This year, I actually had a vested interest in the Super Bowl. I’m a Patriot’s fan, my husband roots against the Giants as a general rule, so we were looking forward to the game. Never have I prayed the Hail Mary so loudly. I guess Gisele’s letter to family asking for them to pray for “her Tommy” didn’t work after all. Ah well. It wasn’t a bad game, but I was pretty underwhelmed by the commercials. I did preview some beforehand (mostly those that showed up on Twitter or Facebook) and jotted down my thoughts during the game. To keep myself honest, I have not checked any media outlets to gather their view. Besides, I was too busy reloading David Beckham for H&M. Onto the show!
The Bark Side: Volkswagon Teaser: I watched this commercial at night, in bed right before I charged my phone for the night. I laughed so hard I woke up my husband. Twice. I love it. I love the subtle costuming of the dogs, the AT-AT zooming in at the end, and the fact that you really have to pay attention at first to catch that it is the Imperial March. It doesn’t sell anything. In fact, the only thing the ad says is that Volkswagon paid a lot of money for the rights to Star Wars and wants to make sure it uses them, but it makes me giggle every time I play it.
The Dog Strikes Back: Volkswagon: The dog is cute. The dog working out to get slim enough to chase the hot car is cute. If they had cut the commercial where it fades into the Mos Eisley Cantina at the line, “The dog was funnier than the Vader kid,” and left it there, it would have been a great nod to last year’s commercial, allowed Volkswagon to use its rights to Star Wars stuff once again, and been just a bit subtle. The true geeks would be able to name the character and the rest of the world would at least recognize the setting (minus the TV screens, though with all the extra crap Lucas has thrown into those movies, he might have added them above the bar by now.) But no, they had to bring in Vader and we all know that Vader wouldn’t be caught dead in such a wretched hive of scum and villainy. It is way too low-brow for him.
Acura –Seinfeld/Leno: I have two problems with this ad. First, what does Seinfeld get out of this? Money? Doesn’t he have enough? Creative satisfaction? Bullshit. You want to be creatively fulfilled and make money – go on tour! Otherwise, stay off my TV. Second, why are two mega-rich celebrities, both known for being class car collectors fighting over a measly Acura?
Ferris – Honda CRV: Bueller? Bueller? I still send that exact text message to my husband when I don’t get a response quickly enough. However, where was Cameron? Just like we all noticed that a CR-V is not a Ferrari 250, we all noticed Alan Ruck was missing from the commercial. Somehow, I don’t think that is what the agency had in mind.
Audi – So Long Vampires: Can I drive that car to Forks? I have some vamps I’d like to dust. I would also love to see Buffy drive that car. In fact, next year, I’d love to see Buffy in that commercial.
Chevy – Apocalypse: I liked all the nods to past apocalyptic movies, even the obvious nod to the everlasting Twinkie. Self-reverential is always funny; that’s why the Best Buy ad was funny. Letting the audience connect the dots is always better than force-feeding them the information.
Budweiser – Prohibition: I don’t think that’s exactly how the bootleggers and mobsters remember the end of their careers. Somehow, I don’t think Nucky was cheering in the streets.
Teleflora: Yeah, if we all looked like that, our husbands wouldn’t forget about Valentine’s Day. When I asked my husband if he knew the name of the model, he could only come up with “the future ex Mrs. Insert Last Name” line. If they had played that back-to-back with the H&M ad, Neilson ratings would have gone through the roof.
The Voice: Dear NBC, Thank you for no longer trying to “introduce” Katherine McPhee. Considering her stint on American Idol was a full decade ago, I was getting really tired of screaming at my television every time that particular title card appeared. Also, please stop telling me that I have never seen anything like it before. I have, it’s called Glee. I’m just hoping your show will pay attention to plot, characterization, and tone. That would make it new!
Fiat - Abarth – You may never forget the first time you see it, but it’s because you’ll think it’s a Beetle.
Coke – Polar Bears: The concept was cute, but the animation fell flat. The Coca-Cola Company has a lot of money. They couldn’t hire better talent?
Metlife - Cartoons – Look, if you are going to pay for the rights for dozens of cartoons, don’t just briefly flash them on the screen. It doesn’t make financial sense. I’d rather my life insurance company uses those funds to pay better premiums. Stick to Snoopy, at least I know you are getting a bulk rate for him.
The Dictator - Ugh. That is what I say to Sasha Baron Cohen. When the best you can do is a Kardashian joke, the best I can say about it is “ugh.”
Avengers – Bring. It. On. Written and directed by Joss Whedon. Starring, well, everyone. Yeah. I'm flying my geek flag high for that one.
G.I. Joe – What happened to the career of Bruce Willis? He used to be A-list. Now, he’s stuck doing sequels to crappy action movies and sharing second billing with the Rock. While I realize he has done plenty of Die Hard movies, at least he starred in all of them. He wasn’t even in the first G.I. Joe movie! Not only that, but in G.I. Joe: Now With Even More Explosions top billing goes to Channing Tatum, a man far better known for his abs than his acting. How the mighty have fallen.
The rest of the bunch: Battleship looks awful, just loud and obnoxious. John Carter of Mars spent more time highlighting the Disney logo than the plot, always a bad sign. The Lorax trailer showed a host of characters, but not one of them looked like the Niffler, odd since he is one of TWO characters mentioned in the book. And where were the rest of the movies? Where was The Hunger Games trailer? You know, one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year? There were not a whole lot of summer tentpole movies highlighted this Super Bowl. The commercials that were shown, well, none of those made me want to do anything but fast-forward. Not good, marketing geniuses, not good.
If we are going to drag out Madonna doing all her old hits, then can’t we just get Lady Gaga to sing her new ones? Watching Madonna “Vogue-ing” to a Roman Gladiator theme, then switching to a cheerleader routine (still in toga) while those poor backup dancers had to physically push and pull her through the cartwheels was painful to watch. (Did anyone else notice Cupid randomly flitting about? No? Just me? Ok, carry on.) In fact, her whole routine, with its terrible lip-synching, ridiculous costuming, and her odd facial contortions was remarkably similar to watching the talent portion of a toddler glitz pageant. Then of course, she had to bring out the gospel choir. Is there anything more overused than a gospel choir (besides CeeLo Green)? I’m going to ignore M.IA. and Nicki Minaj. I think it’s just better that way.
Yes, I ignored some commercials entirely, such as Doritos, and Bud Light, and about a dozen car companies (Does anyone actually buy a car during the Super Bowl?) but that is mostly because I thought they were so boring, they didn’t even register. It was yet another year where Oscar winner Adrien Brody makes a commercial, but doesn’t make a movie. Dude, get a better agent. I was sad for Elton John as well. He is the King of Pop. He should never be dethroned for an Aretha wannabe and a mere soft drink. Clint Eastwood for Detroit scared me. John Stamos shilling Greek yogurt amused me. At least he’s Greek. However, I could watch David Beckham for H&M on repeat. No, my husband won’t look like him if I buy those trunks, but damn, I might buy them anyway, just in case. Now that’s successful advertising!