Super Bowl Ads

Last night I watched the Super Bowl, mostly for the ads, but also to support my beloved grandson who loves the Steelers.

Despite my best hoorahs, the Steelers lost. My grandson is already looking forward to next year's Super Bowl, but I'm not.

But my reservation doesn't have anything to do with football.

I used to look forward to the event's commercials, but too many of the commercials lack panache and creativity. While the officials kept score of game points, I kept score of good ads. Some, like the Coke, Volkswagen, and McDonalds ads, were creative, but others, like the godaddy.com, Sketchers, and Doritos ads, were boring or raunchy, or both.

There was one ad, however, that sparked my interest. Last week in The New Repubic, I read Noreen Malone's interesting views of how pictures of an economically depressed city can give the impression that it is beyond repair. So I was pleased to see Chrysler and Detroit officials working together to change the impression with a visually compelling commercial.

Now, if you'll forgive me, I've got to get something off my chest. I missed my favorite Clydesdales--this year, though they did appear, those big cuties were relegated to a very minor role.

I'd like to hear from you--what were your favorite or least favorite and why!

Comments:

What the? (I'm having login problems but found this visit I was already logged in... Hmmmm - I'll comment while I have the chance).

Anyway, I didn't see all or even most of the commercials. (Being in Canada lends some difficulty to actually seeing some decent grouping of the commercials).

Quickly, I can only recall 3.
I liked the "Mini Darth Vader" one but I don't think it's that effective.
I remember the new Mercedes line one: those are sweet cars.
My favourite was the Snickers one because Richard Lewis made me laugh.

Those are the 3 I remember without thinking about it.
Lee, I'm going to have to give the PF commercial some thought, but my quick take would be to borrow the horror of That Hideous Strength, Gollum who manages to repent of his precious idol, and people like Gabriel Syme who are courageous enough to join in the battle against evil.

I didn't know anything about Bob Parsons; it's sad.
Given that we have endured Japanese-Fascism recycled in space, Lee; I'm sure we can endure Hinduism:

We're off, in outer space, protecting mother Earth, to save the human race, OUR STARBLAZERS!

I suppose it was a unique change to have a star fleet that was neither the US Navy nor the British. But bringing up the Yamato to serve as a super-starship, ugh! That wussy overpriced giant was mostly a floating hotel for The Emperor's Honorable Brassiness. Why not the Zuikaku which was at every fleet action the Imperial Japanese Navy was in since 1941? That was a ship worthy to be made into a starship.
Well, yes, I do see your point. Still like the general idea, though. :-)
Ah, well, I wouldn't want you feeling guilty overnight, dearest G, since that would make *me* feel guilty. But before we get so saccharine we have everyone reaching for the insulin, let me add that I chuckled at Timothy Hutton's ad for the same reason. Yet, it was a rather shocked chuckle, since it not only mocked limousine liberals, but also mocked the issue itself. The ad showed people, and I felt some sympathy for them. At least Elizabeth Hurley's ad was for deforestation; I grew up in a logging town.

And those two ads came in sharp contrast to Eminem's ad for Detroit; by the end of that one, in spite of my aversion to unions I was ready to contribute to whatever "Rust Aid" fundraiser was being crafted, and maybe even buy the t-shirt and CD. That is, unless the CD had an "explicit lyrics" warning label...

Hutton's and Hurley's ads would have been better, I think, had the faces of the actors stayed on-screen throughout while the scenery played in the background. And a pity that they were alone in each spot; the endings would have been more effective with more celebrities arriving surrounded by their respective posses. But maybe Hutton and Hurley were the only ones willing to be so bold.

Hmmm - when they drive Eminem from place to place, I wonder if the limos they use were made in Detroit...
Super Bowl Ads
I don't particularly have a favorite Super Bowl ad, but I have a couple I dislike.

The Go.Daddy ads were highly offensive. I would never use their service simply because of these ads.

I also disliked the Pepsi Max Torpedo Cooler ad - the one where the man ends up getting hit in the groin by a Pepsi can.

It may be a minor thing to most people, but I am tired of seeing males hit in the groin as if this is funny or acceptable family entertainment as "America's Funniest Home Videos" seems to believe. Personally, I believe when such entertainment like this is used it borders on sexual assault.

You may disagree, but if the genders were reversed would it make a difference to you?

I no longer buy Doritos because the same abuse was used a year or two ago to sell it on a Super Bowl ad. I wrote the company then as I did now and told them I would no longer buy their products. They didn't seemed to concerned.

At least the game was good.
I, um . . . I liked the Groupon ads.

Of course, I only saw one of them: Tim Hutton's. And I love Tim Hutton, so I'm probably biased. But I thought it was hilarious how it pricked the bubble of the usual I-care-more-than-you-do celebrity pomposity.

(And the ads did raise money for charity, or so I'm told.)

But now I feel guilty, LQ, because I can't remember the last time I had a disagreement with you! :-)
Gina, if a certain disciple of Francis Schaeffer were still commenting here, I'm sure we'd have already been drawn into a discussion of how there must be a fatal flaw in the Centurions program, because if there wasn't, then PFM employees wouldn't describe depictions of mystical Hinduism and witchcraft as derived from the Star Wars franchise as "TOO CUTE." Since he's not around, we can agree that the "little Darth Vader" commercial was really about a son becoming frustrated at not being able to make his dreams into reality, and a father easing that frustration. Which is to say that we're all thankful we can avoid that particular tedium.

Kim, I find myself in agreement with most of the assessments of the commercials. But I'm also rather disappointed that none of them from 2011 were all that memorable.

The most memorable of the commercials from years past seem to have this in common: They drew us in immediately, often with something absurd. (Betty White, in a touch football game??!?) They heightened the dramatic tension. (Betty gets cross, in the huddle.) They resolve the dramatic tension, preferably with a product reference where the product itself is the solution. ("Here, babe, have a Snickers.") And they end with a joke. (Abe Vigoda gets sacked.) The one commercial for 2011 that seemed to me to be closest to that model was Audi's "Release the Hounds", but it missed because the joke came in the middle ("Of **course** they wouldn't use *bloodhounds*; they're *far* too plebean!") and it ended with merely a chuckle over Kenny G. Even so, it's pretty hard to craft a masterpiece in 60 seconds, despite our high expectations. I liked the VW "beetle" commericial for its take-off on car chases, but I have a hard time visualizing going airborne - or even fishtailing around curves - in that particular car model.

On the down side, the "Groupons" ads were revolting even though they mocked left-wing shibboleths. Pepsi missed the mark all the way around, this year. And it's hard to believe that Bob Parsons, founder of Go Daddy, used to sell Bible software but now routinely offends all but brainless adolescent males. Plus, the Steelers lost (but at least their randy QB lost with them).

Coming back to the Audi commercial, I did spend some time thinking about why seeing rich people in prison seems so absurd to me. I thought about Enron and WorldCom on the one hand, and PFM on the other hand. I even re-read Chuck's Templeton Prize acceptance speech, which is a masterpiece.

Along those lines, I have a question: if someone donated 60 seconds of Superbowl commercial time to PFM, what kind of ad would you-all make? Bear in mind that you would probably have only one shot. Just something to ponder.
My favorites:

1. Classic TV characters. I'm not a fan of all the ones shown, but there were enough great characters and moments featured there to make me smile!

2. Baby Darth Vader. TOO CUTE.

3. House throwing the cane at the boy. I know, mean . . . but vintage House. :-) And a funny spoof of the Coke commercial I remember from when I was a kid.
Not on anymore but I used to love the Hamms commercial with it's good lyrics and scenery

From the land of sky-blue waters, wa-ters. From the land of pines, lofty mountains. Comes the beer refreshing.




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