Sad Bowl: All the Weepiest Super Bowl Ads in One Place (VIDEO)

Harry Chapin, sad dads and at least one dead child – it was a rough night


Was it just us, or was this a really sad year for Super Bowl commercials? Children died, “Cat’s in the Cradle” was played, and it was a real bummer of a night, generally. How sad was it? “Stay with Me” on repeat and red wine sad. Liking your ex’s old vacation pictures alone on a Friday night sad. Requiem for a Dream scored to Bright Eyes sad.

And because we’re nothing if not sad-pletists (that’s sadness completists), here’s all of the saddest Super Bowl commercials in one place. Ready your hankies. (And look, some of the commercials addressed serious issues. But that doesn’t mean we can’t gently chide them for being over-the-top and semi-ridiculous.)

Harry Chapin: Bringing People Down for 40 Years

Here’s a fun thing you can do: Walk into a party and switch the music to “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Would you actually do that? No, because you’re not Nissan sadding about the Super Bowl. This commercial didn’t even make sense, it just depressed us.

Fatherhood is About Spiders, Gravelly Voiceovers (Toyota)

Look, dads are great, obviously. Everyone loves dads. But combining flashbacks, that man’s gently weathered voice, overseas deployment and then a shot of a Sad Crying Dad? Unnecessary roughness, Toyota. Especially on the heels of that darn “Cat’s in the Cradle” spot.

Small Child Tells You of His Death

We’re not sure what the weirdest part of this ad was: The somber piano rendition of the usually cloyingly cheerful “Nationwide is on your side” jingle, the kid looking directly into the camera and foretelling/recalling his death like some kind of horrible M. Night Shyamalan movie, or the entire thing. Not cool, Nationwide.

JFK Wants You To Cruise with Carnival

This is basically the exact same ad as the “God Made a Farmer” one from 2013, right? But it’s about cruise ships? Somewhere, David Foster Wallace is writing 23,000 words (not including footnotes) about this. For unnecessarily forcing a connection between John F. Kennedy and cruise ships, and also making us fondly reminisce about the time when cruises were advertised with songs about heroin, we’re going to roundly boo Carnival. Booooooooo. C’mon everybody – boooooooooo.

This Land Is Our (Sad) Land

Jeep’s clip had some very affecting images, but it was the minor-key version of “This Land Is Our Land” that really tugged at our sadstrings. And then they’re all like, “Hey, did you guys that 2014 was the hottest year on record and that by the time Super Bowl C comes around, Miami might be underwater?” Bam. You’ve just been Sad Bowl-ed.

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