The Super Bowl is also a football game.
It is, for many of the millions watching every year on Super Bowl Sunday, primarily a delivery mechanism for commercials. The ad wizards annually come up with brainworm catch phrases like “Dilly Dilly” or show us celebrities like Danny DeVito in improbable circumstances. Hollywood studios unveil movie trailers for blockbusters like Solo: A Star War Story and Jurassic World. The network airing the big game in any given year, NBC in 2018, also plugs its own properties in hopes of getting viewers to stick around for shows like This is Us.
Grant Brisbee is also a baseball writer.
He is, for everyone reading SB Nation before, during and after the 52nd Super Bowl, primarily someone who writes about Super Bowl commercials. As the Eagles outlasted Patriots to win the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night, we kept track of Grant’s industrious reporting on the race for your attention. Let’s see how he did.
For each ad included below, you will find Grant’s headline, the ad itself, an excerpt from Grant’s blog on the ad, and finally a rating of Grant’s blog about the ad. Each blog received a score on the Grant Rating scale of 1-5, in accordance with its relative level of Grantness.
From the blog: Did Captain Jack Sparrow have a car hundreds of years ago? It doesn’t matter. In heaven, you get the maximum happiness from the future as well as the past. He will have the same look of satisfaction when he drives a Kia Laser Glider in a different reality. In this, he has reclaimed his life.
Grant Rating: 3 (for not exactly livin’ on the edge with the Tyler-Sparrow comp)
From the blog: It’s a bunch of babies from all over the world, all different walks of life, and you want them to be happy. I want them to be happy. We can all agree that these babies deserve the best in life, as do all babies.
It’s that ... yeah, it’s that last step that I’m having a problem with
Grant Rating: 4
From the blog: My dude is holding his midsection like a football was kicked there. Don’t let the smoking jacket provide ambiguity where there is none. GoDaddy and Carl’s Jr. are in an arms race to develop the first commercial with a nude woman riding a porpoise, and Groupon is worried about a football hitting six inches too low?
Grant Rating: 8
From the blog: No snark for this one. Some companies go for sentimental and miss wildly (looking at you, gross Dodge ad), and it makes you wonder why they don’t just go with home run swings for the silly and dumb genre, which are super low stakes.
Toyota took a simple concept and made it elegant.
Grant Rating: 11
From the blog: PETA would like you to stop eating animals, which are delicious. This is a tricky sell. It would be like running ads to convince you to drink beet juice instead of delicious soda, which is immediately available and ready to please all sorts of synapses and nerve endings instantly.
Grant Rating: 15 (as a vegetarian I abstain from enjoying this blog)
From the blog: I have loads of thoughts about this commercial, including:
-Wait, that’s not the right voice for the Jack in the Box
-They changed actors, didn’t they
-I didn’t think this would disturb me, but I’m extremely mad online
Grant Rating: 20 (there is an investigation)
From the blog: Do you remember Cloverfield, which was a Blair Witch Project meets Godzilla, and was such an obvious combination of the two that it should have been called Blair Witch Project, But Godzilla? Sure you do.
Grant Rating: 22
From the blog: We’ve all been there. One second, you’re eating chips and dipping them in a salsa boat in the shape of a football, and the next second you’re absolutely destroying the host’s bathroom, screaming like Arnold Schwarzenegger pulling a bullet out of an open wound and just going for it.
Grant Rating: 24
From the blog: It’s a combined brand effort from the good folks at Ohgodijustingestedwhat, LLC, a subsidiary of PepsiCo! And it’s Dinklage spitting literal fire until Freeman cools him down! It would take an awful lot to screw that up.
Grant rating: 25
From the blog: For years, I was obsessed with ABBA’s Gold: Greatest Hits. For my money, “SOS” is the finest pop song ever written, even if it’s nothing but empty calories. I would listen to it and marvel at how much fun it all was, even as it said nothing.
Grant Rating: 27
From the blog: I’d prefer an ad that beat me over the head with the idea that Sprint is cheaper without admitting defeat when it comes to reliability. It’s not like I’m on the J.D. Power and Associates’ Facebook page to see what networks are ranked where.
Grant Rating: 28 (because I, for one, welcome our judgmental robot overlords)
From the blog: If you want to subject me to a litmus test, I’ve seen The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. They were all great. They all improved with subsequent viewings. I’m in. I’m a mark.
That doesn’t mean I’m not nervous.
Grant Rating: 30 (We recalibrated the Grant Rating scale to account for action figures.)
‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ trailer released during Super Bowl 2018, and it looks like the dinos are at it again
From the blog: It was a bad idea to clone dinosaurs. I thought we were all in agreement on this. I read Jurassic Park before I could grow a mustache, and it was clear that it was a bad idea to clone dinosaurs. Now my mustache is gray, and it’s still necessary to make a movie about how it’s a bad idea to clone dinosaurs.
Grant Rating: 36 (because Grant would most definitely clone dinosaurs)
From the blog: This is theft. The people behind the Tide brand have made a calculated effort to steal money from the pockets of other brands, and I’m very much into their roguishness.
Grant Rating: 44
From the blog: The idea is to sing “I Love Beer” and make people think that Michelob Ultra actually is beer, but not the kind that makes you fat, so maybe! It’s a good, catchy song with a hook that’s easy to share and appropriate for your own parties, so perhaps just the reintroduction of the song into the cultural lexicon will be enough for Michelob to recoup their investment.
Grant Rating: 55
From the blog: The campaign has evolved into that lord or king making snarky jokes while fighting because he can’t provide for his people.
Grant Rating: 73 (to be revised upon completion the oral history of “Dilly Dilly”)
The Super Bowl commercial for M&M’s features Danny DeVito bobbing in a tepid pool of chocolate, as he groans in pleasure and splashes it about his face
From the blog: Hello. My name is Grant, and I’m going to be your Super Bowl commercial critic for 2018. Most of the commercials will be released early, so I’ll write them up as we go.
Grant Rating: 373
From the blog: I wanted to feel alive again, and this commercial spoke to me. So I tried it.
Grant Rating: 586
From the blog: Let’s clear about something: That looks like a really, really nice car. I drive a 2005 Toyota Corolla, and there’s no weatherstripping on the driver’s side window, so whenever I drive on the freeway, it makes a sound like PHUBBAPHUBBAPHUBBAFRRRRSSSHH that my doctors say will give me tinnitus.
Grant Rating: 646
From the blog: But, seriously, calm the hell down, Coke. You’re also just carbonated water with corn syrup and/or chemicals.
Grant Rating: 2,583
From the blog: Look, I can spot Kim Ng in a crowd. That’s the life I’ve chosen, and it comes with both social isolation and an unearned sense of smug superiority.
Grant Rating: 3,187
Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr.’s ‘Dirty Dancing’ recreation was the best commercial of Super Bowl 52
(Nobody puts Grant in a corner. But Tim Cato does help him blog ads referencing Dirty Dancing)
From Tim’s blog: Eli Manning is a beautiful, big, football-playing wet sock.
Grant Rating: n/a
(This promo was blogged by Adam Stites)
From Adam’s blog: For the uninitiated, Westworld is a science-fiction thriller set in a fictional Wild West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts.
Grant Rating: n/a