For many, Super Bowl commercials are the favorite part of this national 'campfire' event. Companies spend millions to snag even a few seconds of airtime during what is often one of the most watched evenings of television in the year.
Last year, in a commercial spot for Acura, comedian Jerry Seinfeld tries to buy the first model of a car available and tries to bribe the person who’s No. 1 in line (it included an appearance by the famous Soup Nazi who featured in one “Seinfeld” episode), only to be foiled by TV host Jay Leno. Another popular spot was the Honda commercial starring Matthew Broderick, who reprised his role as the title character in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as he took a vacation from his set and zoomed around town, visiting a carnival and acting out scenes from “Bueller.”
Many Super Bowl viewers still remember a 2011 commercial from Volkswagen in which a small boy dressed as Darth Vader tries to use the Force to move various objects, including the family dog and a baby doll. He’s simultaneously ecstatic and terrified when the family’s new car starts, thanks to his dad surreptitiously clicking the handheld remote starter.
This year, one of the best commercial previews for 2013 is for Coca-Cola. According to the new spot, three teams – one of cowboys, one of showgirls, and one of Badlanders (picture Mad Max) – are racing through a desert to try to reach a giant bottle of Coke first. But there's also a crowdsourcing element to the ad. Viewers can go online to vote for their favorite team and/or sabotage their least favorite. Coke will air the winning ending on Feb. 3. Who will snag the soda first?
"The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco stars in this ad for the car company, in which she listens to the song "I Wish" by Skee-Lo and grants the wishes of people around her according to the song's lyrics (for example, "I wish I was a little bit taller.") And when she gets to the line, "I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat"... well, see for yourself.
The shoe company sets up the beginning of its commercial as if it were a David Attenborough-narrated nature documentary, complete with grazing wildlife (in this case, a gazelle) and predator (in this case, a cheetah) waiting some distance away. It's all pretty standard Discovery Channel-type stuff – until a human in running shoes races into the picture. What will happen next? Will the human defend the gazelle? Take on the cheetah? We have to admit, we're hooked.
This is either the entire Volkswagen commercial or one of the longest sneak peeks ever (at more than a minute and a half). In this year's Super Bowl entry, Volkswagen compiled a collection of Internet video clips of people melting down, from a girl who gets emotional when she thinks about cats to a golf player who starts whacking the ground with his golf club. Singer Jimmy Cliff gathers many of the video participants onto a sunny meadow to sing "Get Happy."