I’m actually one of those geeks who enjoys football — not enough to watch it every Sunday when I could be, you know, sleeping, but enough to catch a couple of Raiders games a year and, of course, watch the Superbowl. Despite my close proximity to San Francisco, though, I’m not actually a 49ers fan — SPORTS-RELATED BLASPHEMY — so I didn’t have much stake in the game last night and mainly tuned in for the commercials.
I found them . . . meh.
As far as my favorites this year?
1. Best Buy Ad with Amy Poehler
“Does it make you uncomfortable when I use the word ‘dongle’?” Heh. I love Amy Poehler. I really need to start watching Parks & Recreation.
2. Audi Ad about Prom
If John Hughes had made TV commercials. I just thought this was cute.
3. Tide Ad – Miracle Stain
Surprisingly, not many Superbowl ads bother to integrate the actual teams into their commercial, but this one did, and it was funny. That wife is evil, and I approve of her entirely.
I should also give an honorable mention to the M&M’s commercial as well. Why? Well:
1. M&M’s Superbowl commercials usually suck hard, so the fact that this one made me smile surprised the hell out of me.
2. I have a healthy appreciation towards food that fears being cooked alive. I feel that this is a perfectly respectable fear, one that we all share, and I distrust any commercial that advertises supposedly sentient foodstuffs which are clamoring for you to cook and/or munch upon them. That’s just not natural.
There were more than a few I disliked as well — that one with the Jamaican accent gag seemed to go on forever, and the reunion of the guy and the Clydesdale horse didn’t do much for me, either. (I can’t remember where I saw it, but I read someone online who thought that this ad’s overwrought sentimentality — which they praised — was an indication that the ad companies were marketing to an increasing number of female Superbowl-watchers. I don’t really believe that’s the case, but if it was, well, they certainly weren’t marketing to this female. This female likes action, dammit. She likes killer robots and invading aliens and zombies.)
(By the way, do you think World War Z is actively trying to hide the fact that the ‘Z,’ in fact, stands for ‘zombie’? I will be immensely surprised if that movie’s worth a damn.)
Anyway, my least favorite ad was probably that damn farming commercial. I’m sure many people liked this commercial, but I wasn’t one of them, and I’ll tell you why:
1. As you may have picked up on, I’m kind of a snarky bastard, so commercials dripping in sincerity — like the Clydesdale commercial or this one, supposedly — don’t tend to move me very much. (Now offer me kittens, and maybe we’ll talk. My cold, dead heart can often be temporarily stirred back to life with the cuteness of kittens.) So while I was listening to things like, “And on the eighth day, God looked down at his Paradise and said, ‘I need a caretaker,’ so God made a farmer,” I was immediately thinking wholly inappropriate things, like, ‘And on the eighth day, God looked down at Adam and said, ‘Some women might need incentive to sleep with this man or future men like him,’ so God made a prostitute.”
2. Still, despite the fact that I’m a terrible person, I was prepared to deal with the fact that this schmaltzy, FFA commercial existed . . . until I realized that this was, in fact, not a commercial promoting awareness of what I’m sure are the very real hardships of farming and actually just a commercial for a truck. The ad ends with a picture of a Dodge Ram and the tag line, “For the farmer in all of us.”
And I’m like . . . so, farmers aren’t actually that special then? Isn’t that the message you’re really sending — farmers do all of this incredible, backbreaking, spiritually exhausting work, but you know, everyone’s got a little of that in them, right, everyone who has this truck, anyway. Be awesome like a farmer! What you actually do for a living doesn’t matter; just buy our truck and look like a farmer! That’s what’s really important!
I know commercials are, by nature, manipulative, but this kind of shit just drives me up the wall.
Oh, well. Better luck next year — both for the Raiders and the ads.