Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Ads: A Critical Analysis (almost liveblogging)

Non geo-content warning! I'm watching my first football game of the year, and can't wait for the rest of the season. I guess I'm not conforming to type; I'm actually alone grading papers, getting a caffeine high from Mountain Dew, and consuming too much cheeseball and wheat thins. My uncensored analysis of the ads (from my Facebook entries) follows....

My son and I are discussing the symbolism and metaphor of the opening ceremonies of the great religious celebration called the "Superbowl". The Opening Procession, the High Priests (they're the ones in the striped shirts and hats) allowing God himself to select the receiving team, and the imagery of the evil vs the good (eh, the sacrificial Colts and the devoted Saints!). And no good commercials yet, and son wanders off....

I liked the Betty White/Abe Vigoda ad for Snickers. Did you know that Abe has a website that announces that he isn't dead yet? The Asteroid beer commercial wasn't too bad either. Scientists in white coats! No stereotypes there...

What's with the underwear jokes? Letterman and Leno Superbowl Party, brilliant! "Lost" parody, cute but predictable at the setup. Oh, is there a game going on?

"Man's Last Stand"? Didn't see the punchline coming; thought it was another beer commercial. Will only work once, though. First half ends with some surprises. Why are men in suits talking and talking? They remind of Talmudic scholars discussing Mosaic Law. Where are the ads and the Who? Oh, there they are. The "Who's" light show is very kinetic. The singers look kinda old. When did that happen?

Metro PCS spot seemed kinda like stereotyping, and not so funny.

Second half of some game begins. Ad analysis continues....OK, that was different. Onside kick, followed by Gordiron Knot of human beings. Almost as good as an ad. And a touchdown too. Ads are starting flag a bit. When Jesus turned the water to wine, the steward said the host saved the best for the last. Why aren't they doing that with Superbowl ads?

Nice to see the Griswolds of National Lampoon fame again, so-so punchline. Another underwear commercial, for Coke. Pretty good visuals of the savanna though. Stupid e-trade babies again. It's old.

For some reason I actually liked the Google commercial. Touching, and effective from a messaging point of view. Sometimes you can make a commercial cheaply and yet get your message across.

OK, Jack in the Box bungee jumping. I actually liked the punchline; I think I appreciate the originality of the JB ad people more than most (including terrorist Jack blowing up the Boardroom; they only showed that one a few times). They're always...uh...different.

Just when I thought I wouldn't see the Budweiser horses, there they are. With a cow. OK.

The Denny's chickens are...bizarre. I give them points for adding Old Faithful and Yellowstone in a backdrop.

The green police for Audi! That's the kind of innovation and creativity I like in a Superbowl ad, maybe the best of the day. Steve Martin being perp walked, check points for plastic containers. I've always imagined a world in which crimes against the earth were given the attention that we give to other kinds of crimes. Not that I want the green police to be knocking at (down) the door. It would just be nice to live in a world where the worst crime was littering (fondly recalling Alice's Restaurant). Thanks!

I guess GoDaddy wants to be the "controversial" sleazy ad of the year...shameless, which means it will probably work for them. Doritos seems to be spending the most dough on Superbowl ads, but hardly any have really caught my attention.

1:16 left in the game. Time for only 33 more commercials before the final...

Game over, Saints win! Pretty good game! I was pulling for the Saints, and they turned it around. I thought they were doomed after the first quarter. The ads? I'll award a B-. They mostly stayed away from fart jokes and sleaze, but lots of them just weren't creative. My favorite of the day remains Audi's green police. Pure genius!


Gaelyn said...

Only watched about an hour, 2nd 1/2 of the 3rd and 1st of the 4th quarters. Saw an impressive touchdown, plus way more commercials than football. Or did I tune into the ShoppingBowl?

I liked bungee jumping JB best. Also the end of the Green Police busting the cop.

Were the winning Saints wearing blue or gold? ;-)

Nice review. Now back to geology.

Hypocentre said...

I watched the superbowl on the BBC - what adverts?

Garry Hayes said...

Hypocentre: Seeing the Superbowl without commercial advertisements??? Almost unimaginable. In the states, ads are about $2-3 million for a 30-second spot. It's one of the prime moments when companies roll out new ad campaigns and at least try to be more creative than usual. Or raunchier than normal. Many people actually watch the show for the ads as much as they do for football. All the ads are posted here where you can see them and rate them:

Have fun! Kinda.

yosemite faith said...

love letterman and glad he came up with this great idea.