Watching yesterday’s Super Bowl was like watching a snuff film where you can tell all the gore is 100 percent real.
I spent the night groaning, yelling, pacing, leaving the room in disgust, and eating my feelings over a bowl of buffalo chicken dip. It was so awful.
But not as awful as some of those ads. We’re actually quite proud that tech companies avoided the pickup-truck-flag-waving-lite-beer-verteransploitation-Team-Amurrica bullcrap that plagues us every Super Bowl. Some of the tech company spots were downright hilarious.
And ever-loving butter on a biscuit if we didn’t see GoDaddy completely turn a corner and show awesome, empowered women in its ads for the first time, like, ever.
Here are all the ads, rated and reviewed as only VentureBeat can.
Most adorable: Ellen for Beats
In this fairy tale-themed spot, comic and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres makes an appearance as our favorite Goldilocks ever. Also, this spot bags on dubstep, which is something we can totally get behind.
Hold me closer, dorky dancer.
Most self-referential Internet memes: Squarespace
Wow. So Intertubes. Much duckface. Very Failblog. Many Tumblr. Wow.
Best use of a real person: GoDaddy Spot #2
This year, a few companies took the “real person in a ridiculously expensive ad” approach. Heck, Budweiser did it twice.
Maybe it’s just because we deplore the sewer swill that is Budweiser adult beverage products (we can’t even call it beer), but we think this GoDaddy spot took on the trend with much more charm.
Best music mashup: Sonos
If only it sounded this good when we’re listening to bass-heavy hip-hop (me), Ratt (also me), and mopey shoegaze (husband) at the same time.
Best space-related throwback: GoPro
So, this Felix Baumgarnter spot was sort of lame. It’s like, what have you done for me lately, GoPro? When are you going to throw someone at Mars?
Still, we got the chills.
Best use of pink: GoldiBlox
We’re totally barfing over the sparkly boa-feather princess hogwash in this spot, but at least it’s for a good cause: teaching more young girls to understand and love STEM — that’s science, technology, engineering, and math.
Well played, GoldiBlox.
Greatest sheer volume of celebrity cameos: Time-Warner
Ugh. Too many famous faces, too many iPads. Just too much. It’s like the KFC Double Down of Super Bowl ads.
Most inspiring schmaltz: Microsoft
We hate that we can’t help but like this spot, an institutional ad showcasing the best of the best stuff you can do with Microsoft technologies.
Oh my god, look at that little kid with robot legs. Or that old guy painting even though he’s lost his eyesight. We can’t stand the inspiration.
Best use of Danica Patrick: GoDaddy Spot #1
Check her out, she is ripped! This is what they mean when they talk about girl power.
Of course, it’s all movie magic. But it’s good movie magic. In Danica’s words:
“They have done some creative things, but this one was definitely one of the most interesting, I thought. That suit took four hours to get into, between getting it on, which was extremely tight and cut the circulation off to my arms. My hands felt like sausages by the end of it.”
The very best tech company Super Bowl ad: T-Mobile
We were captivated by this person-free, set-free ad. And it made us yearn to watch Robin Hood again. The Disney version.
Whistle along, compadres: