Best Non-Football Moments From Super Bowl 52
The Super Bowl is viewed by more than 100 million people live each year, which makes it not only one of the biggest sporting events of the year but also among the biggest live concerts and, of course, prime TV advertising ground.
Usually this means clever and sometimes risky commercials, and safe, if overproduced, halftime shows. Some moments stand out forever, for good or for bad: wardrobe malfunctions, Left Shark, and weird ads have ruled the internet (and occasionally the ink world) for a week or two afterward. Here are the standout non-gameplay moments from Super Bowl LII.
Lily Foles Upstages MVP Dad
One of the feel-good stories of the game was Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ emergence from backup to Super Bowl MVP in a matter of weeks. But his daughter, Lily, was determined to showcase him in an even better light, showing off her stylish pink headphones which indicate good parenting by Foles and his wife, Tori, who took the time to protect the 7-month-old’s ears. Still, her best moments were on the podium as her pop was getting his accolades and she decided she wanted to try to clutch the mic for herself. If that didn’t melt your heart, then you must be a Patriots’ fan.
Advertisers Take Risks Which Pay Off
Tide has gotten a lot of bad press lately, with the latest (probably-doesn’t-happen-that-often) teen scare being the Tide Pod Challenge. So when Stranger Things actor David Harbour popped up during commercials to announce “it’s a Tide ad” time and again as a delightful running joke, some goodwill was earned by the company. More charming actors took center stage in the Doritos/Mountain Dew two-parter featuring Peter Dinklage spitting some Busta Rhymes and Morgan Freeman jamming some Missy Elliott in a nod to “A Song of Ice and Fire.” But the best ad was almost certainly the “Dirty Dancing” scene with Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Junior doing the lift. Special shout out to Danny DeVito as an M&M and the robot bullies for memorable spots too.
Other Advertisers Step In It
On the other side of the coin were some ads that fell flat at best, and backfired at worst. Dodge is probably regretting the use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in one of theirs–especially since the speech in question literally decries commercialism, and car manufacturers in particular, not five lines after the used portion. The Alexa one was a neat concept–have celebrities fill in with weirdly aggressive versions of their most famous characters–but it mostly came off as creepy. Speaking of creepy, that Hyundai ad where people were pulled out of the metal detector line because buying cars cures cancer was a little objectionable, and the Cure Insurance pieces were aiming for snark but hit mean-spirited instead with low blows against competitors and Tom Brady (no matter how much you think the targets deserved it).
JT Spawns Some Memes and Some Face Palming
Like Dodge, the Justin Timberlake show seemed to be aimed at memorializing a beloved figure in American history, with the hologram of Prince joining in. But whose idea was it to use “I Would Die 4 U” as a song choice for a recently deceased figure? That was in poor taste, but not as poor as the decision to use a hologram in the first place, as Prince was outspoken about his disdain for them. It’s bad enough that Minnesota had to host a Super Bowl in their backyard after missing the game by a matter of weeks, but the disrespect disguised as an homage to their favorite son was palpable. But Justin’s performance overall was solid, if a little bland, though you can’t blame him for playing it safe after his last appearance with Janet Jackson 14 years ago.
The highlight of the show, however, was the selfie kid, taking pictures and then fiddling with his phone immediately after. Memes started hitting social media immediately after and, while Selfie Kid is no Left Shark, he brought joy to millions for a moment which is what the Halftime Show is really all about.