The 2019 Super Bowl is in the books and it was… not great. It was bad. The game was slow and boring, the halftime show was uninspired, the ratings were terrible, and my beloved Philadelphia Eagles did not win. Just disappointing all around.
The commercials were actually my favorite part, which is startling now that I sit here and think about it. Not all of the commercials, though. There were a few groaners in there, of course. There always are. But there were also dogs and dragons and childish jokes about nuts and I am not embarrassed to say I am here for all of those things. Put them all in one commercial next year. And Jeff Bridges rambling into a microphone. Give the people what they want. Me, at least. Give me what I want. Thank you. Go Birds.
Below, please find the winners and losers from this year’s set of Super Bowl commercials.
WINNER — Dogs
A great year for dogs. There was the Budweiser one with the good dog’s ears flapping in the wind, and the Pet Comfort feeding system one with the good dog running through the factory, and the Amazon one where Harrison Ford’s good dog ordered an absolute mountain of dog food using Alexa. I support this. Most commercials should have dogs. Don’t make it hard on yourself, people.
The last two commercials I mentioned kind of served as complimentary parts. The feeding system thing gives dogs a way to control their food once it’s in the house. Harrison Ford’s dog knows how to use technology to get the food delivered. If he gets his dog the first thing and stops being so cranky about the second thing (chill out, Harrison, geez, he’s just hungry), that good boy is basically independent. Look at him go.
LOSER — Robots
There were too many robots this year. There were way too many robots this year. Most of them were sad, too. The fake Alexa in the Pringles commercial was depressed, the robot in the Michelob Ultra commercial was sad because it couldn’t drink beer, and the creepy child robot in the TurboTax commercial was sad because… it couldn’t work at TurboTax? I don’t know. I could do without creepy sad child robots in my sporting events, man.
Those weren’t the only robots, either. The whole night was slammed with them. It gave the proceedings a weird vibe, like we need constant reminders that robots will eventually replace us all and enslave us and make us serve them in a grotesque human carnival freak show. Or something. And apparently the only thing stopping them is crippling depression. If there had been a Zoloft commercial with a robot in it, we’d all be dead already.
WINNER — Being 11 Years Old
The following things are all true:
- This commercial was childish
- I laughed very hard
- I am a child
In all honesty, I give the higher-ups at Dietz & Watson credit for just leaning all the way in on this. They could have gone with a safer option. They could have ignored the fact that “Dietz nuts” sounds like “deez nuts.” It would have been understandable in a bunch of ways. But some brave soul threw caution to the wind and greenlit it anyway. I’m proud of them.
Let’s do a Bank of America BofA one next year. We can all be 11 years old again and it’ll rule.
LOSER — My appetite
Folks, I could have done without the chunky milk. I did not like that. I saw the milk container tip forward and I said to myself “Boy, I hope that milk is not chunky because I will probably gag a little if I see chunky milk in high definition,” and then, to my great dismay, it was and I did.
I am not one for censorship. As Tom Hanks reminded us in the Washington Post commercial later in the night, democracy dies in the darkness. But if Congress held an emergency session today and banned depictions of chunky spoiled milk from all commercials going forward, I would be fine with it. I think the Founding Fathers would support me on this, once we explain to them what a Super Bowl is and what football is and what television is and how we have harnessed the power of fire to illuminate and heat our homes with the flip of a switch. It’ll be a long talk.
WINNER — Dragons
I whooped. That’s the first thing I need to make clear. It took me little time to realize exactly what was happening. I saw The Mountain out there and I saw him gouge out the Bud Knight’s eyes and I was like “Wow, this is really leaning into the Game of Thrones thing, damn” because I’m denser than the corn syrup they were so upset about. But then the theme music hit and the dragon roasted everyone and I whooped.
Part of it was the Thrones of it all, I know. The show has been away for over a year and is almost back for its final season and my brain has been conditioned to become excited whenever I’m reminded of this. (See above, re child.) But mostly I just love that all the dilly dilly people got burned to death. That was good. I hope a fire-breathing dragon shows up in more commercials. I’m not the only one.
Write it into the next book, George.
LOSER — Nature
- What at those microphones plugged into?
- Zoe Kravitz is great and I mean no offense but it would have been funny in the dragon showed up halfway through this one, too.
Leave nature out of this, beer.
WINNER — Fake Football
The fake football action in this commercial was more exciting than anything that happened in the actual Super Bowl. It would have been perfectly fine with me if they had canceled the second half and just let aging Hall of Famers whomp on each other at a formal event for an hour and a half. I could have watched Deion Sanders and Barry Sanders run around a little for at least that long. Give me that and then a quick shot of Ronnie Lott tackling Roger Goodell through a table of desserts and I’m good.
LOSER — Most Celebrities
I am always glad to see Steve Carell’s face on my television. I’m glad Ludacris showed up at one point. But outside of Jeff Bridges as The Dude pronouncing Stella Artois with a hard S at the end, I don’t think there was a single celebrity moment that moved the needle for me. No one in the room I was in seemed all that jazzed either. I don’t know if it’s more that I’ve become numb to famous faces pitching products in these commercials from years of exposure or if I’m just a cynical jaded doofus now (or both) (it’s probably both), but it feels lazy at this point to just pop in a cameo and put it out there as your big play.
Let’s put it this way: Picture every commercial from this year that had a celebrity in it. The Jason Bateman elevator one, the Luke Wilson close talker one, all of them. Now replace all those celebrities with talking dogs. Or regular dogs. Any dog, really. Better, right?
Here to help.