Super Bowl Ads Disappointing
February 5, 2007

This NY Times article on Super Bowl ads nails my feelings on them in the third line:

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

I gave up early because I thought the commercials were mostly mean, when they weren’t already familiar or boring. I know it’s contradictory to complain that I don’t like watching people get hurt or killed during a football game, but there it is. My favorite was the rabbit using the mouse for Blockbuster Online, because cute animals are funny.

13 Responses  
Joshua Macy writes:  

I saw a couple of them, but the one I liked was the Coke ad based on Grand Theft Auto. I found myself thinking, “I’d play that game.”

Lyle writes:  

Joshua, that one was easily my favorite and the only one I tried to get my partner to watch. I could stand to see that one saturate my TV, that’s an ad that’d get me to rewind if I were FF’ing past it on the DVR.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, yes, thanks for the reminder. I liked that one for two reasons — it was about good deeds instead of terrible ones, and the end song was from Bugsy Malone (that silly 70s kids-as-gangsters movie), which made KC laugh.

Rich Barrett writes:  

Even that Blockbuster ad relied on cartoon-like violence technically. My favorites of the sad bunch were the Career Builder ads with the office workers in Lord of the Flies settings. Youtube has all of the spots up here.

Barry writes:  

I actually liked the K-Fed commercial. I really did.

Dan Coyle writes:  

Man, Bugsy Malone is seriously weird.

I’m glad I skipped the Super Bowl this year, spending most of the time reading Ode to Kirihito.

Rob Staeger writes:  

My favorite was the ad for Robert Goulet’s nuts. (Or something like that.)

Johanna writes:  

I haven’t seen that one, or the KFed one mentioned. I’ll have to check them out later.

Rob Staeger writes:  

It was actually for Emerald Nuts, IIRC. It was pretty kooky.

~chris writes:  

That Grand-Theft-Auto-ish Coke add is an old one; it’s been showing in movie theaters.

I missed the rabbit ad, but I enjoyed the Budweiser ad about the white dog having a really bad day until…

John writes:  

Ads during sporting events tend to concentrate everything I try to keep away from my kids in regular broadcast TV – even the Olympics. I am always totally suprised by the high level of sexism and pseudo violence that pops up in that sphere that is more appropriate to, like, 10 p.m. cop dramas. I’m no prude, but sheesh. Anyhow, didn’t watch the Super Bowl, don’t like football . . .

Anthony D. writes:  

I didn’t think much of most of the Super Bowl ads, either; the only one I really liked was the Blockbuster one (which revived the two animals from a series of ads from a few years back, in the pre-Netflix era…).

Chad Anderson writes:  

I found it a tad weird that the writer was so struck by the cartoon violence (as others have noted, it’s pretty standard fare for ads during football games, whether there’s a war on or not) but went on to name as the best a GM ad in which “a factory robot ‘obsessed about quality’ imagined the dire outcome of making a mistake.” In the ad, the robot has a dream about getting fired, in which he spirals downward toward suicide, jumping off a bridge. I found that a bit more jarring, given the fact that GM is in the middle of eliminating thousands of jobs, and it’s not too far-fetched to imagine some of those human workers spiraling downward themselves.


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