Football season has ended. And with it, the perfect excuse to crack open a beer in a parking lot at 10am while the sizzle of bratwurst serenades you from atop a fiery Weber. Of course, you could still do all these wondrous things without football – but then people tend to look at you strange.
If you frequented the net-webs at all during the month of January, you no doubt noticed the frenzy leading up to the advertising during the game was greater than that of the game itself. Facebook and its social media ilk were a-buzz with promises of titillation and glee all the way up to the moment of kick-off, and well into the post-game:
“Get ready to laugh in about 3 weeks! The laughs are getting closer! Take a sneak peak at something you may laugh at! You will laugh tomorrow! Here come the laughs now! Did you laugh? See who laughed the most as what! The laughing-est winner was declared to be the ad where the guy gets hit in the crotch!”
Yes, we could talk about the handful of SuperBowl commercials that surprised, entertained and (ever so slightly) delighted. RadioShack struck a simple, honest chord with its call from the ‘80s and the subsequent trashing of its old store by icons from decades past (who doesn’t like to see Alf peel out in a Delorean?) Coca Cola ditched the polar bears and did a nice (if not controversial) multilingual rendition of “America the Beautiful.” Newcastle Ale, which never appeared during the big game itself, talked about what it would have done if it had the money to advertise during the super bowl.
But enough of the positives. You did not come here for me to praise Caesar, but to bury him. As such, let’s take down some ads like the Seahawks defense took down Manning.
The Top 3 Worst Ads Of The Super Bowl:
1. Every Doritos ad
I don’t have the courage or the patience to go through these again. Although advertisers have done little to establish their Super Bowl marketing prowess these past few years, they’re still better than time-machine jokes and little cowgirls riding on the backs of mastiffs. If that doesn’t make sense to you, good. I’ve spared you the eye-rolls and yawns of user-generated content spawned from the promise of a $1 million payout. At least there were no “hit in the crotch” gags. Still, $1 million for a 30 second ad on processed cheese chips … what are we doing as a country?
2. Dylan and Chrysler
Oh how the times they have a-changed. There should be a lot to like about this. Lovely vignettes of the countryside interspersed with vintage footage of musicians and movie stars – very nice. Bob Dylan music – all good there. Bob Dylan, the godfather of true cool himself – hell yes. Bob Dylan shilling for Chrysler – uh, what the hell. His first line is reason for alarm: “Is there anything more American than America?” The man who wrote “how does it feel/to be on your own/like a rolling stone” would never utter anything so pedantic. He would speak of poetry and tradition, of trains, scoundrels, and women, of redemption, God, love, sex and death. Is it worth mentioning that Dylan is from Minnesota, not Michigan? Is it worth mentioning that Chrysler is owned by Fiat, an Italian company? Is it worth mentioning again how this ad is only slightly better than most of what Bob put out in the ‘80s?
3. The Budweiser Puppy Spot
Not the cute puppy and horse and beer ad? But Noonan, I hear you protest, have you no decency, have you no heart? – this was rated the best by a bunch of the best people who get paid to say whether things are the best or not. Rubbish. This ad isn’t just spoon-feeding you sentimentality, it’s firehosing every ounce of its sugary-sweet sappiness straight down the gaping maw of America, playing off our penchant for raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens and PG movies where everything turns out all right in the end. A puppy, a Clydesdale, and a love connection – it’s $10 million and a half-drunk studio executive away from being green-lit and developed into a summer Rom-Com blockbuster. This sixty-second saga of saccharin gets the thumbs down simply for knowing how to yank on America’s heartstrings, and then doing so with iron fists.
And there you have it.
Feel free to disagree. At the moment I am but one man, with a glass of RedBreast 12 in my hand and a few thoughts in my head. Draw your own conclusions, or better yet, don’t bother to sketch them up at all. This is, after all, only advertising.
Until next season, I’ll be tailgating with some brats in the driveway. You bring the beer.
Be the ball,