We (sort of) hate to be the bad guy, but someone has to do this. (Sort of.) But facts are facts, and the sad fact is that a lot of the ads featured in every Super Bowl broadcast… well… suck. And Super Bowl 51 had its share of awful ads (watch all the as air during the 2017 game here), so let’s be honest and talk about them. And by talk about them, we mean let’s harshly criticize them. This is for your own good, advertisers! And also it’s because people like to complain about stuff.
Now admittedly, it’s hard to make a great commercial; that’s why we go out of our way to celebrate the ones that are stunning successes. But we also feel that when you are spending five million dollars just for the airtime and you know you are going to have tens of millions of viewers watching your spot, you owe it to the audience to make a commercial that’s at least OK. These five Super Bowl LI ads are not OK. The are, in fact, the worst Super Bowl ads of 2017.
#5 – Mercedes-Benz
We’re probably going to take some grief for including the 2016 Mercedes-AMG Super Bowl commercial on our list of the worst of the game, but when you have the Coen Brothers directing, Steppenwolf as your soundtrack, and Jack Nicholson starring, your Super Bowl commercial should be great. This one is only average at best, and considering all it had to work with, average is equivalent to no good here. Sorry, Mercedes, you let us down.
#4 – Yellow Tail
Look, Yellow Tail, your commercial told us nothing about your product! It’s wine, OK, it told us that much. And you support people who take a playful approach to life and enjoy partying while drinking their wine, that’s great. But as an extremely rare, novel thing, a Super Bowl wine commercial, you owed it to us to do something at least good, if not great. And instead you gave us this.
#3 – BUICK
There’s nothing exactly wrong with the 2017 Buick Super Bowl commercial, but there’s really nothing right with it, either. See, look here, Buick: sticking celebrities in a commercial only works if their presence makes sense; neither comedy nor quality are created merely by putting famous people on screen, and that’s basically what this ad does. OK, to be fair Cam Newton’s turn makes sense in the context of football, fine. But Miranda Kerr? Makes no sense, and makes no quality advertising.
#2 – KFC
This ad is supposed to be weird, we get it. But weird without funny we can’t accept. And without a semblance of sense, either. The KFC Super Bowl LI ad doesn’t make us want to try any of their foods, it doesn’t make us want to find out more about the brand, and it doesn’t get our laugh. So… it fails.
# 1 – The Fate of the Furious
There is nothing inherently wrong with the preview for the latest Fast & Furious film, which is titled The “Fate of the Furious.” The problem, rather, is with the inherent ridiculousness of the film it is promoting. We know that each offering of a film franchise has to get bigger and more crazy, but for goodness’ sake, there has to be a limit to how far the producers before they realize they have jumped the shark! In this case, they send a car jumping over a nuclear submarine…