Despite the Times' prediction of "gentle and sweet" Super Bowl ads this year, the spots had plenty of gross-out visuals, violence and racial humor (more on all that later). There were also a precious few standouts, worth watching at least once and maybe twice. All are designed to make you laugh and none is quite "gentle and sweet."
Bud Lite's Will Ferrell Ad
Though the humor is middling by Ferrell's high standards (see his vids at Funny or Die or even his Apple ads for recent examples), the ad is funny enough to positively shine in the Super Bowl landscape and manages to draw some chuckles.
Cars.com's Plan B Ad #1
Unlike Ferrell's Bud Lite ad, both of Cars.com's "Plan B" ads manage to both entertain and directly promote the product in question. Below is the better of the two; the other is here.
Fedex's Carrier Pigeons Ad
Ads that lean heavily on special effects are not usually this effective, but FedEx kept both the message and the joke very simple. Doesn't directly help promote the product over its competitors.