MORE SuperBowl Ads - Part 2
So here we are, a solid week past and the story, at least ad-wise, is still the Clint Eastwood spot. Kind of amazing when even something as simple as a Knute Rockne-type rah-rah speech can be parsed and dissembled the way this one has. Word is Clint even donated his fee from the spot. Well good on ‘em. It makes me like the spot that much more. As for the rest of it? Relax folks, sometimes a cigar really is just a cigar. The only other topic on offer was the Madonna half-time show, which for my money seemed pretty darn good. Sure she needed a few tries to get up the stairs but the poor woman is 53. Cut her some slack. I love that M.I.A just had to flip the bird to the world – and then claim she was “in the moment” or some other line of BS. Own up to it you punk-poseur. Sure, that’s what I’ll tell the cop after I finger him. “Oh, I was in the moment officer.” I hope Madonna kicks her ass.
One of the weirdest ads on the Super Bowl was actually one most folks never saw. It aired only in select markets for Nebraska and had Will Ferrell stumping for Old Milwaukee beer. The ad had glorious, crescendo-building music playing as Will walks across a field of waving wheat. He looked serious, like he had a message. Just as he got close enough to speak he holds up a can of Old Mil’ , opens his mouth and the commercial cuts off. That was the ad. Typical Ferrell. What can you say?
Audi did a fairly smug spot showing off their car’s daylight-bright headlamps. (really Audi, that’s what sells a car? – how bright the lights are?) It was kind of funny in a (sort-of) slightly deconstructive way. Vampire dude is driving his fancy Audi to a vampire bush party. The party is in full swing with folks rocking their soulless selves out and all but when Audi vampire appears they are illuminated in the daylight headlamps (get it?) and immediately turn to dust. Spssht! Spssht! Over and over. It’s actually kind of funny. Dude in the car then gets out feeling all bad and promptly walks into his own headlamps. Spssht! He’s gone too. Take that Twilight. Audi hates you and your billion-selling movies.
Pepsi Max did it again, picking on their punching-bag Coke deliveryman by showing the poor sod pining for a Pepsi Max, trying to buy one discreetly (ala what condom purchase used to be like). Natch he has to endure the “price check” shout out and then become a giant winner of Pepsi Max for life as bells and whistles and confetti explode around him. Personally, I never would have mentioned the ad but they had Regis Philbin in it and ever since he quit his show I kinda miss the zippy little guy. You go Regis! I love you (no, really, I do...)
David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad scored an unexpected scalp this year. Word is some talking head at CNN named Roland Martin apparently tweeted about it, suggesting that if any dude at his SuperBowl party seemed overly excited about the body-focused Beckham ad he’d give ‘em a slap. That, of course, was met with the requisite victim/insensitivity blowback that actually managed to get him suspended from work and condemned to “re-education” sessions with GLAAD and their allies. Me? The ad looks more like a commercial for tattoos. Seriously, dude doesn’t even need underwear. He looks fully clothed without them.
VW was back too. Last year they scored big with the kid in the Darth Vader suit. This time they dialled in the cute and inspirational- featuring a dog that’s too fat to chase cars (see, he can’t get out the doggy door). Dog then embarks on an exercise routine until he can finally get free (which he does) ......THEN the ad jumps to the Star Wars bar on Tatooine (the Mos Eisley Cantina for purists) where the denizens discuss which one they liked better. One guy loudly proclaims the dog ad ad better than last years and promptly gets Darth Vader doing the throat-closer on him until he changes his vote. Oooookay. So the upshot is, VW couldn’t top last years so they gave up. How else am I supposed to see this?
Budweiser Canada did a really cool spot where they conned a bunch of men’s league hockey guys into thinking they were shooting a documentary on rec league sports. Instead, they set the guys up so that at one of their late night games all of a sudden the entire arena fills up with fans who go mental cheering for them. They have mascots, announcers, refs, play by play – everything. It was a big league gift to guys that would never, ever get there. Seriously, the commercial almost brought a tear to my eye at how happy and moved the guys were. It was a heckuva spot. Good one Bud.
I really dug the Toyota Camry one in which the theme was re-invention. To acknowledge their total reinvention of best-seller Camry, Toyota spotlighted a bunch of other things they re-invented. A couch (male and female), a police offer/masseuse, a baby that doesn’t poop (and that is a time machine), a new DMV (nicer, with mini-golf and ice cream), a blender that plays Lionel Ritchie, a plant that fights crime, pizza curtains and rain that makes you skinny. You really do have to watch this one. If it were up to me I would’ve reinvented Regis and made him immortal. Did I mention how much I miss him?
Kia’s spot was called “a dream car for real life.” In it, a guy is asleep when some sandman-munchkin(?) arrives to dust him in sweet dreams. Instead he trips over a slipper and dumps the whole bag. The result is an insane almost wet-dream featuring Adriana Lima (supermodel of the moment), Motley Crue, hot bikini chicks, a cowboy riding a rhino, lumberjacks sawing a sub sandwich the size of a semi-truck in half, kickboxers with glowing teeth and...wow! For pure mental adrenaline this spot kills. I don’t want the car – I want to have this dream! Over and over again. Package that Kia and you’ve got something to sell.
One ad that got some attention was Skechers “Mr Quigley” spot. In it, we’re at a greyhound race track where the dogs are being led into the gate. A late entry is added – a fat, little, bulldog-looking thing wearing....Skechers. Of course Mr. Quigley the Skecher wearing dog rips up the track and then just before the end...stops. He turns around and moonwalks over the finish line to some Tone Loc. Nice use of eighties rap Skechers. Anyway, the spot works until that tool Mark Cuban shows up at the end to moan about giving Mr Quigley a new contract. Seriously Mark? The billions aren’t enough? You have to be in a SuperBowl ad too? Am I the only one tired of this guy’s desperate quest for visual fame? Calm down Cuban – maybe people will like you for who you really are. Nah, you’re right. Probably not.
Finally, Downey tried to bend a knee to a classic Super Bowl spot by recreating the Mean Joe Greene one...again (for the love of.....how many times are brands gonna do this? It’s getting so old folks) In this rendition they get the man himself – Mean Joe - and have Amy Sedaris try to give him her laundry-something to make his stenchy uniform smell better. He takes it, loves the smell and turns to walk away....only to turn and toss his jersey to her, which she loudly rejects ‘cause it stinks. He says this is the last time he’s doing this. (promise?) Stop it – all of you, right now. No more Mean Joe Greene spots. In fact, if anyone has an urge to do it again next year just go give the poor man some money and skip the ad. It’ll be better for everyone, I know it.