February 3, 2014
(EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.) — This year’s Super Bowl commercials may have had more star power than the football game itself. Scarlett Johansson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ben Kingsley were just three of the many A-list celebrities who were seen during the course of Fox’s lengthy coverage of the big game.
As usual, the Super Bowl spots didn’t come cheaply. A 30-second ad reportedly cost approximately four million dollars. That’s a hefty chunk of change, especially for companies like Anheuser-Busch, Chevrolet, and Coca-Cola, which had more than one commercial during the telecast. In fact, Anheuser-Busch had a total of five for its Budweiser and Bud Light brands.
If for some reason you missed the Super Bowl on Sunday night, you can now view all of the ads on YouTube. Here’s a recap of the best spots:
— Comedian and TV actor Rob Riggle starred in an ad for the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Pushing the fact that the car doubles the fuel economy of the average vehicle, he vowed the commercial would run twice as long. The ad ended, only to be followed by another one with James Franco playing the role of Riggle. Franco’s version was more exciting; he was joined by a tiger and, eventually, Riggle himself, who was flying in a helicopter.
— Viewers were given a brief glimpse of the Marvel sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with appearances by Chris Evans as the superhero, plus Scarlett Johansson and franchise newcomer Robert Redford. The preview directed viewers to the Internet to watch the full trailer. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4.
— We saw Seth MacFarlane and his foul-mouthed bear, Ted, hype MacFarlane’s new comedy Western, A Million Ways To Die In The West. That movie debuts May 30.
— There was also a commercial for Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic, Noah, starring Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly. Noah is in theaters March 28.
— U2 premiered their new song, "Invisible," in a spot promoting a new partnership between the (RED) charity and Bank of America. For every free download of the song on iTunes through Monday night, Bank of America will donate $1 — up to a total of $2 million — to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
— Ellen DeGeneres stars in a Goldilocks-inspired commercial in which she discovers the Beats Music service in the home of some bears. It turns into a big dance party, which is not surprising if you’ve ever watched Ellen’s talk show.
— A boy suckers a male adult into pouring Doritos into a cardboard "time machine" because, he claims, it runs on the nacho chips. After the man enters the "machine," the boy kicks it repeatedly to trick the man into believing it was working. After the boy is chased away by an older fellow, the "time traveler" emerges from the machine and believes the senior citizen is the futuristic version of the boy.
— Cheerios took a chance with its one Super Bowl commercial, in which a black father explains to his interracial daughter, using the cereal, that he and his white wife are expecting another child. The same actors were previously used in a Cheerios ad last year that elicited so many racist remarks on YouTube that the brand’s parent company, General Mills, disabled the comments feature.
— RadioShack stocked its ad with all sorts of throwbacks to the 1980s, such as Hulk Hogan, ALF, the California Raisins, the evil doll Chucky and Olympic gymnastics champ Mary Lou Retton. It basically mocked the public perception that the electronics chain is old-fashioned.
— In a Bud Light spot that began in the first quarter and continued in a later commercial break, a man named Ian is approached at a bar by a female actress who holds up a bottle of the beverage and asks him, “If I give this to you, are you up for whatever happens tonight?” Ian, who is not an actor and is unaware of what is happening, is game. As seen in the extended version posted online, they hop into a limo, where comedian/musician Reggie Watts is entertaining a bachelorette party. The car makes a quick stop so Ian can be styled by Minka Kelly. He and his new gal-pal then attend another bash, but not before they are joined in an elevator by Don Cheadle, a llama, and the actress’ twin sister. He’s eventually challenged by a wig-wearing Arnold Schwarzenegger to a game of table tennis, won by Ian. His night is capped off by a OneRepublic concert.
— Young Beasts of the Southern Wild actress Quvenzhane Wallis stars in a deep-thinking ad for Maserati.
— There was a preview of the movie Need for Speed, starring Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul. It opens March 14.
— With the help of GoDaddy, Gwen, a machine engineer from New York, quit her job to focus on a new career as a puppeteer. This was no joke; she actually did tell her unsuspecting boss in a Super Bowl ad she is leaving. You can check out her new gig at PuppetsByGwen.com.
— Popular quarterback Tim Tebow, who didn’t have an NFL job this past season, jokes in a T-Mobile ad about his many accomplishments “without a contract,” such as delivering babies, tackling Bigfoot, revealing a plan for world peace, and tossing the football around on the Moon. In a second, similar spot that aired in the third quarter, Tebow is a rodeo cowboy and also performs action stunts. Both commercials promote T-Mobile’s “No Contract, No Worries” philosophy.
— A Volkswagen customer jokes that every time one of the manufacturer’s cars reaches 100 thousand miles, a German engineer gets its wings. We then witness 40 seconds of Germans sprouting wings and flying at the Volkswagen factory.
— A yellow M&M is threatened with a chopping and a sprinkling on ice cream by a foreign dude. The naïve candy responds, "I have no idea what you’re saying, but count me in!" The guy then declares, in English, "Peanut M&M for everyone!" As his friends cheer, the M&M says, "Wait, what?
— Stephen Colbert spoke highly of Wonderful Pistachios while sitting next to a bald eagle. In another spot that aired 30 seconds later, he lamented the fact that pistachio sales hadn’t spiked after his first commercial aired.
— Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews is featured in a Toyota commercial in which he picks up some stranded Muppets and goes on a musical adventure with them. The Muppets returned for two more ads later in the game.
— Sean Astin makes a cameo in a CarMax commercial that references his popular football movie, Rudy. A customer acquires a vehicle from the used-car seller and receives a “slow clap” from many people as he drives around in his neighborhood. CarMax has posted a “puppy version” of the ad online.
— There were previews of the new Transformers sequel, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
— We finally found out why Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander were filming at Tom’s Restaurant in New York City a couple of weeks ago. It was indeed a mini-Seinfeld reunion, which aired just before the Bruno Mars halftime show. It wasn’t a commercial, per se, but rather an extended segment from a new episode of Seinfeld’s Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Both men, in character as Jerry and George, chat about the Super Bowl being in the New York City area as they take a ride in a 1976 American Motors Pacer to Tom’s, which served as the exterior for the fictional Monk’s on Seinfeld.
There, Jerry and George bicker as only they can. Jerry mentions that he was invited to a Super Bowl party, but he didn’t go because the hosts didn’t want George to come with him. It seems George ruined a previous bash with his pounding on a table and his use of the bathroom in the master bedroom.
George tells Jerry to go to the party for the second half of the game, at which point Wayne Knight’s Newman steps in and reveals he’s headed to the same place.
You can watch the episode now on Crackle and on ComediansInCarsGettingCoffee.com.
— Laurence Fishburne reprises his iconic role of Morpheus from The Matrix trilogy in an ad for Kia’s K900 car. Morpheus joins a couple for a ride in the vehicle and sings opera for them. His powerful voice lifts the surrounding cars off the street and into the sky.
— In an ad for Honda, we see a tight shot of Bruce Willis as he remarks, "You’re probably expecting me to crash a car or blow something up, but I’m here to talk about car safety." He urges the viewers to hug the people around them. After a lengthy pause, the camera zooms out, showing former Saturday Night Live star Fred Armisen giving Willis an awkward hug. Armisen continues to clutch him as Willis discusses how much Honda prioritizes safety. He then tells Armisen, "You can let go now."
— Sarah McLachlan spoofs her emotional ASPCA messages in a commercial for the Audi A3 that introduces the “doberhuahua,” an overactive doberman/Chihuahua breed.
— An ad for the Axe Peace fragrance line shows soldiers and international leaders making love, not war. It seemed the brand was specifically spoofing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
— Bob Dylan headlined a two-minute commercial for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, tying American pride to the manufacturing of cars in the U.S. He declares at the end, "Let Germany brew your beer. Let Switzerland make your watch. Let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.”
— Scarlett Johansson’s ad for SodaStream, the home soda maker, was one of the more notable Super Bowl spots this year, for a few reasons: 1) she seductively drinks a beverage with a straw while wearing a sexy dress; 2) it was censored by Fox, which forced the company to drop her closing line "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi" because the two soda giants also advertised during the game (instead, the ad ended with, "I just love helping people"); and 3) it played a role in ScarJo stepping down as ambassador of Oxfam International, due to the human rights group’s objection to SodaStream manufacturing products in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
— Jaguar parodies movie villains in a commercial for its F-Type Coupe. During an action-packed sequence set in London, Ben Kingsley, Thor star Tom Hiddleston, and Sherlock Holmes‘ Mark Strong explain why actors from their native England are often cast as the bad guy in films. Hiddleston reasons, “We’re more focused, more precised…and we’re obsessed with power!” The commercial was helmed by The King’s Speech and Les Miserables director Tom Hooper.
— John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier’s week-long Full House reunion culminated with their 30-second commercial for Dannon Oikos Greek yogurt. Stamos romantically shares the yogurt with an attractive woman, but he draws the ire of neat freaks Saget and Coulier when he spills a little bit of it. The woman is turned off and walks away, after which Saget reassures Stamos, “She wasn’t good for us anyway.”
— The Big Bang Theory actor Johnny Galecki appears in an ad for Hyundai, making many unsuccessful attempts to pick up a female driving alongside his car with lines like “Nice ride,” “Nice acceleration,” and “Nice handling.” Comedian Richard Lewis is his uncooperative passenger.
— In a Coca-Cola spot, a young Wisconsin football player takes the ball during a game, runs the length of the field, and continues on to Green Bay’s famous Lambeau Field, where the NFL’s Packers play.
— Diddy, Drake, Anna Paquin, Liev Schreiber, the Duck Dynasty guys and other celebs star in an ad for Time Warner Cable.
— If you’re an animal lover, you probably have a soft spot in your heart for Budweiser’s Clydesdale-puppy love story. A cute pooch bonds with the Clydesdale, only to be separated from it. However, as the dog is driven away, several Clydesdales chase after the car, and the two friends are reunited.
— Fox debuted a trailer for its revival of 24, which begins May 5.
— The voice of Esurance, The Office actor John Krasinski, said the insurance company saved $1.5 million by purchasing commercial time for after the game. He said Esurance was giving away the money they saved to a lucky person who tweets the hashtag #EsuranceSave30. The contest runs through Tuesday at 1 a.m. Pacific time. The winner will be announced on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio