MINI: Defy Labels

Already saw it on YouTube, so no surprise factor. Cool, simple, progressive, but unforgivably missing Rowan Atkinson. People only buy MINIs because they want to be Mr. Bean.

KIA: Walken Closet

A spot must be more than a star and a pun. It must also have a remotely interesting product to sell. And Kias are not remotely interesting. Socks are more interesting.

Jeep: 4x4ever

This is a hashtag, not an ad. On that note, #WheresmyWagoneer?

Honda: Somebody to Love (Ridgeline)

Singing sheep were okay, but what made this ad was the VO that turned out to be a talking dog. LOL-worthy reveal there.

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Jeep: Portraits

Remember when we beat the Italians?

Toyota: Prius Car Chase

Prius owners didn’t need their egos stroked even more. Also, did they mean to sync this with the broadcast of the O.J. miniseries?

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Hyundai: Ryanville

The make with the most ads was Hyundai. I don’t like Hyundais. Hyundais are boring. There’s nothing they can do to make me excited about Hyundais. When I see that tilted “H”, all I think about is the Excel, which didn’t even have that “H.” The fact one of the first car ads of the night was for a car that won’t be a Hyundai much longer (the Genesis) also seemed like an odd decision.

Buick: Odell Beckham Jr.

You know you’ve reached pop culture saturation when OBJ’s catch (which I saw when it happened and was as blown over as everyone else) is in a Buick ad. And it’s not a Buick it’s a rebadged Opel.

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Hyundai: The Chase

See Above.

Audi R8: Commander

Is this astronaut a real astronaut? I don’t know. But I’ll bet the first thing he’d say to his hedge fund manager upon pulling up in an R8, as nice a car as it is, would be “That’s not a spaceship, sorry.” Nothing will top the Godfather parody, especially not schlock.

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Hyundai: Dad.

See Above.

Wow, that was just about the WORST collection of Super Bowl car ads I’ve ever seen. I know, people say that every year, but it’s definitely true this year, and will continue to remain true until next year, when there are no car ads at all - not even for Hyundais - because the youths don’t care about cars, dontchaknow.

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I wanted to see cars I hadn’t seen yet (like the Maxima last year, underwhelming a car as that is). I wanted dramatic ads that went places I didn’t expect (like Ghibli). I wanted...innovation. I got none of those things. The only thing that remotely surprised and amused me was a talking dog in a Honda ad. To quote realDonaldTrump: “Bad!”

Clark Kent didn’t just show up to the game, he was on full display in the car commercials too. I’m speaking metaphorically. Shaka, when the walls fell.

The big takeaway is that the Super Bowl is becoming a far less relevant place to have big bold ads. Most of the ads I saw, cars or not, I’d already seen online. I think this is a shame, because people typically like Super Bowl ads because they’re special. But they’re not special anymore.

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But hey, at least there weren’t any ads for DraftKings or FanDuel. We can all take solace in that.