The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Top 5: Best Superbowl Commercials

3 min read

By Watt Smith

As a lifelong owner of Giants’ cutlery, I am proud that my team could win the Super Bowl, overcoming the Patriot’s strong defense, perfect record, and cheating.  This article, however, pays homage not to the players, but to that which makes the Super Bowl possible, the commercials.

Budweiser really nailed it with their “Hank the horse” commercial, where a horse, named Hank, trains under the mastery of a Dalmatian to make a team of cart pullers which he was cut from the previous year.

While most beer advertisements appeal more to a man’s macho instincts, sex drive, or sense of humor, Budweiser recognizes that nothing makes a man crave a cold beer like the inspiring story of an ambitious horse’s success and the little dog who helped all his dreams come true.
A creepy looking drug dealer in an unbuttoned, yellow shirt complains outside of a drugstore about how he can’t sell drugs easily because drugstores are undercutting his prices.  (Paid for by the government organization “Parents: The Anti-Drug)  An anti-drug is a hobby, loved one, or principle that keeps you from falling into the clutches of drug addiction.  (My anti-drug is having teeth.)  The purpose of this commercial was to raise awareness, and I would say it has really achieved its objective.  Before seeing this commercial, I’m sure tons of kids never knew the dangers of paying retail value for their drugs, which is a huge rip-off.  Also, very few kids knew all the possibilities and side effects associated with over the counter and prescription drug abuse; however, in order to raise even more awareness, the Anti-Drug website ( offers a list of over the counter drugs to watch out for.  It even lists ways to mix these over the counter drugs with alcohol to create extra “dangerous” symptoms, such as “euphoria” and “impaired judgment”.  At the price of 2.5 million taxpayer dollars, for this 30 second commercial, I am glad that my two little sisters could gain awareness about pharmaceutical drugs, especially their dangers (and prices, availability, recipes, symptoms, and most popular methods of abuse.)

The point is, although this commercial teaches kids where and how to get legal drugs which the state has no laws against distributing, it proceeds to tell kids not to use them.  This strategy is great because throughout history mankind has always listened to the requests of a vague, higher power (except for Adam, Eve, Moses’ people, Moses, Pharaoh, The Hobbit, Icarus, Anakin Skywalker, the Prodigal Son, and everyone who was ever told “Don’t touch this plate, it is hot.”)

When I am jealous of a person, I love watching him endure pain, and seeing Justin Timberlake smash into cars, mailboxes, and TV screens proved to be just what the doctor ordered.

Seeing this commercial was not only funny but also refreshing because it reminded me that Justin Timberlake’s life is not perfect, a fact that is easy to forget considering he is a young, successful millionaire, who has been with some of the world’s most beautiful people, such as Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, and Lance Bass.  The commercial really made me crave Juicy Fruit or Coca-Cola or whatever it was selling.

Shaq, in his most dramatic role since Kazaam, portrays a horse jockey.  He is about as good at riding as Michael Jordan is at baseball; however, the humor does not come as a surprise considering everything Shaq does is the funniest thing ever.    Nevertheless, the advertisement was effective because it did make me yearn for Gatorade or Papa Johns or something…

Really, the commercials were a disgrace this year.  Due to increased censorship, the four commercials mentioned above were the only funny commercials of the game.  The commercials performed as poorly as the Patriots this Super Bowl.