Since we already went ahead and took a deep dive into some of the best commercials set to debut for Super Bowl LVIII — showering an array of brands and celebrities with well-deserved praise, it seems only fair that we offer the same level of energy to the overwhelming standout duds.
Think about this annual circus for a minute. Not only do brands spend upward of $7 million and beyond in order to secure a prized Super Bowl commercial spot, they also spend an astonishing amount of time preparing for this one, singular special moment. They do so all in the hopes that what they have created will propel whatever product they're introducing — or a whole new brand entirely — to next level success and worldwide notoriety that people will discuss for years to come. Or not.
Because Super Bowl commercial flops happen so often, it's become much more of a standard than an outlier. It's kind of like the Buffalo Bills and their wildly sad string of Super Bowl runs in the 1990s. At a certain point, everyone knew what was coming. The only lingering question was: How bad is this one going to be?
If said commercials do end up missing the mark, the one remaining sliver of hope is that they managed to be so bad in such a memorable way that the brand or specific product has stuck with viewers in some capacity anyway. The whole "so bad it's good" element does exist, and it does hold value. The worst possible outcome for a commercial is being so flat and mundane that it's not unlike a random scroll running across the television screen. Once it's gone, it's gone. And that empty promo spot ends up allowing some space in the brain to remind itself it's time to go get more wings from the kitchen.
But at the end of the day, whether memorable or not, the point of discussion here is to review the Super Bowl LVIII commercials that are straight-up bad, annoying or unoriginal — or an incredibly unhealthy combination of all three. If you happen to be going to a Super Bowl watch party — either by choice or to finally appease annoying family members or those neighbors that your wife keeps raving about — consider yourself fully armed for the many spirited discussions about which commercials hit, and which ones missed.
What we have below is the best of the very worst, along with some teasers and trailers, just as we did for the best Super Bowl LVIII commercials review that quite obviously offered a much more positive tone.
5. 'That Home Internet Feeling' from T-Mobile
Featuring: Jason Momoa, Zach Braff, Donald Faison and ... Jennifer Beals
OK, let's just get this out of the way right off the bat. Any commercial featuring Jennifer Beals, star of the 1983 hit "Flashdance" — back when movie posters did so much of the driving — should rightfully warrant significant attention.
Having said that (this is your cue, Larry David), T-Mobile going with yet another sing-a-long with Zach Braff and Donald Faison is akin to "Kars4Kids" announcing they'll be taking their tragically well-known, ear-bleeding jingle on tour for the better part of 2024.
No one wants more of this. We want less. Much, much less. This is a Super Bowl ad. It's the lone chance of the year to step far outside the lane of what's otherwise been — in this case, a nonstop assault of this duo singing their asses off while touting all the exciting things T-Mobile has to offer. So, in short, it's a colossal fail.
As for the great Jason Momoa: Please, please get right back to doing TV shows and movies. And that, by no means, includes "Aquaman" sequels, nor does it include whatever that reality show thing you have going at Apple + right now. We're talking about a return to some of that top shelf, Drogo-type stuff, fine sir.
4. 'Twist On It' from Oreo
Featuring: Kris Jenner
An Oreo where, by twisting the cookie, the cream cleanly comes off to one side rather than the clunky way we have all been doing for approximately 300 years? What a great option for the many, many twisters out there.
Kris Jenner as Oreo's new lead spokesperson? Make it stop.
3. 'David & Victoria Beckham Forget' from Uber Eats
Featuring: David and Victoria Beckham ... and "Jessica Aniston"?
This incredibly expensive attempt at humor will get the proper amount of discussion it deserves. Plainly put, this one just falls completely flat. Going with loaded zingers — such as, "super big baseball game" and "the hockey bowl" — as well as referring to Jennifer Aniston as "Jessica Aniston," leaves the kind of lasting mark that a third-strike foul tip to the catcher does.
Yes, we do realize the world-famous couple are reenacting their viral moment from Netflix's "Beckham." No, that does not make it a slam dunk to be funny. Next!
2. 'Copilot: Your Everyday AI Companion' from Microsoft
Featuring: People letting AI do everything
Well over 100 millions viewers who are expected to tune in to CBS for Super Bowl LVIII will be treated to 60 seconds of footage that showcase the capabilities of Microsoft's "Copilot" AI companion. And they will very quickly learn that they don't even need to bother with that coding class they've been thinking about taking. Oh, and that storyboard you needed for your script? Already taken care of! Inspiring stuff.
1. 'Mayo Cat' from Hellmann's
Featuring: Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and a cat
Mayo Cat is absolutely going to become a thing. And that's super unfortunate, because saying "May-Ow" will probably become a "OMG LOL" thing, too. [Note: A small, informal focus group that was conducted while first watching this commercial has sadly confirmed as much.]
Once this repetitive, annoyingly catchy clip touches the airwaves and captures the collective hearts of cat lovers across the globe, it kind of feels as if there will now be two official sides of the mayonnaise world — ones that are significantly divided yet somehow have nothing at all to do with whether one happens to like mayonnaise.
There's Mayo Cat, courtesy of Hellmann's. And there's the Mayo Bowl, courtesy of Duke's. Seems pretty obvious where respectable members of society should firmly be standing. Or sitting.
MAYO DUMP. pic.twitter.com/pEqLT19Zc5
— Duke's Mayo Bowl (@DukesMayoBowl) December 28, 2023
So, we're just going to allow everyone to use the "Flashdance" theme for Super Bowl LVIII commercials? Sorry, but certain things need to be kept sacred. Momoa, Braff and Faison's work seen in slot No. 5 was more than enough. So we have no choice but to draw the line at TikTok star Addison Rae muddying up the waters any further of what was, and still is, a legendary song.
Yes, turning my back on a candy like Nerds feels wrong. Especially the introduction of "Gummy Cluster Nerds" — but those will no doubt be purchased early and often anyway. So perhaps it's a brand victory despite the uninspiring route they've chosen.
Imagine Nerds had gone with a 15- or 30-second spot featuring Patrick Star and Squidward raving, or wrestling, over "Gummy Cluster Nerds"? We would have had an international shortage on our hands within days.
This one from Uber Eats featuring "Jelly Roll" might be a wait-and-see type of thing — but as of this teaser viewing, we're 100 percent not seeing it.
Dunkin' leaning so hard into the whole Boston thing that's long been established and featured in every movie that's set in Boston for the last 25 years was definitely a choice. And it was an insanely pricey one at that.
There's really nothing wrong with this commercial for Lindt Chocolate. However — and it's a huge however — if this spot ends up airing more than once, it's a mortal lock for Perry Como's "Round and Round" to be locked in our collective heads for the remainder of Sunday night and probably well into Monday morning. Not great!
Suggested antidote should this end up happening? A swift counterpunch with Ratt's "Round and Round":
Problem solved. You're welcome.
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