Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WHO DAT? Blogging the 2010 Super Bowl Ads

At approximately 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, I sat down to watch my very first Super Bowl.

The game actually turned out to be rather exciting, even to someone like myself who knows precisely zip about football, but I was even more interested in the famed Super Bowl ads, which collectively are supposed to reflect the economic, social, and moral temperature of the entire nation.

And while this method of taking America's pulse was quite a bit more entertaining than, say, watching Obama's State of the Union address, the portrait it painted was also more alarming. I mean, I knew that most Americans get excited about beer, cars and Doritos, but this must be one of the first times an ad for an online employment agency can elicit the same mouth-watering sensation. And what was with all those ads with people slapping each other?

But regardless, the experience was intriguing.

So here are my responses to some of the more notable ads of Super Bowl XLIV.

One of the first ads was for Bud Light, because in times of recession the one thing America needs is more beer. And also auto-tuners so that white people can sound like T-Pain.

Then there was TIM TEBOW'S STUPID PRO-LIFE AD. It was kind of anti-climactic but oddly amusing because Tebow tackled his mother while she was talking.
Here's the gist of it:

TIM TEBOW'S MOM: "I love my son. He's my little boy."
TIM TEBOW'S MOM: "Timmy! I'm trying to tell our story!"
TIM TEBOW: Oh. Uh. Hahaha.
[Both grin foolishly at camera.]

Hyundai dominated many of the commercial breaks. In addition to sponsoring basically the entire Super Bowl, the Korean car manufacturer proved that it is smarter than Toyota by playing classical music during practically all of its commercials. And naming one of its newest cars "The Sonata."

There's also a new movie out about Robin Hood, who apparently was a gladiator who liked blowing stuff up until he turned to philanthropy in his later years.

Doritos had a series of remarkably violent ads:
3.A man is very nearly buried alive in a casket full of orange potato chips. This is actually a recurring nightmare that I have.
4.A Dorito embeds itself in a man's neck. And kills him. WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA?? had kind of an interesting ad in which a man who saves the world doesn't know how to go about buying a car. (I learned how to say "Olive oil neutralizes jellyfish stings" in Italian.)

One ad started with a football player saying "This is a message for all the women watching the Super Bowl. This is the actual sound of my heart."
I, of course, thought was another FRICKING ANTI-ABORTION AD until he said "Women's heart disease is a real problem. And you matter to me. Especially if you're watching the Super Bowl." Then I kind of liked it.

After that, there was a Careerbuilder ad in which wholly unattractive people go to work in nothing but underwear. This was immediately followed by an ad for Dockers in which men march through the grasslands singing "Weeeear noooo paaaants!!!!"

I can only assume the placement was intentional.

Universal Studios bought an ad for the new Harry Potter Theme Park, which I hadn't known existed until that moment. My childhood died a little.

The NFL gets the award for Deepest Statement in an Ad: "The seasons may change, but there's always football." Wait, but they don't play football in spring...or summer...

Then there was an ad for March Madness. During the Super Bowl. Isn't that kind of like advertising for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving? Oh, wait...

Then there was one in which Megan Fox wonders what would happen if she sent out a picture of herself nude in the bathtub. I honestly do not remember what this ad was for, but I know it was totally unrelated to the subject matter.

The Denny's ads featuring screaming chickens were more than slightly disturbing as well. Maybe it's just me, but an ad for a diner that virtually promises to abuse animals does not make me want to patronize aforementioned diner. However, judging by the apparent flock of Paly students who enjoyed a free Grand Slam this morning and felt compelled to share their experiences, the ads were effective.

Finally, a man uses Google to find out how to go to Paris, find a job, meet a girl, marry the girl, and have a kid. Ironically, that was probably the cheapest ad to produce, and it was legitimately one of the best.

There you have it: a year in commercials for a multitude of products, the majority of which will make you fatter, poorer, and marginally less intelligent than you were before you bought them.

So, America: we've got one year to buy a personal fitness machine, work off all the calories we gained from eating chips and Cheez Whiz in front of the television, and revel in the triumph of an underdog football team before we again indulge ourselves in the uniquely American macho gloryfest that will be the 2011 Super Bowl. Enjoy!