With the Super Bowl, it’s never about which team won; it’s about which commercial did. You have to love a country in which the ads always generate more discussion than the game to which they’re attached. I would say I’ve already forgotten which team won on the field, but that would be a slight exaggeration. It was the Packers. But I don’t expect to remember that much past March.
Not sure who won the ad battle. There were no real standouts. That bit about Eminem driving through Detroit wasn’t bad, if only because it didn’t rely on cheap sight gags as so many of the other spots did. But it’s also kind of pretentious. Are we really supposed to be believe that repeated abject failure (I’m talking about both the city and the car company) is somehow ennobling? Please. And I’m not sure the dour Eminem is the man to be hawking tarted-up Chryslers at this stage in his career. Hey E.: Don’t come around asking for a government bailout later, OK?
I liked the Budweiser “Tiny Dancer” spot, primarily because it minimized the screen time of those corny, anthropomorphic Clydesdales we see every year. Peter Stormare was a brilliant choice for the menacing cowboy — and juxtaposed with that stupid song by Elton John, there was no way it could not be funny. It wasn’t particularly original, but it was funny.
Finally, Chevy’s “Miss Evelyn” spot was pretty entertaining in the way it lampooned so many other car-commercial cliches — and the ADD mindset with which such commercials are made. Actually, all of the Chevy ads were pretty good, except for the one hawking real-time Facebook updates in your freaking car. Anybody else want to break out that kid’s windshield?
For worst commercials, it’s a tougher choice. Personally, I think E-Trade should retire those talking babies. That stuff no longer amuses me. And GoDaddy’s bit with Joan Rivers — you could see the reveal coming a mile off. (Even though I confess I expected to see Betty White’s head instead of Joan’s. ) Mini USA’s “Cram it in the Boot” is simply sophomoric — infinite repetition doesn’t make a lame double entendre funnier. Just the opposite.
I’m of two minds on Groupon’s Tibet bit — on the one hand, I appreciate the irreverence required to lampoon a celebrity cause du jour; on the other hand, it probably is a bit offensive to actual Tibetans. Worse, the punchline felt sort of lackluster. If you’re going to offend people, at least make it count.
For me, the last, worst commercial would have to be the Doritos one, in which a guy sucks cheese-flavored crumbs off another guy’s finger, and inhales additional crumbs from another guy’s pants. Not sure what demographic they were going for here, but I’m willing to bet they missed it completely. Talk about offensive. I don’t suck my own fingers, much less somebody else’s. I don’t think I’ll ever look at a sack of Doritos the same way again.