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Nina In New York: Still Talking Super Bowl Ads

Bar Refaeli
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A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

I’m still not done talking about the Super Bowl. And by Super Bowl, I mainly mean the commercials.

It’s not that I didn’t watch the game. I did—with some interest, actually! Minus the ten minutes or so I realized I was sleeping with my eyes open during the third quarter. But what is there to say? Beyonce and her Grrl-power band’s fabulosity may or may not have blown half the lights in the stadium, which ultimately made for a more exciting game.

Onto the ads.

WATCH:  2013 Super Bowl Commercials

I realize that this year all the sponsors released their ads online in an effort to blah blah blah viral marketing blah blah blah. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to save myself for the live event. This year, much like others, had its ups and downs. Though while some of the lows were awfully low (I’m looking at you, GoDaddy), I can’t say any of the highs were spectacularly high. There were no great Don Draper moments of genius, but that’s okay. I laughed, I cried (seriously), and I spent a fair amount of time scratching my head. Some highlights (and lowlights):

Let’s get this out of the way. The GoDaddy.com kiss between supermodel Bar Refaeli and that unattractive nerd suffering from severe rosacea was, in a word, barfhorrifying. And no, it’s not because of their outrageous concept that a gorgeous woman might do something totally insane and scandalous like kiss a below-average ground-dweller (in fact, Bar has mentioned that this is a particular dream of hers).

But it’s because of the mouth sounds they made a point of amplifying and isolating. I don’t care if they’d had Bar kissing George Clooney (though it wouldn’t have hurt). Those noises are vomit-inducing and I resent being subjected to them for a company whose product I still can’t seem to grasp beyond having something vaguely to do with the internet and boobs. GoAway.com.

On an up note, I’d like to give kudos to several celebrity cameos well worth whatever psychotic amount of money they cost. Amy Poehler in Best Buy made me tingle with happiness, and I’d appreciate it if she was  in at least 50 percent more television shows and commercials. Alternatively, I would settle for a Tina Fey-Amy Poehler daily improv hour. (Note it, network execs.)

Equally delightful was the Samsung spot featuring Bob “Better Call Saul” Odenkirk, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan whose schtick is surprisingly not tired, and LeBron James, who got paid a bazillion dollars to appear on a tablet for seven seconds. Deion Sanders as Leon Sandcastle was great because fake facial hair is automatically hilarious, except that I have absolutely no memory of what was being advertised. So, let’s give that a half-point.

Here’s a question: what is up with all the black label beer? Why is this a thing now? Budweiser made at least three different spots to hawk their Black Crown, which is apparently “Our kind of beer.” Who is included in “our?” And who is the guy who said it in each commercial? Should I know who he is? Should I even have to ask if I’m one of his “our?” Also on the super edgy hip rocker beer product kick was Beck, who introduced their Sapphire beer with the help of a silky smooth, black goldfish singing “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, a song and band which peaked around 1998. I guess it’s only a thing we super  edgy hip rocker types would understand, what with our black clothes and our black dance floors and our way, tots cooler than you sleepy expressions and our black . . . uh . . . lipstick, and our gold-leaf face decals. I think trying to figure this one out gets filed under: life is too short.

Boy, if it wasn’t for that Clydesdale making me cry real, salty tears in the fourth quarter, I’d have lost all faith in the power of fabulous beer advertising. Remember the Budweiser frogs? Seriously, I cried real tears. It was good.

Doritos continues to in their tradition of abject failure, although I did appreciate the inclusion of the screaming goat in their first spot. Because, well, I like goats.

And it seems sassy old people acting young are the new talking babies, thanks to Taco Bell. Though really, Betty White paved the way. Speaking of, where was her endorsement deal? If she had been singing “No Diggity” instead of the fish, perhaps the Beck’s commercial wouldn’t have been so inscrutable.

There were others, but they were far less memorable as evidenced by the fact that I no longer remember them. I suppose I’ll have my memory jogged over the next three months, when they will all be replayed incessantly across channels and time slots.

Just please, singing fish, I beg of you: don’t ruin “No Diggity” for me. Please.