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Geek Girl Report: Cute Pups, Crossbreeds, and Coca-Cola – The Best Super Bowl Ads of 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII was the most watched TV event in history, most likely because a good majority of the country was frozen in and had nothing else to do but watch the big game. But while many watched the Seahawks trampled over the Broncos, there are always those, like me, who were more interested in the ads than in the game. This year, the commercials seemed to go for more of a sentimental, emotional appeal as opposed to the usual funny, over-the-top entertainment value of ads in the past. But for better or for worse, there are a few ads that stood out amongst the flurry of heartstrings and celebrities. Here are my picks for the best Super Bowl commercials from this year’s big game.

Budweiser – Puppy Love

Leave it to a beer commercial to make every man in the room teary-eyed. The latest sweet story from Budwesier (or all companies) tells the tale of a cute little puppy who befriended one of the iconic Clydesdale horses, who in dramatic fashion, doesn’t want to be separated from his little buddy. The Budweiser Clydesdale commercials are always heartwarming and surprisingly family friendly, and this year’s ad was no exception, even if I’m still not sure what puppies have to do with selling beer. And just as an aside, I think Budweiser’s other Super Bowl ad, “A Hero’s Welcome,” deserves some props for honoring the troops in a big way.

Radio Shack – The Phone Call

When you think of “modern and cutting-edge” franchises, Radio Shack is probably the farthest thing from your mind. And apparently, Radio Shack agrees with you. Their Super Bowl ad pokes fun at their old-fashioned (and I use the phrase loosely) store layout. The store receives a call from the 80s’ wanting their store back, which led to the store being ransacked by 80s icons like Mary Lou Retton, Hulk Hogan and even Alf. Acknowledging your faults seems to be a popular trend in marketing these days. It worked well for Domino’s Pizza, and maybe it’ll work for Radio Shack. If anything else, it was fun to see so much 80s packed in 30 seconds.

Audi – Doberhuahua

It seems that in recent years, dogs have become somewhat synonymous with the Super Bowl. But while Budweiser brought us the heartwarming tale of a cute puppy and his Clydesdale buddy, Audi took the opposite approach and went silly with the story of a “Doberhuahua,” a hypothetical cross-breed between a Doberman and a chihuahua. The end result is a tiny dog with a gigantic head, reminiscent of the little dog from The Mask and hell-bent on destruction. I’m all for mixed breeds and all that, but in this case, I’ll stick with my purebred Great Pyrenees.

T-Mobile – No Contract

Despite not being with the Broncos anymore, Tim Tebow still managed to make it to this year’s Super Bowl – via a series of T-mobile ads. The former Bronco turned Jet turned free agent popped up several times during the big game promoting the great opportunities one can have when you’re not tied to a contract. Some of his “opportunities” included a surgeon, a firefighter, and even a Bigfoot hunter. Tebow may not be having much luck getting an NFL contract these days, but it’s nice to see he can poke fun at himself and his situation instead of mope around like some pros are prone to do. And I guarantee you he was much happier being in those commercials than he would’ve been out on the field that night with his old team…

Dannon Oikos – The Spill

Surprisingly, it wasn’t a GoDaddy commercial that took away the title of sexiest Super Bowl ad this year: it was a yogurt commercial. John Stamos – Oikos spokesman and Greek heartthrob – “accidentally” spills some yogurt on his thigh and invites his lovely date to “clean it off.” But just before things get too racy, Stamos is hilariously blocked by his former Full House cast mates Bob Saget and Dave Coulier. The ad went from sexy to silly in under 10 seconds, plus it was great to see a classic sitcom reunion, particularly one I have fond memories of as a kid.

Honorable Mention: Coca Cola – America The Beautiful

This controversial ad from Coca-Cola made my list not because it was particularly good, but because it got people talking, and not necessarily in a good way. The ad features a collage of different cultures in America, with the song “America the Beautiful” sung in various languages, including English, Spanish and Chinese. To me, it seemed like the ad was trying to replicate the feel of the classic “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” Coke ad from the 70s, but not quite as successfully. However the ad got a lot of attention, and a lot a flack, from quite a few people who were offended that such an iconic American song was sung in languages other than English.

I get why people were upset by it, I hear all the time from folks that, “This is America, and we speak English!” and so on and so on. But the thing is, Coke isn’t exclusive to America. It’s a global brand that has embraced diversity since way back in the 70s, so it should come as no surprise that they would come out with an ad celebrating diversity in America. Personally, it wasn’t my favorite ad of the night, and there were a few ads that played the whole “We love America” trope a lot better. If you want to get offended by Coke, that’s your business. Besides, there’s always Pepsi, right?

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