Unlike recent years, 2014 saw some Super Bowl ads for tech companies that were actually... good? Inconceivable! We've gathered them all here, in easily processed ranking form. As always, all rankings are totally subjective and legally binding.
15. Sprint - "Sprint Framily Plan - Band"
This is the exact same as Sprint's previous Framily Plan ads but with more facial hair. They were already a little boring; next to Tim Tebow rescuing puppies it's downright anemic.
14. Sonos - "Face Off"
This fell a little flat; it does a good job educating people what exactly Sonos does, but doesn't necessarily make a case for why you'd want the music in your rooms be as territorial as post-apocalyptic tribal warlords.
13. Beats Music - "The Right Music"
Ellen! America loves Ellen. I was on a little bit of a time delay, and this was the first ad I fast-forwarded through.
12. TurboTax - "Love Hurts"
Mega points for the John C. Reilly voiceover; negative mega points for basically being a Fall Out Boy video about tax preparation.
11. T-Mobile - "We Killed the Long-Term Contract"
The whole "we decided to spend our money on YOU instead of on a big ad" argument doesn't work quite as well when your special effects budget for your Tebow Time (below) includes explosions?
10. SodaStream - "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi"
Honest to goodness, when ScarJo said "if only I could make this message go viral" I thought she was going to pull out a pamphlet about West Bank occupation.
9. SquareSpace - "A Better Web Awaits"
I don't mind that the idea of the internet IRL has already been done—and better—as much as I do that this feels like a lazy look at the internet IRL. A "Click Here" muscleman? Who are those twins supposed to be, porn? This feels like what someone's grandmother thinks the internet might be like based on what people say at Thanksgiving.
8. GoDaddy - "BodyBuilder"
That's some mid-tier quality beefcake right there.
7. Intuit - "GoldiBlox"
A great message, made a little less powerful only because GoldiBlox had an even better ad that they couldn't run because the Beastie Boys sued them to oblivion.
6. WeatherTech - "You Can't Do That"
It has tech in its name so sure, why not? There's nothing wrong with a little U-S-Aism, although it tends to oversimplify the complex nature of international economic wheeeeeeeeeeeeee anyways sure, that one guy's hair was silly!
5. GoDaddy - "Puppet Master"
After years of selling itself with gross sexxxytime, GoDaddy takes the empowerment route. That's good! So is John Turturro. Only points off are that I can't find Gwen's website anywhere.
4. T-Mobile - "No Contract"
Bless you, Tim Tebow, for being able to chide yourself as much as the rest of the world does when it bothers to remember you exist. This was great, and I would totally watch Illegal Formation.
3. GoPro - "RedBull Stratos"
It is amazing what mankind can do. The only reason this isn't the best is that I can direct you over to the full video right here instead. Watch it.
2. RadioShack - "The Phone Call"
Here's every 80s reference in this ad, since you were wondering: Mary Lou Retton, Hulk Hogan, Erik Estrada, Alf (!), Dee Snyder, Cliff Clavin, Jason, Devo, Kid n' Play, California Raisins, the owl from Clash of the Titans, Qbert, Teen Wolf, Chucky, Sgt. Slaughter, the Delorean from BTTF, Slimer, and whoever this is (the one who's not Ponch):
Anyways, this ad was basically made specifically for 32-year-olds who watched a lot of TV growing up, which means I loved it very much.
1. Microsoft - "Empowering"
The best. Seriously. We've knocked Microsoft for its advertising incompetence in the past, but showing America the future that's possible today, in a way that's sentimental but not overwrought, takes a deft robo-hand. This was the best commercial of any kind last night.