Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thoughts on Super Bowl XLVI Commercials

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

It's time to talk about the commercials from the Super Bowl! (as if the 100,000 other sites talking about them didn't give that away.) We're going to post our thoughts in a list format, since it makes it easier to skim if you're looking for something about a specific ad. Comment and let us know which commercials you'd give awards to, and which was your very favorite!
NBC Photo
- I'm a second-screen person. 97% of the time that I'm watching television, I'm also using my computer. Another 1% I'm using my phone instead. So, the fact that so many of this year's commercials had corresponding twitter hashtags was amusing to me. In some cases, however, I just laughed. #solongvampires for Audi? really? It makes me sad that vampires are SO mainstream these days. Oh, and speaking of second-screens and Twitter, I'm thankful that the "trending topics in the US" updates so frequently - it helped me to know what I was missing in regionalized advertisements. (I imagine you East Coast folks didn't get the ridiculous the "I'm engaged to bacon" Jack-in-the-Box ad...)

- Best costumes on a commercial goes to that early Pepsi ad with the singing jester.

- The most disturbing commercial goes to that tax ad where the kid pees in the pool.

- Worst animal in a commercial goes to the Saint Bernard who spends half the year losing weight so he can race a Volkswagen Beetle. Runner-up? The Sketchers dog.

- Best throwback to a vintage Super Bowl commercial goes to the E*Trade baby, who now has a friend who speed-dates in the maternity ward.

- Best throwback to vintage television goes to MetLife, whose ad included characters from Hanna-Barbera, Peanuts, Warner Brothers, and quite a few other nostalgic memories. Take a gander, even if you've already seen it.

- How many times did we see promotions for Smash and The Voice? Seriously... I lost count. Kudos to Betty White for making an appearance, though. Other shows that had commercials included Celebrity Apprentice and America's Got Talent.

- Aside from Betty White, the best appearance by a celebrity goes to Matthew Broderick for his Ferris Bueller parody in a Honda commercial. Close third? Jerry Seinfeld, who not only was shown alongside the Soup Nazi but also shared his secret Manhattan zipline network with us. Our last celeb nod goes to Apolo Ohno, even if it was for Century 21.

- Weirdest product to be promoted during the Super Bowl? Oikos Greek yogurt. Seriously.

- Weirdest way to promote a product? Xfinity's having houses jacked up on huge tires, racing. 

- Don't get me wrong, I look forward to seeing those Clydesdale horses every year, but exactly how much time does Bud Light need? I feel as if their advertisements were on CONSTANTLY. I did like the Prohibition one, though. And I liked the GE one right up until I realized it wasn't for them but for Budweiser. My favorite one, however, would be the one with Wego the dog. I actually laughed aloud there.

- Along those likes, I like the Coca-Cola bears. Really, I do. But 3+ renditions of them in 3 hours is too much for me. The music in the bottle-as-a-football one was perfect, though.

- The brown M&Ms are coming back? bleh.

- Frito-Lay does know that they make other flavors of Doritos besides Nacho Cheese, right? Because that's like the worst flavor, and it got waaay too much airtime.

- Fiat? really? in Spanish Italian? what are we doing here?

- Just how much money did Tim Allen make during the Superbowl? You know, since he voices all of the Chevy ads... the twinkie one, the "Sonic's first ___" one, etc...

- I made a conscious effort not to watch the bulk of the ads ahead of time, so I was very angry when stupid commercials make it to the ad space during the big game. case in point? That dumb Camaro commercial where the kid is really getting a mini-fridge. Need another example? The Samsung promo that was pretty much there to poke fun at the folks in line for iPhones... at least it was a variant from the one airing all the time, though.

- Speaking of weird car commercials, what was with the "re-invented" everything to promote the Camry?? Oh, and Kia as a "dream car" really was a stretch, in my opinion.

- And, let's end the list with the list of movies advertised during the Super Bowl. Battleship (which made Hungry Hungry Hippos trend, since that's CLEARLY a board game that needs a backstory!), John Carter (am I the only one who thinks of ER every time that name is mentioned??!?), The Lorax (let's note that "Dr. Suess" trended after that... spelled incorrectly), Star Wars: Phantom Menace 3D (a commercial in which my husband and I both swore we saw scenes not from that particular movie), Avengers (which had a very different advertisement in comparison to the one I saw before Man on a Ledge), GI Joe 2, and Act of Valor. I'm most looking forward to The Lorax.
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Anonymous said...

During the Fiat commercial, they spoke italian...not spanish...

Amy K. Bredemeyer said...

thanks for the correction - I edited the post.