By Anubhuti Kumar
Mindy Kaling, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. What do all of these stars have in common with a lost puppy?
Their own Super Bowl XLIX commercial.
With the average cost of Super Bowl commercials rising to $4.5 million, it seems the advertisements might be becoming more of an American institution than the football game itself. No different than preceding years, the commercials that air during the Super Bowl were universally anticipated. Their reception, however, was mixed.
Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian appeared in Esurance and T-Mobile commercials respectively, using their less than immaculate public images to their advantages. Both of these commercials featured the celebrities poking fun at the widespread perceptions of themselves. These ads were entertaining and definitely comedic. Lohan plays a version of herself, an “almost mom” due to her perfect demographics, but then shows the “almost” part with her dubious driving. Kardashian’s commercial for T-Mobile poked fun at her own image and also the audience’s, mocking our desire to stay connected and informed about every aspect of celebrities’ lives. Both are definitely worth a watch.
A different insurance commercial — this time for Nationwide — caused a stir. It depicted a young boy mentioning major life milestones: a first kiss, traveling the world, getting married…milestones he would not participate in because he died in an accident as a child. For most viewers, this advertisement went too far. The Super Bowl is generally a time for merriment and enjoyment; this depressing commercial dampened the mood in a very brash way.
Budweiser pulled through with a popular and heart-warming commercial, featuring a lost puppy heroically trying to find its way home. It’s cute and touching, as Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercials usually are. This ad has quickly become a fan favorite.
GoDaddy also used a puppy in their commercial. GoDaddy is known for producing crude commercials, but this year seems to have gone particularly wrong. With a similar premise as Budweiser, a dog owner is happy to find her puppy after she sold it through GoDaddy. This created so much backlash from animal rights groups that the controversial advertisement has already been pulled.
A personal favorite was the Nationwide commercial starring Mindy Kaling. Exploring the idea that minority women might be treated as if invisible in society, Kaling wanders the city engaging in ridiculous activities to test if she really is invisible, such as stealing ice cream and sitting naked in a park, making this commercial a winner on two levels: it is hilarious and insightful.
Although Super Bowl XLIX’s commercials lacked consistency in quality, it’s still…well, the Super Bowl of advertising.
Anubhuti Kumar is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.