That problem I have with commercials is that rarely do they make me want to buy the product they are advertising. How many ads for medication list so many potential side effects that surely you would be better off dying from the original ailment than you would be taking the new drug? I know that commercials are basically mind control. An idea is planted now, but comes to fruition later when you actually make the purchase. But out of the umpteen car commercials aired during the Super Bowl (all performed on closed roads with professional drivers in safe conditions), the only one I can remember is Volkswagon. Unfortunately, all it really made me want to do is perfect my Phil Keoghan-esqu eyebrow pop and watch Star Wars.
None of the ads were all that great and some of them were in need of some serious editing. For example, who thought Timothy Hutton was relevant? Sure, Groupon pissed of civil rights groups with their ad about getting cheap fish curry (because the best way to honor a culture is to use coupons to pay less for their goods), but I was more upset by their implication that a guy from the USA network was cool. I actually think Tibet got off lucky. The transgender community got an ugly guy in a dress who found his true identity through Living Social. They couldn’t have used an actor with chiseled cheekbones? The movie ads all passed by far too quickly to get an actual sense of anything other than what city they were destroying, which considering that the world is about to be graced with Transformers 3 and a Cowboys vs. Aliens that does not star Nathan Fillion, I think we’re better off not seeing more of them.
In terms of irony, I was much amused by the anti-gambling ad. The bookies in Vegas are surely feeling bad about themselves now. I was also amused by Adrien Brody singing his nose out shilling for beer. I don’t know much about acting, but I always thought you were supposed to start at commercials and progress upward to earn an Academy Award. I don’t think the process works so well in reverse. Stars in commercials only work if they are a wink and a nod to their known personas. Eminent in Detroit was fine. His iced-tea commercial was not. A claymation Clay Aiken would have been funny. Eminem selling M&Ms would have been funny. But a claymation Eminem selling iced-tea by yelling at us? Not funny. Putting Ozzy and Beiber together would have been so much better if only, as lovingly suggested by a friend on FB, Ozzy had bitten Beiber’s head off. Since he didn’t, I now refuse to shop at Best Buy.
Radio ads have even worse luck getting me to purchase anything because they tend to be ridiculously stupid. Cancer is no joke. Survivors deserve medals, not just mawkish commercials about “she didn’t get a choice.” No shit. No one, if given the choice of cancer or health would choose cancer. That’s why God’s a crafty devil. There is also an ad for erectile dysfunction that makes me seriously doubt the authenticity of the doctor. His ad says that you will see results while in his office. Really! Is he located in the Crazy Horse office park? Are singles the only acceptable form of co-pay? Are his nurses uniforms purchased at Frederick’s of Hollywood? Not being able to get it up must be awful for men, but the potential of never getting it to go down again has got to be worse.
Maybe the problem is that I am too cynical for 30-second bursts of mind control. Maybe I just don’t need what they are selling. More than likely, I’m not really the target audience for most products. But if it was as easy to relieve border tension as advertised, then all we have to do is give the world a Coke and the North and South Korea problem would be solved.