So…O.K., …I took notes….not during the Super Bowl game, which didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped, but of the commercials that paid for all of the hoopla. Mercy, what an assortment!
The R-C had a short piece from the Associated Press headlined, “Celebs, babies, beer : It’s Super Bowl ad time”. Indeed it was, although I didn’t think that there were as many laugh-out-loud funny ones as I have seen before. There certainly were companies that dropped a bundle–or two–on ads that really didn’t do much to tickle the risibilities of my section of the audience. Quite a number of them featured pop culture stars that I wot not of, thank God, and apparently, one was supposed to find the whole production humorous simply because these individuals were featured. Did not work for me, although Amy Poehler made me chuckle. Liked the desert competition for a Coke too; the stereotypical ( or not) characters and everyone’s disappointment when they discovered the fabulous, shimmering Coke in the dunes was just a sign and not the real thing was pretty funny, so was the invitation to decide which bunch would actually GET to the thirst quencher first (I hope that the girls in the bus did; they looked like homies to me). The one with the little kids challenged to play football by the smart-alek tough guys was a nice promo for Hyundai. The talking baby representing E-Trade falls into the same category.
Animals are always good. The wolf puppy–and his mamma–brought a grin. I liked the goat shilling for Doritos also the parrot on a tricycle (The little girl’s dad in dress-up-drag –along with his buddies–rounded out that product’s appeal). The guy sporting Skechers running shoes that beat out the cheetah was helping out an antelope, a nice touch, as was the bear pushing Labatt’s beer. And they can’t go wrong with a Budweiser Clydesdale, especially one that remembers his best friend (human) from colthood then reconnects with him on a city street–touching! The black fish in the tank with Beck’s Sapphire–with German hops–was definitely elegant. Wayside furniture–you’ve seen their ads–caused me to get a whole new perspective on home décor when the dog there refused to sit on the furniture and took his “blankie” in to the bathtub rather than sit on the couch, which must have had quite an “air” about it.
Lots of these things, the ads or the movies and the what-nots they were advertising, seemed focused on apocalypses of one sort or another, lots of explosions and air-borne vehicles and falling off high places and landing on hard places, flames, lots of flames. Even the melee in the library–while whispering–was an apocalypse of sorts. Ditto for the collection of senior citizens (Subtext : These people are too old to do anything fun, for cripe’s sake!) wigging out, getting tattoos, partying down with TAco Bell. Voodoo is somewhere in the neighborhood of all that, when the fans of the competing teams each seek to get a charm to bring about the defeat of the opposing team; I think that Mercedes-Benz was making a bargain with the devil too but that was a little foggy.
Actually, I checked out a website that claimed to have advertising productions that were deemed too “edgy” to pass the “smell test” for acceptability and were canned by CBS. Well, I should HOPE so! Several of those were pretty raw, way past the Calvin Klein underwear guy that made it on.
There were several ads that bordered on altruistic: The Paul Harvey one where he’s intoning all of the hard things needing to be done that God chose a farmer to do…and there just happened to be a Ram truck down on the farm. The Oprah Winfrey hope for the troops that closed by saying, “We are a nation that is whole again,” with a Jeep in the background. The Wounded Warrior Project. Maybe even the promo for the University of Akron and the little girl who scored 35 TDs this season playing youth football–most in the country.
There were, of course, a number of these probably-worthy extravaganzas that I just didn’t get. Oh well.
Favorites included the offering by the Ohio Pork Producers featuring–what else?–bacon, and the one for Tide (currently the target of supermarket theft) where this dude gets a tomato sauce stain on his T-shirt that bears, in his mind, anyway, a mystical resemblance to the pro Football Hall of Famer, Joe Montana. It’s a sign! This garment will be revered by the masses, thousands will come to behold it (Paying admission, natch), a shrine will be built, it will have mystical powers to influence players and games. Mirabile dictu! His dreams take flight; it is amazing. He puts it reverently away to be preserved until all of these things should come to pass. Alas! When he goes to look for it, on laundry day, his loving wife has washed it and his imaginings have turned to dust and ashes…a parable for our times.
Oh, and it was a pretty good game too, even with the lights out.