Clydesdale commercial. I just think you “fumbled” on your assessment of the Ram commercial. But that’s just my opinion, Matt.

    • AmbidextrousAspie says:

      Most farms are corporate conglomerates, highly mechanized, not some guy(s) working the fields.

  15. Rachel says:

    Tide & Dodge Ram were my absolute favorites tonight – I want to go buy a truck and be a farmer now!

  16. Mike says:

    Those Clydesdale commercials get me every year, and that one was beautiful. :'(

    • TV Troz says:

      Don’t know why, maybe because I don’t drink beer, but those Clydesdale commercials always irk the heck out of me, year after year. Syrupy and corny and so ostensibly manipulative, that I feel like throwing something at the TV.

    • Nicole says:

      That horse commercial with Landslide in the background made me sad. I’m a sucker for animals so I liked the horse commercial. The other episode was for the NFL network itself with Leon Sandcastle was original.

  17. I think you should rethink your score for the Dodge ad, it was amazing and they are supporting National FFA (Future Farmers of America) with it!!!! Score: Touchdown plus two-point conversion!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Rethought and upgraded the DODGE RAM grade. (I found mousetype at the end mentioning the FFA.) Again, it was a beautiful message.

  18. Paula says:

    I saw a preview of that Bud commercial on CNN today–they didn’t even show the reunion, and it still made me teary.

    And I felt the same way about the farmer commercial. It’s nice to know now that they’re supporting the FFA. Even before that it was a pretty cool commercial.

  19. Babybop says:

    2 Broke Girls promo did little to actually promote the show, but they both looked great!
    Second half favorite was definitely the Rudd/Rogen thing. I loved “you make people physically uncomfortable”.

  20. B says:

    Matt commenting on things | TOUCHDOWN

  21. RJ says:

    The Big Bang Theory was the only funny commercial. Everything else sucked.

  22. Deena says:

    I call a replay on the Tide commercial. Touchdown for sure. So many funny aspects in that ad.

  23. DF says:

    The Bud/Clydesdale commercial hooked me within seconds.

  24. JBC says:

    Memorable ones for me: Taco Bell with the old people, was cute and had me laughing, the Dodge/Ram Farmer commercial, very well done, the Jeep/USO commercial, just wonderful and the Bud Clydesdale commercial touching. Great Game too!!

  25. TV Troz says:

    High point of the evening (at least in decibels) was the scream from the Doritos goat when he saw the empty pantry. Been there…

  26. ej says:

    The Clydesdale was cute, but I liked the football themed ones of the past better. I did like “ugly Dion Sanders” which recalled for me both the Broadway Joe ad for shoes some years back and a Sanders/Super Bowl commercial from *way back* for Doritos and was better than the weird goat ad! The Coke, Taco Bell, and pair of Bud Light voodoo ads were funny, but not sensational. Tracy Morgan *was* right about boy/man bands. I am getting tired of “Gangnam Style”. The Tide spot was predictable. Go Daddy was marginally more clever than their usual level of blatant sexuality without wit. For the Willem Dafoe casting, I expected more. Rudd/Rogen went on too long. While I get the message of the “God Made a Farmer” commercial and it’s great that Dodge supports the FFA, maybe it’s selfish of me, but I think SB commercials, unless they are actually by an organization with a social message, should be not only about the actual product they are selling, and represent that product well, but they should also be just plain fun; I want to be entertained (and remember what product it’s for) if I am being enticed to buy a truck, not reminded that Big Agro is plowing small farmers under. Overall, I would give the commercials this year a field goal and say it has been some time since a crop of SB ads got a collective touchdown let alone + a 2 point conversion. Is it just me, or has it been mostly downhill since Masterlock stopped doing a SB ad? When was that even? I feel old….

  27. Pia says:

    That Samsung commercial was not even a little bit funny. I kept waiting for it to end, and then it went on with those terrible “pitches!”

  28. Géraldine says:

    Sorry Matt Webb Mitovich, but you forgot the M&M’s ad with Naya Rivera (Glee) which was awesome (and quite funny! :-)

  29. Géraldine says:

    Oops, this is the link. (Naya Rivera in
    M&M’S “Love Ballad” Commercial .)

  30. Tom Mc says:

    Am I the only one who thought that Clydesdale ad was unintentionally funny? It came dangerously close to suggesting bestiality! I much preferred the 2 Broke Girls ad. It was funny and therefore it was an excellent way to promote a sitcom. Lawyered!

  31. Abby says:

    I’m not sorry I dropped 2 Broke Girls after seeing that commercial. Amy Poehler’s commercial outclassed it (yes I know the other was from the first half).

  32. BonesForever says:

    Loved the Sandcastle ad! My fav…

  33. DreamRose311 says:

    The Bud Light commercials have been a theme all season, so even though by normal standards I would think this pair were good commercials, but not Super Bowl worthy, I liked the pay off of the season long running ads.

  34. Ali says:

    The Go Daddy ad with the model eating the face of the geek was so offensive, sexist and just plain gross that it actually made me change the channel (I don’t think the network likes that) It was so out-of-place and creepy. The model was almost like a molester even though the geekboy is an adult he appears to be younger so it was just very offensive almost like some odd kind of child porn. Go Daddy dropped the ball on this one is a huge way. Loved the Clydesdale’s and the Taco Bell add. Missed seeing the Jeep/USO add but would have loved to have seen that one.