The product: Lincoln
The premise: Lincoln asked viewers to tweet about their most memorable road trips. In this one, a German student hitches a ride with a pretty American girl, and they happen upon an alpaca farm, an extraterrestrial movie set, and . . .
The punch line: SPOILER ALERT: They fall in love and live happily ever after.
The verdict: Is this a commercial, or a trailer for the newest Katherine Heigl rom-com?
The product: Taco Bell
The premise: When some octogenarians bust out of their retirement home, they get into all kinds of teenage trouble: Regrettable tattoos, public displays of affection, breaking and entering, pyrotechnics and finally, some late-night Taco Bell.
The punch line: Depending on your opinion of Taco Bell: “Taco Bell keeps you young!” or “Taco Bell encourages terrible behavior!”
The verdict: The directors found some great character actors — especially that guy who presses his nipple against the restaurant window — and a cool Spanish-language rendition of “We Are Young” by the band Fun., which got popular after being in a series of Nissan commercials during last year’s Super Bowl. True to the band’s name, this is easily one of the most fun commercials of this Super Bowl.
The product: Axe Apollo body spray/other assorted manly products
The premise: A hunky lifeguard rescues a damsel in distress being pursued by a shark. But when he brings her to shore and they gaze longingly into each other’s eyes. . .
The punch line: . . . She looks right past him to see another musky Axe Man in a space suit, because Axe is having a contest to send someone to space.
The verdict: Can we just send everyone who wears Axe to space? We can keep the lifeguard who punches the shark.
The product: GoDaddy
The premise: As spokesdriver Danica Patrick explains, GoDaddy is both sexy (represented by model and Leonardo DiCaprio ex Bar Refaeli) and smart (represented by some nerd named Walter).
The punch line: They kiss. A lot. It makes sloppy wet noises. Cue the theme song for “Revenge of the Nerds.”
The verdict: This commercial objectifies women and makes fun of unattractive people. Just another day at GoDaddy’s marketing headquarters.
The product: Calvin Klein Concept men’s underwear
The premise: Just a very attractive man, wearing underwear.
The punch line: Hey ladies and gay men! We realize you watch the Super Bowl, too, and this is a little gift from us to you. Love, Calvin Klein.
The verdict: Objectification goes both ways, fellas.
The product: Budweiser
The premise: It’s horses, not dogs, that are man’s best friend.
The punchline: After a man raises his Budweiser Clydesdale from infancy (AWWW, BABY HORSE!), they are reunited after a parade.
The verdict: Cuter than the Puppy Bowl. Says the reporter who wrote an 80-inch story about the Puppy Bowl, so that’s saying a lot.
The product: Audi
The premise: A teenage boy who is totally cute, and would not likely go to prom alone in real life, nevertheless finds himself going to prom alone. His dad tosses him the keys to an Audi, and it gives him a sudden boost of confidence . . .
The punch line: So he grabs the prom queen and makes out with her (kind of forcefully, I might add — almost as if he’s entitled to her, which is problematic). Even after he gets punched in the face, his smile as he drives away says “totally worth it.”
The verdict: They might as well have just titled this commercial “#YOLO.”
The product: Century 21 real estate agents
The premise: A mini-mart scratch-off lotto winner hits the big time, and is ready for a bigger house.
The punchline:. . . but she’s so preoccupied with her new wealth that she doesn’t notice that her husband, right next to her, is choking to death.
The verdict: Yikes. The woman looks oblivious at best and, at worst, as though she only cares about money and a bigger house.
The product: GoDaddy
The premise: Wives around the world are harping on their husbands for not putting their big idea online.
The punch line: But one millionaire guy and his wife have the last laugh — they registered their domain name first.
The verdict: First impression: “Can it be? A GoDaddy ad without bikini-clad babes?” But look further and you’ll see that this ad is just as sexist as the rest of the company’s offerings. Why are the women all so angry? Why are the men the only ones allowed to have great ideas?
The product: Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins
The premise: A schlubby guy cares so much about his Wheat Thins that he’s going to keep watch over them all night, with night-vision goggles.
The punch line: Turns out, those goggles went to good use: As he fights off a yeti, his next-door neighbor snatches the box.
The verdict: Just an intense curiosity about how much neon-orange residue these Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins leave on your fingers.