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Top 7 “Geekiest Super Bowl Commercials that Geek Outlaw Can Remember” List

Volkswagen Commercial The Force 2

“This is not the Passat you are looking for…”

 

Super Bowl 48, – yes, I’m too lazy to Google the roman numerals—is now ancient history, and for most that’s not a horrible thing.  Short of giving oneself a frontal lobotomy, the lopsided game was forgettable—literally—and outside one or two spots, the commercials were nothing to write home about either.  Humor seemed to be in very short supply as I found myself snoring more than laughing at this year’s round of premium ad offerings.

Usually, most articles would launch into their top Super Bowl ads of the year or all-time, but this is a geek blog and you, faithful reader, expect more than that.  With that in mind, I present to everyone the list of “Top 7 Geekiest Super Bowl Commercials that Geek Outlaw Can Remember”:

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7) MetLife – “Everyone” (2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxy0qtbiJ5A

Funny, touching, andexciting are not words I would use to describe this ad.  If I had to pick any descriptor, maybe nostalgic?  While not among the most memorable Super Bowl ads ever (not by a long shot), it did bring me back to the good old days of watching Saturday morning cartoons in my PJs, which I haven’t done for at least two weeks.

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6) Aleve – “Salute” (2006)

Can you really beat a commercial featuring Leonard Nimoy?  That’s what Aleve was banking on for their Super Bowl spot featuring the iconic actor worried about pulling off the infamous Vulcan Salute due to arthritic pain.  This ad definitely shows its non-HD age and lacks the polish of newer spots, but the joyous reaction from the crowd after he pulls off the hand gesture makes me proud to be a geek.

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5) Chevrolet – “Bumblebee Hits Back” (2011)

This Chevrolet ad is a direct throwback to the days of Cal Worthington (may he rest in peace) as a cheeseball car salesman and the deal mascot attempt to show the audience just how tough Chevys are made.  Despite the fact that Autobots are supposed to be on the planet to protect humans, seeing Bumble Bee toss the mascot like a rag-doll across the lot is well worth its weight in motor oil.

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4) Kia – “The Truth” (2014)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob-wn52Dkmk

Kia gave geeks something to cheer about this year when they brought Morpheus back to promote their latest sedan.  Maybe my expectations are high, or I’m just desensitized to how far special effects have come, but the ad didn’t blow my socks off.  Nevertheless, it was one of only a few spots which contained some clever humor and the only spot containing enough Matrix references to make this geek choose the red pill.

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3) Radio Shack – “Goodbye 80’s” (2014)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUwwZHdx6SU

I’m gonna be honest, I had no clue Radio Shack was still in business.  Apparently, they are still alive and kicking seeing as they were able to scrape enough money together to provide one of the most creative commercials of the evening.  As Geek Outlaw knows, self-deprecating humor and poking fun at one’s self is always good for a laugh. Add in a De Lorean full of classic 80’s celebrities and characters (including the green little spud himself!) and the Shack hit geek gold.

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2) Volkswagen – “The Dog Strikes Back” (2012)

In this quasi follow-up to the incredibly popular “The Force” ad from 2011 (see #1 below), an out-of-shape canine decides to get his act together so he can chase the all new Beetle from VW.  I use the term quasi follow-up because the only connecting factor between the two spots is that VW used their pricey Star Wars license purchase to end the ad at the Cantina from the first film in which alien characters (and Darth himself) debate which commercial was better.  It’s pretty obvious which is, but kudos to VW for consistently reaching out to the geek in all of us.  

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1) Volkswagen – “The Force” (2011)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R55e-uHQna0

No matter who you ask, this Star Wars-themed ad from Volkswagen is considered one of the most memorable spots since people started watching the game just for the commercials.  The ad portraying a young boy trying his best to emulate the Dark Lord is successful because it combines the right amount of humor, endearment, and the use of a legendary sci-fi character in a heart-warming package.  When people found out Max Page (who played mini-Vader) endured not one, but two life-saving surgeries for his rare heart condition, the commercial sealed itself into the advertising Hall of Fame.

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Honorable Mention

Volkswagen – “The Bark Side” (2012) – Teaser

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqBfZ6vXPS8\

If one didn’t know any better, it would seem a certain high-level executive has a thing for dogs and George Lucas.  It’s the only thing that can explain the somewhat odd, but still incredibly cool commercial showing a pack of pups dressed as Star Wars characters belting out “The Imperial March.”  Not since “Who Let the Dogs Out” hit the scene have I been so happy to hear dogs barking in tune.  Who knew canines were geeks too?!

 

The “Should’ve Been a Super Bowl Ad But Wasn’t” Award

Audi – “The Challenge” (2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPkByAkAdZs

To answer the question above: Yes, you can beat a commercial with Leonard Nimoy with one featuring Leonard Nimoy cussing, singing the “Ballard of Bilbo Bagins,” and using the Vulcan nerve pinch on Zachary Quinto (the new Spock), all within a matter of 60 seconds.  Call me a huge geek—and you should—but this has to be one of the funniest and most epic commercials I’ve seen… ever.  Why it was never part of a Super Bowl ad campaign is beyond me.

A bigger question might be: Do these commercials really work?  Let’s just say that if Volkswagen or Audi (a division of VW. Coincidence? I think not.) ever sells a pickup truck stateside, you can bet I will buy it sight unseen.

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VW Pickup

“I’m patiently waiting… my wallet is not.”

 

(As the title of this blog insinuates, these are only the ads the limited capacity of my male memory cells can recall, if you have other submissions you’d like to add to the list, please remind me in the comments section below and maybe I’ll add them to this post!  Ahhh, the power of the inter-webs.)

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