Okay, so the game itself—not all that exciting, or high-scoring, or what have you.
But many of us were more focused on the commercials anyhow. The biggest stage plus the biggest brands plus the widest checkbooks makes for one of the most entertaining nights in the advertising industry, year in and year out.
This year there were a few surprises. Some welcome ones, like Jeff Goldblum and self-awareness. Some strange ones, like claymation intestines and mutant animal mash-ups. But we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Without further ado, here are the winners of Big’s #SuperBowl #Oscars:
Jeep – Portraits
Our ballots were all over the place last night in terms of our champion. Some of us felt strongly about the terrifying Puppy/Monkey/Baby, some of us loved the comedy of the Amazon and Bud Light spots, and at least one of us voted for Beyoncé’s tour announcement (which, okay, that’s fair).
Why Jeep, then? Well, along with a very strong script (see below), Jeep simply stood out the most. In a year filled with some lackluster comedy and some just plain bizarre choices, Jeep was the zag to everyone else’s zig—an honest, heartfelt, celebratory ad that celebrated the people who built it rather than simply trying to make them laugh.
It’s kind of like giving Spielberg the Best Picture trophy, but he’s Spielberg for a reason, ain’t he?
Pepsi – Janelle Monáe
Without even saying a word, and with just over 30 seconds to do it, Janelle Monáe showed that she can do it all.
There are probably some folks out there witnessing her star potential for the first time, which is sad and happy all at once, because while she’s far from undiscovered, she’s probably not a household name yet.
This should help, though.
Apartments.com – Jeff Goldblum
What a night for Jeff Goldblum, right? With a trifecta of appearances during the Super Bowl—including a mention by Jeep and a spotlight in the new Independence Day trailer—his brand hasn’t been this strong since, I don’t know, the 90s I guess.
But with this strange and wonderful Apartments.com ad, Goldblum sings the Jeffersons theme while playing a flying piano and conversing with a bird, which was enough to win him this honor in itself. But he was just so undeniably charming that we remembered why we fell in love with him in the first place.
Honorable mention goes to Alec Baldwin for his role in the Amazon Echo commercial.
Best Supporting Actress:
Amazon – Missy Elliott
You know how sometimes the Oscars will give out “career achievement” awards, or “You should’ve won it last year so here’s this year’s trophy” awards?
Yeah, there’s a little bit of that bias here, since she played a transcendent supporting role to Katy Perry’s Halftime Show at last year’s Super Bowl.
But don’t get it twisted. Misdemeanor is unfadeable at all times, and that’s the case here. She kinda coasts her way through the first 45 seconds, but she steals the show as the ad comes to a close.
Best Supporting Actor
Bud Light – Paul Rudd/Michael Peña
“Hey guys, can you be quiet? Seth and Amy are talking about our country.”
Thus spoke the ever-underrated Michael Peña, delivering a perfect table-setter line for the ridiculousness to follow in Bud Light’s politically themed commercial starring Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer.
Seconds later, Schumer is espousing universal wisdom: “Everybody loves Paul Rudd!” And then the age-defying Rudd needs only a handful of words to charm our socks off as per usual.
Then, thankfully, more Peña, concluding with some inspirational words on…inspiration. (It all makes sense once you add it up.)
Best Special Effects:
Tie: Mountain Dew – Puppy Monkey Baby & Avocados From Mexico – #AvosInSpace
So there was a Puppy/Monkey/Baby. Yeah. It was kind of nightmare fuel, but for those who weren’t immediately terrified by this monstrosity (and, perhaps, because so many of us actually were), the CGI creature deserves recognition.
On the other side of the spectrum, the sci-fi spot from Avocados From Mexico featured an array of space beings sporting some killer practical makeup effects and a ton of creativity.
Best Screen Teleplay:
Jeep – Portraits
Every year, an iconic brand will take a stab at a speech—something to present the brand’s history and connect it both to the present day and the people who’ve helped build it.
This year, that brand was Jeep, and they nailed it. The look is simple: A slideshow of iconic black and white photographs—some of celebrities and movie monsters, some of ordinary folks. But the script really carried this ad, all concluding with a great tagline: “We don’t make Jeep®. You do.”
(Note: This marks two straight wins for Jeep after taking home Best Song/Score last year for their Beautiful Lands spot.)
Toyota Prius – The Longest Chase
There are plenty of people taking issue with this Toyota Prius commercial, and for valid reasons.
From a purely cinematic standpoint, though, no other commercial challenged this high-speed (and high fuel economy) chase as four bank robbers trekked across the land in an unlikely getaway vehicle.
And we’ll admit it: The car doesn’t look too bad either.