The 5 best Super Bowl commercials of 2013

February 4, 2013

The Ravens won the game, but which advertiser won the laughs and viewers in between the action on the field? Watch the Super Bowl’s best commercials this year below. Did we miss one you liked? Tell us in the comments.

Taco Bell: When some octogenarians bust out of their retirement home, they get into all kinds of teenage trouble: Regrettable tattoos, public displays of affection, breaking and entering, pyrotechnics, and finally, some late night Taco Bell. The directors found some great character actors — especially that guy who presses his nipple against the restaurant window — and a cool Spanish rendition of “We Are Young,” by the band fun.

Samsung: Funnymen Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd are both called in to Samsung HQ for a meeting about their “Next Big Thing” ads — but they’re battling each other over who truly deserves the gig. Rudd gets some of the best lines against Rogen: “I’ve never seen you so excited about something that isn’t food.” “Are you sure you aren’t here to see a guy named Sam Sung?” But then the commercial takes another meta turn, skewering the other commercials that have come before it, as Rudd and Rogen pitch ideas: Talking babies (E-trade), Asian rappers (Wonderful Pistachios) and sending a guy into the galaxy (Axe). Other cameos include Bob Odenkirk and LeBron James.

Best Buy:  Amy Poehler, shopping for electronics, has many questions for a helpful young Best Buy employee. Questions like, “What’s LTE, is it contagious?” “Can I use a dongle with this?” “Does it make you uncomfortable when I use the word dongle?” Amy Poehler is a goddess. P.S.: The definition of “dongle,” in case you were wondering.

Budweiser: Not everyone will agree. But this heartwarming commercial about a man who reunites with the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised from infancy tugged at the heartstrings of viewers. Many Twitter users said it brought tears to their eyes. It goes to show that dogs aren’t man’s only best friends.

Tide: It probably wasn’t a favorite commercial in San Francisco, but it played well elsewhere. A 49ers fan finds a miracle Joe Montana stain on his jersey, and considers it to be a religious experience and good omen for the game… until his wife, a Ravens fan, uses Tide to wash it. It was perfect for the Super Bowl, with a tone that was, er, spot-on.

Bonus:
Mercedes-Benz: Another flashy big-name celeb commercial — this time starring Willem Dafoe, Kate Upton and Usher — it’s a clever spot about a man who considers selling his soul to the devil for a car, but he realizes that he doesn’t have to. He can afford it.

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Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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Cindy Boren · February 3, 2013

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