The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Super Ads 2011

February 7, 2011

Before I get started on my review of this year’s Super Bowl commercials I want to come to the aid of a lady in distress. Can we lay off of Christina Aguilera and her muffed line in the National Anthem? Look, she was nervous, under pressure, and out of her element. The NFL asked her to sing fully clothed and without a stripper pole to hang onto! While I’m on the subject of the Nation Anthem why can’t the football players show a little respect when the country is being honored?  Their sideline slouching was shameful! Roger Goodell, get out your paddle and take some of those guys to the woodshed!

Once again the folks who think this is a good way to spend their investors dollars spent slightly more than the gross national product of Niger and Ethiopia combined with, in most cases, very mediocre results. With so many ads it’s hard in a short piece to hit them all so I am skipping all the promos and movie trailers although the CBS/House parody of the 1980 Mean Joe Green was one of my favorites.

I think I have finally figured out that GoDaddy.com is run by a horny fifteen year old boy out of his parents’ basement. What in the world trying to make me think Joan Rivers is hot has to do with getting a domain name is beyond me? Joan is a safe distance from “hot” no matter how many body doubles they used. I don’t know how much money Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels are paid to debase themselves in what year after years have been the unsexiest and unfunniest ads but it isn’t nearly enough! The ads beg us to go to their website to see the “uncensored” ending to the ads. I wonder how many frustrated high school boys went to Go Daddy thinking they were going to see Ms. Patrick and Ms. Michaels in the buff but only found a lame joke/dance number instead. Can someone tell me the name of Go Daddy’s biggest competitor is because I am moving my domain names!

The Groupon ads with Timothy Hutton and Cuba Gooding Jr. were clever and as a conservative I liked how tweaked liberal causes. This series was among my favorites until I had to explain to my 12 year old boy what a “Brazilian Wax” was after the Elizabeth Hurley ad. Do we really need to be making jokes about crotch waxing during a sports event that is watched by families?

Pepsi Max/Doritos continued their series of homemade ads which this year fell woefully short of the high standard that had been set in previous years. Cans to the groin, spousal abuse and felony assault: hilarious! The finger licker and pants sniffer guy was just creepy and made me wonder how the HR person at this company still has a job. I must admit I did like the “tiny dog through the door” ad and if I were picking the winner “house sitter who revives grandpa” would get the money.

Some brief takes some of the other ads. Eminem doesn’t do commercials but had two on during the super bowl. Anyone convinced the rap star is pimping down Woodward Ave. in his Chrysler 200?  Coke Dragon ad: predictable. Faith Hill Teleflora: Nice “rack” joke, please refer to Elizabeth Hurley comment. Richard Lewis and Roseanne Barr of Snickers: not bad for variations on a theme. Motorola Xoom: Let me see if I have this right; if you have a Xoom you are a rule breaker and unlike all the zombies using that other Smartphone, you know the one who did the original 1984-ish ad years ago. So let’s all run out and get a Xoom so we can all be the different again. Do I have it?

http://www.tuaw.com/2011/02/06/motorola-xoom-ad-inspired-by-apples-classic-1984-ad/

Chevy Truck/Lassie, I chuckled! Bud Light/ Home Improvement: weak. Bud Light/Dogs: weaker! Chatter.com: forgettable. Mercedes Benz/Diddy: Look who we spent too much money to get in our ad! Chevy Cruse/Old Folks: Oops I think you missed a cliché! Career Builders: Monkeys are always funny! E Trade/babies: Apparently as babies get older they lose their sense of humor!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_UR1t_Kj0w

The cream of the crop for this year were very good! The Bud Light “product placement” ad was an example of taking a joke and running it into the ground until you can’t help but laugh!  When the Bud Light truck comes screaming into the frame I was LMAO! Both Bridgestone Tire ads were clever and well done. The “reply all” ad was my runner-up favorite of the evening. Is there anybody under the age of 90 who hasn’t sent an e mail they wish they could pull back? The other Bridgestone ad had a high cute factor with the beaver repaying the driver who swerved to avoid hitting him.

I liked Kia “Epic Ride” but my overall favorite for the day was the CarMax, “I Feel Like…” ad.  Though both ads followed a series of connected vignettes the quirky similes of the CarMax ad made it my big winner! Agree, disagree or maybe I missed your favorite, let me hear from you!

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The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Super Ads

February 8, 2010

I am not a huge NFL fan but I never miss the Super Bowl because it has also become the show place for America’s advertising giants. The Super Bowl ads have come to be a competition in themselves and are often better than the game. At a reported cost of over $3 million for a thirty second ad it would be hard for me to imagine that any of the ads are cost effective but it’s not my money so roll the tape!  The ads on this year’s broadcast ran the gamut from great to banal to shockingly bad to scary and a few hit out and out stupid.

Once again this year the people who run “Go Daddy” got their pole dancing girl friends a gig on national TV.  I am beginning to think that GoDaddy.com’s ad agency is run by Larry Flynt. Their banned “Lola” ad about an NFL player who comes out of the closet to design ladies lingerie was on the level of a bad SNL skit, like there is any other kind. They weren’t the only advertiser to get in on the sophomoric heavy sexual overtones bandwagon. Monster.com’s ad entitled “Beavers” was perhaps the most shockingly bad outing of the evening. It ends with some inferred bestiality. Hey, it’s a “beaver,” get it. Ha-ha he said, “Beaver!” Cut to people who are unemployed and using Monster to search for a job rolling on the ground laughing hysterically. Maybe that’s why they are unemployed. Why do these two web firms continue to run this type of advertising? Maybe they have research that shows only mouth breathing troglodytes use their websites. Maybe all tech firms are run by really nerdy guys who have never lost their virginity. I am at a loss to explain this advertising trend.

Bud Light’s corporate image of the American male is almost as low as the tech world’s view of woman. Guys are beer swilling lay-abouts who will do just about anything to down a few Bud’s. If their ads were even close to being funny I could let it go for the joke but they were not. Thanks for that uplifting picture of male behavior.

E Trade has been running its campaign of computer enhanced talking baby ads for a few years now and they had a couple of cute ads especially one where a boy baby was talking on a video link to his girl baby friend. The whole concept is getting a little predictable although it still has a high “cute” factor. Still, I don’t know how many multimillion dollar investors move their accounts to E Trade because of the funny “milk-a-holic” line.

Judging from some ads there are either a lot of advertisers who don’t want conservatives to buy their products or a lot of liberals making television advertisements. When Audi’s “Green Police” ad showing government environmental cops arresting people for violating the planet first came on I thought it was a PSA for the Obama administration EPA policies. It wasn’t. Seems as long as you are driving an Audi diesel you are on the right side of the environmental fascists, for now!  

Qualcomm, trying to sell America the Flo personal TV, has combined leftist ideology and male bashing in its two ads featuring a guy who is “spineless” and a heavily political video montage by Obama idolater Will.i.am. I guess his stage name is supposed to be clever but it makes me think he was just raised on a little too much Dr. Seuss.  Can you imagine the flack a company would get if it let Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck produce a video montage for it’s Super Bowl commercial?

The best single ad was a promo for “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Building on another ad Dave had done with Oprah Winfrey the ad opens with Dave complaining that he is at the worst Super Bowl party ever. The camera pulls back to reveal Oprah sitting next to him trying to sooth his feeling and then pans to show Jay Leno sitting next to Oprah. Jay says’ “He’s just saying that ‘cause I’m here.”  Then Dave mocks Jay’s reply and an exasperated Oprah throws her hands in the air! Hilarious! It shows that above all Jay and Dave are comics who put the funny about personal differences and even their own shows!

I loved the Abe Vigoda/Betty White spot for Snickers but my award for the best corporate spots goes to Doritos. For the past several years the folks at Doritos have not hired a big dollar ad firm but have run a national video competition which has produced a steady stream of funny innovative commercials. By unleashed the unfettered creative power of 300 million Americans to get their Super Bowl ads the Frito-Lay Corporation has been one of the top rated Super Bowl advertisers and has richly rewarded those willing to do the work. Perhaps the Obama Administration should take notice.