See our picks for the top three winners and losers of the Super Bowl 2020 commercials on Sunday!
Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi wonder something we all would like to know: What was life like before Alexa was around? This commercial achieved what Ellen’s recent stand-up special attempted, but didn’t quite nail: relatability (admit it, technology has taken over your life, too) and solid humor.
In a similar vein as the Alexa approach, this spot sees Martin Scorcese play a role we’ve all experienced from time to time. He’s alone at a party, waiting for the one friend he knows to show up. And that friend — Jonah Hill — is sending Scorcese into a tailspin as those ominous three dots in the chat bubble linger. The comedic pacing is perfect, and Scorcese’s acting rivals Hill’s as he awkwardly smiles at the fellow partygoers.
Doritos brings it to the Super Bowl every year, and this year was no exception. Lil Nas X and Sam Elliott meet in an Old Western standoff that devolves into an incredible dance battle. The one-upping after each move is hilarious (wait ’til you see Sam Elliott’s mustache break it down). And somehow, “Old Town Road” still hasn’t gotten old, at least to this writer.
This one edges into uncanny-valley territory with its shoddy CGI. The Jason Momoa spot was a swing and a miss. Skinny and balding Momoa is, in a word, horrifying.
Jimmy Fallon and John Cena working out together feels like a safe choice for the most vanilla viewers; like a focus-group idea gone wrong. It’s not terrible, but it’s not good. The Coca-Cola and Alexa spots were far more on the pulse of today’s culture.
Nothing’s more meta than “Rick and Morty,” so the self-referential nature of the commercial was expected. Still, though, even turning the commercialism into a joke can’t save it. I’m glad creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland are making money — I’d probably sell out, too! But nonetheless, it still feels uncomfortable to see this notoriously anti-establishment show hock potato chips.