Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What was the best Super Bowl commercial?
Jami’s Take: Uber Eats
There was a time in not-so-distant memory where you could show up to Super Bowl parties for the commercials. Super Bowl ads were genuinely creative, funny, and sometimes heartwarming, and they showed the greatest of what some marketers have to offer.
In recent years, however, the caliber of Super Bowl ads has dropped off significantly, with many ad companies relying more on star power than creative output. Needless to say, if you attended a Super Bowl party for the commercials this year, you likely wound up disappointed.
There were some real stinkers this year, and even the commercials I considered for this column don’t hold a candle to the best commercials in previous years (anyone remember the Larry Bird vs. Michael Jordan McDonald’s commercial or the Betty White Snickers commercial?)
Still, a handful of commercials — whether they were as funny as previous years or not — did what all good advertising does: They got people talking.
Two commercials really generated buzz in the circles I run in online: The crypto bouncing QR code and the “Uber Don’t Eats” commercial for UberEats.
While it was EXTREMELY entertaining to see which clowns have no self-control and got bamboozled into scanning the QR code only to find out it was an ad for bitcoin, I cannot in good conscience select that as the best Super Bowl ad of 2022. If you scanned that QR code, I am laughing hysterically at your expense, but I’ll save the diatribe about crypto for another day.
That leaves us with Uber Don’t Eats. If you missed this commercial, it highlights the fact that UberEats now delivers groceries — many of which you should NOT eat.
It opens with Jennifer Coolidge asking, “Wait … if it was delivered with UberEats, does that mean I can eats it?”
From there, various celebrities, including Nicholas Braun (Cousin Greg from Succession as he’s more affectionately known), Trevor Noah, and Gwyneth Paltrow dining on a buffet of non-edible UberEats grocery items including diapers, makeup brushes, dish soap, kitty litter, and lightbulbs. It even has Goopy Paltrow eating one of her own vagina candles.
Throughout the ad, disclaimers at the bottom of the screen proclaimed, “Prop food. Do not eat flowers” or whatever item was being consumed (While I assume this part was intended to make us laugh because it’s so absurd, I do have to wonder if it’s actually them covering their legal bases given that we exist in a society where teenagers once consumed Tide pods willingly).
Whether you loathed all 60 seconds of this ad or spent them cackling at Cousin Greg whining about the taste of a sponge, the reality is it got social media talking. Ultimately in marketing, no press is bad press, so even the haters are helping Uber Eats get their brand out there.
While many Twitter users didn’t appreciate the ad’s childish wordplay, in many respects the ad did its job in starting a debate around its merits. It also was one of few ads that had the goofy tone of Super Bowl commercials from days gone by.
You don’t have to like the ad for it to be brilliant marketing. Even the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission — a federal agency — entered the chat, taking to twitter to say “Do not eat soap.”
Do not eat soap.— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) February 14, 2022
Ultimately, UberEats walked away the winner because the ad’s detractors still have the UberEats brand name in their mouths* and for that reason, I’m declaring it the best Super Bowl ad of 2022.
*This is a turn of phrase. You cannot eat a brand.
Matt’s Take: Rocket Mortage
Full disclosure: I am incapable of being objective about anything when Anna Kendrick is involved. But, when you also include He-Man and Castle Grayskull, and there is no argument for me.
I too loved the Uber Eats commercial that Jami referenced; basically anything that Jennifer Coolidge does is the utmost of hilarity, but for me, AK’s Rocket Mortage commercial had everything I could possibly want in a Super Bowl commercial: wackiness and humor, a memorable premise that actually relates to the product being advertised, a healthy dose of nostalgia, and a redeeming full-circle moment for the A-list star.
What starts out appearing to be a commercial for the iconic Barbie Dream Home quickly turns into a commercial for the lending app before He-Man and Skeletor get involved. We see dolls as cliche characters one might run into while attempting to purchase a home, and it’s all egged along by the delightful and witty charms of Tony, Oscar, and Emmy nominated superstar Anna Kendrick.
But what really sold me on this ad was the fact that it brought back to mind the “Pitch Perfect” star’s 2014
Super Bowl Big Game commercial for Newcastle Brown Ale. This came out during what I like to call the Golden Age of Media — those precious 18 months in which you could hardly turn on a device of any sort and not be bombarded with Kendrick content at every turn... ah, the good old days.
I don’t want to spoil the bit in the ad, but it plays perfectly on Kendrick’s self-deprecating, slightly foul-mouthed public persona. This commercial famously did NOT air during the Super Bowl broadcast, but it is still one of the best ads in recent memory.
So, to see Anna finally get her Super Bowl commercial with Rocket Mortage felt very gratifying to those of us that are as close to her as I am.
I also wanted to shout out some honorable mention ads that I enjoyed for very different reasons:
Planet Fitness with Lindsay Lohan:
Google Pixel’s Real Tone featuring Lizzo:
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed
Matt: Rocket Mortage