Sunday, February 7, 2016

Puppy Monkey Baby Night of Super Bowl Commercial Meh-ness

Admittedly, I've been spoiled.

As a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan, the last two years lulled me into thinking that playing in the Super Bowl was somehow a right. Sports memories are short-lived and I would be wise to recall that before 2014, only once before did my team appear in the Big Game. Last year, the Seahawks' final, ill-fated play precipitated a rapid run for the door from all my friends even before the final seconds ticked off the clock.

This year I have, as they say, no real skin in the game. Sure, I would love to see Peyton conclude a storied career with a second championship victory. Wouldn't mind to see Cam humbled. But this year I think I'll finally pay closer attention to the ads which have most recently been an afterthought and one that I frequently missed on my way to a bathroom or snack or drink run. So tonight I'm going to focus on the ads: Here are my immediate impressions, unedited, as the game progresses..

CarFinder: Kevin Hart is funny. My daughter will, this week, be 16. I don't have a new car but I would like to own a helicopter. Her boyfriend is a nice LDS young man so I'm not so concerned. That's about it.

Mich Ultra: Lots of heavy breathing. Was it even an ad?

Snickers: Willem Defoe/Marilyn Monroe. Clever play on words.  I saw him in a wine shop once in SoHo. Willem, not Marilyn. He's short. Shorter than me. And wiry. Reminded me of Caitlin Jenner. In the commercial, not in my memory of the wine store.

Avocados from Mexico: I guess we're piggybacking on Star Wars but this one didn't make me want to make guac. And I made guac.

Hyundai: The bears. Just saw a matinee of The Revenant. Talking bears aren't funny to me. At all. Anymore. Used to be when I watched Yogi Bear on Saturday mornings.  Which I didn't much. Jeff Goldblum. I alway think of The Fly when I see him and never the Jurassic Park movies. Why did this ad strike me as really racist?

Mobile Strike: Arnold was a governor of the same state as Reagan. Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in New Hampshire. The world doesn't make sense to me.

Doritos: The first ad to make me laugh. Would have worked better for me if it were the Sweet Chili Doritos that baby was projectile birthing for. Those things are frapping addictive.

The Jungle Book trailer: Again? Another talking bear? They've not seen The Revenant, either.

Audi: The first pandering to a recently dead rock star. How long we have to wait for the Glenn Fry Zaxby ad?

Mountain Dew: Puppy Monkey Baby. What the hell? The flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz were cuddly little cocker spaniel puppies compared to those freaks of nature. I don't want to go to sleep tonight. Or ever.

Taco Bell: Tataki. Now we've had Star Wars and Star Trek. When will there be an homage to Guardians of the Galaxy?

Marmot: Meh. We used to have a ground hog, a member of the marmot family, living in our back yard. They're also known as Whistle Pigs or Land Beavers. I think that both of those names are more interesting marketing possibilities than Marmot, but what do I know. They looked like a cute couple, though. Happiness to their sheets.

Squarespace: Key and Peele have been instrumental to my satire unit the past few weeks so I'm willing to give them a pass, but this wasn't all that funny. Except that it reminded me of their Teacher Draft sketch.
And Key looked like Marshawn Lynch. Who is retiring. And who should have gotten the ball last year.

Buick: Football meets bridesmaids. I've never seen one of those convertible Buicks on the road. Guess that speaks to to the efficacy of that ad campaign.

Advil. Nuff said.

Acura: Made me realize that not every ad that runs during the Super Bowl is a Super Bowl Ad. I'm going to be more selective in my assessment. There are chicken nachos to attend to.

Skittles: Not sure I get Steven Tyler or ever have. He has a high, shrill voice and thick lips like Mick Jagger. But not like Othello. Second Othello reference. This ad should feature Marshawn. But Beast Mode never really talks so that could be an awkward campaign. Plus, I hear he's retiring. Marshawn, not Steven. Steven doesn't want want to retire because he doesn't want to miss a thing.

T-Mobile: Steve Harvey. Ok we get it, the whole pageant mistake. Miss Colombia. Seems too obvious. And why is Steve Harvey even a thing?

OIC: All across America there are Super Bowl parties filled with people who are eating lots of Mexican food and drinking beer and who have been looking forward to watching the funny funny ads and they get a black and white serious ad about a middle aged guy who has bowel issues and there's no irony attached. And no bears. I guarantee that constipation issue ads aren't going to result in a spike in that product, especially since so many viewers are eating beans. Plus, if you google OIC, you'll get the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. So that's confusing.

Prius: I don't want one. Now, less than ever.

Half Time: Seems to me there are more non-Super Bowl-Ad ads than usual. Has the marketing economic tipping point of the corporate 1% been exposed by a Bernie candidacy? I think not. Seems like there's just less originality. I miss that Darth Vader VW kid. Of course, the Volkswagen advertising budget probably isn't what it once was. 

Amazon Echo : I didn't really see all of it, but the Baldwin/Marino throw down was funny. Jason Schwartz has long hair. I don't know if that ad makes me want to buy that product, but I felt that this star-studded ad was one of the first real attempts at being a "Super Bowl" ad of the night.

Doritos: Ok, I loves me some dogs. I have had many of them. Have fostered dozens, maybe hundreds. Have been cited for running an illegal kennel. My first one was a Keeshond named Zack. Bob has one of my former impulse adoptions and has given him the best home of any dog in the history of dogs. But the lack of creativity about using dogs in these ads is appalling. There's no sentiment, not one moment that made me tear up. Where was the Marley and Me moment? The Where the Red Fern Grows moment?  Old Yeller?  It was not to be found and it should have been. These were some cute, but not adorably so, dogs. It's like none of these companies are going for the jugular. Like that bear in The Revenant. She went for the jugular. And the human back. And the neck. And every other human body part that has a vein in close proximity. But not a cute dog that inspires both sentiment and commerce at all.

Xifan: What the faxin?! That scary little red bastard love child of the Muppets and a mop ad is yet another acknowledgment that the audience that this show attracts has a demographic that needs bowel movement attention in ways that trouble me. So many bowel ads. I just joined AARP. Damn.

Heinz: FINALLY!  The Heinz ad!!!! WEINER DOGS running in the Montana Plains!  Now this is a repudiation of my previous dog post. Those dachshunds are both plentiful and athletic. I would have loved to have been in pre-production, putting on those little hot dog bun costumes on them. Most joyful ad of the night.

Honda: Again, those talking animals. Ugh. This time, sheep. It's like Babe, Pig in the City. Queen and sheep. Trying to really want to gear up to buy a new car. My 99 Camry is on its last leg. But not sure that the singing sheep are making me want to give up a 17 year old automobile in favor of a new Honda. Maybe I need to find a way to total my car by running into an elk and have insurance reward me. Then I'll do my happy dance. Not likely.

Budweiser and a couple of other brands that didn't make me stop and take notice. Ugh.

Jublia?!!: Toe nail fungus? Again? During the Super Bowl? That ad plays all the effing time! I get that athletes need this product, but do I really have to be faced with that creepy smiling big toe infected emoji? We're going down a long, slow rabbit hole of not so fun advertising-talking-around-the-water-cooler-the-next-day-vibe.

Kia Optima: Christopher Walken and his beige socks ad might just have redeemed the night for me. Advertising wise. He's just creepy enough and his voice, so distinctive, that I woke up from my commercial wasteland.

Budweiser: Helen Miren. I am putting away any snarky comments. Genius commercial. Although some of the British slang is likely to be lost on the Americans who drink Budweiser, the gravitas and ironic humor of that ad caught my attention. Bravo, Helen Miren. Bravo.

So. Fun evening. Peyton goes out with a win, which makes me happy. The guy needs to gin up for a run for the governor of Tennessee or at least the GM of the Titans, soon. On the other hand, the ads. Meh.

Next year, no ad blogging. Seahawks, baby.


goofytakemyhand said...

The Puppy Bowl XII commercials, on the other hand, were fantastic. Especially the Subaru ones.

Billy said...

I commented to someone last night that, I don't exactly know when or why, but I completely stopped caring about, or paying attention to, Super Bowl commercials a few years back. I think it was because we were hosting a party and I got stuck grilling food. Regardless, I've had no desire to reconnect my attention to those ads.

Maybe it's the never-ceasing fascination with humanizing animals. And if I wanted to watch that done well, I'd just watch the Presidential debates. (ba-dump-kssh!)

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