The Most Emotionally Manipulative Super Bowl Ad Ever? Watch It and Weep

No, really. Weep, you bastards

One big tradition around Super Bowl time, along with enjoying the big-budget commercials, is ripping the big-budget commercials to shreds for their formulaic, unimaginative, cloying bullshit.

In that vein, Stephen Colbert has truimphed with a new video imagining "The Most Emotionally Manipulative Super Bowl Ad Ever." 

It's great on so many levels. It zeroes in on the notorious Nationwide dead kid spot from 2015 as an example of heartstring-pulling tactics gone egregiously, horrifically wrong. And it touches on every other often-cynical advertising trope—animals, disabilities, soldiers—but mostly death. Lots and lots of death. 

Watch it and weep below. 

What's extra impressive is that Colbert's network, CBS, is the one hosting the Super Bowl. So much for coddling the advertisers ahead of Sunday's telecast. 

It's easily one of the best takes on emotionally manipulative advertising since the SNL skit "Hard Cut Cheetos" from a couple years back, which itself was an absolute classic (and was also timed to the Super Bowl, airing days after the 84 Lumber spot dominated the talk around Super Bowl LI).

Rewatch that one below. 

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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