Best and Worst of Super Bowl XLIX Commercials


Shera Brady, Photojournalist

From Kim K’s T-Mobile selfies to small children accidentally dying for Nationwide, the commercials for Super Bowl XLIX really had it all. Here were some of the most memorable:


  1. Kim Kardashian Data Stash: T-Mobile features Kim Kardashian doing what she does best – drowning in vanity. Surprisingly, Kim has a good enough sense of humor to be able to poke fun at herself, as long as it’s her good side.
  2. Walter White for Esurance: Bryan Cranston makes his appearance for Esurance dressed as his iconic Breaking Bad character, Walter White. They couldn’t have run the ad without making some type of allusion to the show, and they did, when Cranston assures the customer that both he and her usual pharmacist are both “experienced with drugs – sorry, pharmaceuticals.”
  3. Violent Burrito for Grubhub: Grubhub is an app that allows users to order food directly from the app without having to call. What better way to encourage this than by threatening a flying burrito every time you make a phone call? The commercial ends with six people knocked out and a burrito through the ceiling. $4.5 million well spent.
  4. Katie Couric & Bryant Gumbel for BMW: This ad opens with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel circa 1994 desperately trying to figure out the internet. “That remark – the one with the ‘a’ and then the ring around it…?” and “What is the internet, anyway? Can you write to it, like mail?” And then flashes forward to Couric and Gumbel in a BMW desperately trying to figure out the i3. “And it’s built using wind? Like from a windmill?” and “What is i3, anyway?” BMW nails it by incorporating what modern society loves most: cars, the internet, and people trying to understand cars and the internet.
  5. #LikeAGirl for Always: Just another tear-jerking tampon ad, but this time with a little more cuteness. Always asks teens what they understood the phrase ‘like a girl’ to mean, each of them portraying something inaccurate and embarrassing. Then they asked the same questions to prepubescent kids, each of whom perform the action flawlessly. Not sure how the right kind of tampons contribute to a girl’s confidence, but if it comes with a four year old running in a princess dress, we’ll take it.



  1. Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen: Typically, commercials aren’t supposed to make you cry. But this year, the ads were a little bit more emotional than anticipated, and this one takes the cake. It features an adorable little boy, listing all of the things he’d never be able to enjoy: riding a bike, getting married, etc, as the audience wonders why. The boy then tells them it’s because he died from a household accident. No one heard anything after that because they were all too busy blowing their noses.
  2. Jublia’s Tackle It: This one features a giant animated foot in a football field, its big toe wearing a helmet and supposedly “tackling” the fungus it’s growing. And if the concept wasn’t gross enough, they threw in several shots of the fungus spreading all over the toes. There goes that 7 layer dip.
  3. Kate Upton for Game of War, Again: Apparently, not enough people have been playing Trivia Crack. Game of War decided to launch yet another Kate Upton ad, but this time, for the big screen. It’s the same as always: she’s wearing a revealing dress, rides a horse, and something ends up getting lit on fire.
  4. Jeff Bridges for…Jeff Bridges?: The biggest head scratcher of the night was Jeff Bridges, hovering over a sleeping couple’s bedside, meditating. The whole time, the audience is waiting for some kind of punchline, but the only word he says is “OM,” and then a link to his website,, pops up. The end.
  5. GoDaddy: GoDaddy thought it would be a good idea to feed off of the guilt most people feel for spending four hours eating and watching football by presenting a guy hard at work, and then stating that he is nothing like the audience, he is studious and productive, and doing everything they should be doing. But don’t go anywhere. GoDaddy needs you to finish watching the commercial first.