The longest Super Bowl in history may have featured the event’s first blackout, but the extra time didn’t improve the quality of commercials America’s advertisers spent months creating before the big game. Overall, it was a generally weak year for advertising’s big thinkers. There were few breakouts as most of the spots were so forgettable that even the bad commercials made more of an impression than the good ones (and that’s not what their clients pay for). Even the usually reliable celeb endorsements ranged from the too insider (Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen) to the “haven’t we seen this before?” variety (Stevie Wonder and Zoe Saldana) to the “you really know you’re a one hit wonder and the joke is on us” (Psy). Expected summer blockbusters such as “Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Iron Man 3” couldn’t distract most viewers away from the snack table either. Maybe Madison Ave. is in a rut? Maybe America is pulling a McKayla and waiting to be impressed? If that’s the case, they’ve got 12 months to turn things around because $4 million per 30 seconds is a lot of money to throw away.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the best and worst of this year’s (mostly) yawn-inducing Super Bowl commercials.