Super Bowl Ads

–I loathed the Budweiser Clydesdale one, even as I found myself tearing up over it. What kind of jerk lives close enough to Chicago that he can just drive in to see his old horse and it’s all emotional and they miss each other, but he never could bother to get to St. Louis? Fuck you, dude. She’s not too big for you now, you’re too small. Good thing Illinois has two state fairs so that she can just go to the DuQuoin one and not have to see him moping around the one in Springfield.

–I also loathed the Samsung ad, partially because it started out so promising. If it had been 30 seconds or a minute of Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd being assholes to each other using Samsung products, I would have loved it. But no, they had to have someone playing a douchy Samsung employee whose whole purpose was to make Rogan and Rudd feel like shit. Samsung, you want me to play with your products, show me people playing with your products. Don’t show me an employee of yours being an asshole to people who are excited about your products.

–I know this makes me old, but my only thought about the GoDaddy commercial was that the boy looked like he was, maybe, seventeen, so it was kind of creepy to see a grown woman kissing him. I knowI was supposed to be creeped out because it was a beautiful woman kissing a not-hot dude, but a.) GoDaddy, maybe you should have turned on a television once in the last 75 years and gotten a clue that we watch TV shows in which that’s the case all the fucking time, so it’s not that weird to see on TV, b.) He looked like an okay kisser, so why wouldn’t she want to kiss him? I think there’s some weird gender shit along the lines of women are sexy for men and we do sexual things only for men and not because we enjoy it. So, I think the ad is supposed to work on the level of “Ha ha, isn’t it gross that this hot chick has to kiss this guy who totally doesn’t deserve her?” As if it’s just not possible or even enter into it that she could want to.

–The Budweiser ads for their new dark whatever were terrible, but we couldn’t decide why. Just that we laughed every time they came on.

–The VW hotbox Jamaican ad was, we all agreed, racist, and probably still the most memorable in a good way one of that half.

–I was watching with men and even they thought the Audi commercial where the dude grabs a girl and kisses her and gets punched for it should have ended with either her having been the one who punched him or her calling the cops. I don’t sit at home preaching about feminism (Hard to believe, but true), so I think there’s just been enough of a change in public attitudes that such a scenario reads as alarming, not awesome. And how weird, because they could have fixed that by either, yes, having her be the one who punched him (though that wouldn’t have looked so great for their brand) or having her in the car with him at the end, like “Finally, you got that I like you. Now I’m running away with you.”

–The Farmers ad was terrific. Here’s the problem with it, as I see it. I can’t remember what damn truck it was for. But I do now know it means that there are years of Paul Harvey footage that you can, apparently, license. So, it was a really effective ad for the Paul Harvey estate.

–Also terrific was the warrior princess on a pony and the Doritos commercial with all the men at the tea party. I only wish both ads weren’t premised on, in the first case, “I married an idiot” or, in the second, “I married a bitch.” That was one nice thing about the commercial with the Flaming Lips. The whole family went on these grand adventures together without someone in the family having to be the outsider.


17 thoughts on “Super Bowl Ads

  1. Maybe the Budweiser dude lives on the other side of Chicago, and can’t cope with the traffic? I didn’t watch the game and therefore haven’t seen the commercials, but I do love your comments on this one.

  2. NM, we were discussing this on Twitter last night and, if he lives far enough out that he can have a beautiful Clydesdale farm in an area with rolling hills with seemingly no neighbors, he lives far enough out to occasionally have caught I-39 to i-55 to see his buddy in St. Louis.

    Min, the Tide commercial was good, too!

    Kathy, it was one that has been done before, maybe not exactly, but the concept is familiar. But the Duck Dynasty beard pretty much tells you that the commercial itself is new.

  3. I absolutely, positively HATED the farming ad because a) I associate Paul Harvey’s voice with the mainstreaming of American right wing wackadoodle, the guy’s best friend was Joseph McCarthy fer crissakes, and b) none of the farmers pictured were wearing “Property of ADM/Monsanto/Cargill” caps, which we all know is the reality of modern American farming, NOT the nostalgic Americana version the commercial presented. I wanted Willie Nelson to come out and say, “I’ve been holding Farm Aid events for how many years now to try to save this very picture of the American farmer you’re now exploiting to sell trucks? Fuck you.”

    This is absolutely what I hate about American consumer culture.

  4. Beautiful pictures of farmers. Apparently only men farm, though, which would have been news to my grandmother and great-grandmother.

  5. B, I thought the guy might live in Indiana out past Gary, but of course then one doesn’t need to go anywhere near Chicago to get to St. Louis. Never mind, I’m sure you’re right and he’s just a jerk.

  6. I’m with you on the Samsung ad, the audio portion of the GoDaddy commercial was enough to make me think twice about my next hot wing, I wasn’t the only one in room to ask if Budwiser was selling a “new beer”, nobody at the party thought the VW ad was racist even though the interwebz told us we should be offended, I don’t remember the Audi commercial, the Farmer’s ad did a great job of wanting me to buy a farmer … not a truck, and the Doritos ads were just stupid. The only ads that made me smile were the Calvin Klein ad and the Taco Bell commercial where the old folks broke out of the retirement home to go on a taco-fueled rampage.

  7. I totally agree with Southern Beale about the farmer/truck ad. I think it was faux simple. And, as an amateur photographer, I was annoyed with the treatment of some of the very fine still photographs. The producers of this ad treated the actual photographs with all sorts of filters and saturation gimmicks, which assaulted my eyes. There was a part at the end where there were birds swirling around a barn. The original photo was quite lovely, but then they added some sort of animation so the birds were moving–it was like a very expensive gif.

  8. Diatribesandovations, I just don’t think that very many people can do comedy based on someone’s traits being “weird” and not have it be racist or sexist or homophobic (depending on what the “weird” trait is). The whole premise of the ad is that driving a VW gives this guy traits we associate with Jamaicans–this particular accent, a laid-back attitude, optimism in the face of adversity, perhaps pot smoking–and the thing that’s funny about it in part is that, oh, ha, ha, he’s not really Jamaican. There’s no way around the fact that the joke hinges on it being funny to pretend you’re Jamaican. I didn’t think it was disastrously racist–like I said, I thought it was the best one of the half–but I didn’t think it was as deft as they hoped to be and I certainly respect people’s opinions that it was racist. After all, it’s not me they’re making fun of, easy enough for me to say it’s not that bad.

    Coble, other than the little girl?

    JCC, okay, I am going to be laughing at the notion of a very expensive gif all night.

  9. Yes; there was an older woman who looked like my great aunt toward the very beginning–which is why it stuck in my mind. And a couple of other women later on. I’ll rewatch the video for the 1000th time and post time marks for the women.

  10. I do think it’s telling that because the women were all posed without makeup and in working farm gear people–including other women–don’t recognise them as female.

  11. –Woman at the 30second mark in winter farm gear with a rope over her shoulder

    –young blond girl in jeans and flannel at the 1:14 mark

    –woman with young boy (woman in winter coat and hat) at a farmers’ market display at the 1:24 minute mark

    –young woman at dinner table with “fathers and brothers” at the 1:26 mark. Photo is shot from “mother’s place”

  12. Thanks! That makes me feel better, and reminds me that I shouldn’t blame the ad for what I bring to it. I had noticed the little girl, but the voiceover that followed soon after was something like “A farmer is a father who is moved that his son wants to grow up to be just like him,” so I was actually ticked off on her behalf (because then I started wondering if the farmer/father would react the same way if his daughter wanted to be just like him, since the voiceover was ignoring her). And the dinner table voice over, with the camera looking up at the head of the table an the father looking down over his family, is something like “A farmer holds his family together,” which did not read to me as if it was including all the people at the table as “farmers” but as “the farmer’s family.” Again, though, those are things I bring to the ad, not things that are inherent in the ad. I am delighted by the 30 sec mark woman – that is a wonderful portrait.

  13. Re. Audi, I thought we were supposed to read in the look she gave him that she did like him or now saw him in a different light or…something, and I was very suprised not to see her in the car with him after. The whole ad was rather unfortunate, but if you can forget everything that came before it, the image of a teenager in a tuxedo with a black eye speeding down the highway in the middle of the night yelling Woooooo! is objectively awesome.

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