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SuperBowl Commercials 2007

This year, I actually TiVoed the SuperBowl so that I could do an ads write-up later. And then I wound up watching most of the second half live, anyway. But I finally got to the point where I really, really wanted to get that off my TiVo, so, here we go (links also under the cut):



I’m including only **some** YouTube links, either to particular favorites, or to ones I particularly hated and need you to share the pain. And let me say, thank god there’s YouTube this year; made finding examples so much easier. If there are any you want to see that I didn’t link, just go to YouTube and type in the product name, and “SuperBowl”, and I bet it’ll be one of the choices (or try some of the keywords in my faux titles).


FIRST QUARTER

“Bud Light: Rock, Paper, Scissors”

Two guys at an outdoor party vie for the last bottle of Bud Light in the cooler. “Rock Paper Scissors?” “Yeah, that’s fair. On three.” On three, the righthand guy whips a rock at the lefthand guy’s head, knocking him over. He grabs the bottle and starts walking away. “I threw paper!” croaks the guy on the ground. “And I threw a rock,” says the “winner”.
VERDICT: as slapstick humor goes, violent, but marginally clever. (I mean, let’s be honest, slapstick humor is usually based on some kind of violence, so it’d be kind of hypocritical to fault it for that. A rock thrown at a guy’s head could seriously hurt someone! No DUH!) In the sense that the commercial was about one guy being more clever, if also more ruthless and brutal and amoral, than another (instead of “guys are all dumb”), yeah, I’ll give it points for that.


“Doritos: Spicy, Smooth, etc.”

Guy at wheel of car, opening bag of Doritos with his teeth, is distracted by pretty woman walking along sidewalk carrying bag of Doritos… to the point where he gets into a fender-bender because he’s too busy trying to flirt with her to watch where he’s driving.
VERDICT: see what I mean about the “guys are dumb” trope? Maybe this one should be classed as “slapstick humor” too, though. For balance, the woman then runs out to try to help the guy who had the accident… and herself trips and falls and hits her head on the car. One is somewhat left with the feeling that we’re looking at two klutzes who deserve each other. Meet cute? Ehn.


“Blockbuster: Mouse Click"

The talking guinea-pig and talking rabbit from last year’s Blockbuster ads are back, this time trying to use an actual (meaning, CGI of course) mouse like a computer mouse: pushing down on him trying to click, so that he squeaks, dragging him around, etc. The point is: use your actual computer mouse to use Blockbuster’s online movies-through-the-mail challenger to Netflix.
VERDICT: squeaky mice are kind of cute. Slapstick humor best described as “gently violent”. (We’ve all seen worse on Tom ‘n Jerry, after all.)


“Sierra Mist Free: Bad Decision-Making”

Drinking Sierra Mist Free would be a “good decision” (although, given that I believe we used to call it “sugar-free Sprite” back in the day, I’m not sure I agree with that). Michael Ian Black returns as an office manager breaking it to an employee that he’ll have to let him go… because the fact that the guy wears a “beard comb-over” makes MIB question the guy’s decision-making ability. Disgruntled, guy stands up to leave, declaring, “Suddenly, there’s some ‘norm’ that I don’t get” – revealing that he (a fairly large, beefy white guy) is wearing super-short (Daisy Duke-length) cut-off jeans, and old-fashioned 4x4 black roller-skates.
VERDICT: what, the beard-comb-over wasn’t enough? (Yes, that was a beard that he’d “grown” long enough to wrap around his entire head to hide his bald-spot.)


“Salesgenie.com: Only Fools Work Hard, I Work Smart”

Salesman has Ferrari, draws attention of beautiful women, bosses who want to invite him to lunch, etc. Why is he so successful? See commercial title.
VERDICT: **yawn** You know those commercials that are so clever that you remember the commercial to this day (“Herding Cats”), but you can’t remember the company’s name to save your life? Well, this commercial wasn’t even clever.


“Sierra Mist: Sierra Mist-Fu”

(Yes, I’m totally making up these “titles”.) Michael Ian Black teaches a karate (or, whatever, martial arts) class, filled with people from the previous commercial, in which the lesson is, “What do you do if someone tries to take your Sierra Mist?” And then everyone offers strange or stupid answers.
VERDICT: … quoi?


“Toyota Tundra: Speed/Braking Demo”

Toyota team sets up speed/braking test in desert. Long asphalt track. Giant closing steel gates in middle. Track ends over cliff face at end. Demo shows how Toyota Tundra truck is good at 0-60 acceleration and maintaining speed from 40-70 (beats closing steel doors), and how its anti-lock brakes stop it from high speed in relatively short distance (before going over cliff).
VERDICT: While parts of this were obviously prone to rigging (i.e. how fast the steel gate was closing) or you just knew there were hidden safety features, which is why you kids should not try this at home (some method to prevent going over the cliff… possibly a matte painting) – I can’t say that the visual demonstration wasn’t effective-looking.


“FedEx: First Moon Office”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-AjsErFSPU

Lots of clever or expensive special effects visuals in this one (going “2001” one better; note to advertisers, replicating the “2001” space station design would have been a cool shout-out), plus humor inherent in problems of having a cool office on the moon… in which everything’s in zero gravity, so papers and cups of coffee and people and everything else floats around. Point: if you build an office on the moon, how the heck are you going to get your products back to your Earth customers in a timely, competitive manner? Answer: Why, FedEx and their private fleet of spacecraft, that’s who! Oh, wait… Punchline: out on moon surface, as they watch the FedEx truck arrive, one guy slaps another on the back in congratulation, sending that guy careening off into space… where he is immediately hit by a meteor, and dies. Ha ha!
VERDICT: …um, that was more than a bit macabre, FedEx… (I realize that last year’s Big FexEd Ad, the one with the cavemen, had the same weird “guy is killed” at the end, that time by a dinosaur stomping on him. I dunno. I can’t explain why I was okay with that one, but found this one disturbing.)


“Bud Light: Fast Wedding”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcVYexixsmA

Groomsmen at wedding commisserate: one says he can’t wait for the ceremony to be over so they can get to the refreshments, which includes a big Bud Light pyramid. Second one says he’s taken care of it. Big man in cowboy hat, western jacket and bolo tie steps out instead of a minister, and proceeds to marry the couple using the super-fast patter of an auctioneer. Ceremony is over in seconds, crowd breaks for the buffet table.
VERDICT: okay, that was kind of cute. It wasn’t mean, it wasn’t violent, and it again shows a guy being clever to achieve his goals. Points to Bud Light for that.


“Snickers: Quick, Do Something Manly!”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjuXbYW6KmE

Okay, by now, is there anyone who HASN’T heard about this commercial? In their eagerness to eat a Snickers bar, two grungy mechanics wind up going at that thing like the two dogs with the sphagetti strand in “Lady & the Tramp” (I would be willing to place bets that sentence is EXACTLY how this commercial was pitched), and they kiss at the end. Reaction: horrified. “Quick, do something manly!” Their idea of manly? Tearing open their shirts and ripping out their chest-hair while screaming.
VERDICT: oh come on, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel at this point. All the jokes have been made (Jon Stewart: “I don’t think getting rid of your chest-hair makes you look *less* gay”). By itself, the commercial was just kind of, you know, dumb. Two men have a homophobic reaction… and then they do something equally stupid to compensate for it. Fine.
What caused a lot of the ruckus about this was that Snickers had alternate endings to the commercial on their website. In one version, the answer to “do something manly” was for them to hit each other with wrenches and slam heads with the car hood. (Oh, great. Message: if you suspect a buddy of homosexual tendencies, better gay-bash him! Yeah!) Another was some football players from the two teams watching the original spot, with clear looks of amusement and disgust on their faces. (Message: Don’t forget, kids! Real Men like these Role Models think that men kissing is WRONG!) Upshot: Snickers pulled all the ads.


“Shick Quattro Titanium: Testing”

Look, I’m not even going to summarize this “testing interspersed with slapstick humor” commercial.
VERDICT: why are commercials for men’s razors so consistently boring and idiotic?


“Pride” (movie)

I had not realized there was a “based on true events” movie about an all-black swim team from what I’m guessing was the 70s or early 80s. Huh. A **swim team**? That’s kind of interesting. And I can’t deny that it maximizes the eye-candy potential more than any other sports film genre that I can think of at the moment.


“Chevrolet: People Who Love Cars Love Chevy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLk-XFnf-RA

A montage of various people (not sure if I was supposed to recognize anyone or not; maybe not) interacting with a wide range of Chevy cars and trucks, each singing snippets from a wide range of popular songs (country, rock, rap) through the years that have legitimately included references to Chevys in their lyrics.
VERDICT: I liked that. It beats the usual car commercial. It’s true – certain cars make it into the popular culture and we do “love” them.


“Bud Light: ESL Class”

Latino ESL teacher instructs class in different ways to ask for a Bud Light in different regions of the US (LA, NYC, etc.). But if someone asks **you** for a Bud Light? The answer is, “No speak English”.
VERDICT: Huh. No violence, no cruelty. Demonstrates slyness/cleverness on the part of the men in the commercial. Extra points for the variety of non-English-speakers in the class (not all Latino guys; broad mix, including Asians, Indians, white guys like Russians, etc.).


“Late Show with David Letterman”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNk38QKzZLs

I have mostly not been including CBS-related commercials here, because it’s not like they’re special or clever or anything, they’re just promo spots. But then there’s this one. Close-up of Dave wearing Colts jersey, stuffing popcorn in his face. “You want the Bears, I want the Colts – but we both win because we’re in love.” Pull out to reveal his arm around Oprah Winfrey in an old Bears jersey. “Honey, don’t talk with your mouth full.”
VERDICT: See, that’s just adorable. Extra points for playing on the long-standing weirdness between Dave and Oprah.


“GoDaddy.com: Everybody Wants to Work in Marketing”

Executive in office/cube-farm explains how company is “serious about offering” whatever the hell it is they offer (domain names?) for a low price… then opens the door to the Marketing dept. to reveal a non-stop party featuring hot women in GoDaddy.com white halter tops being sprayed with water, etc. Punchline.
VERDICT: meh. At this point, this company is just coasting on “controversy” that they lucked into three or four years ago. It’s not particularly clever. Since I’m not actually in the market for cheesy hot chicks in wet white halter tops, I have yet to get any real sense of what their product IS or why I’d want it.


“Coca-Cola: Grand Theft Auto, the Musical”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wt5FiZQrgM

All done in the graphics-style of Grand Theft Auto-type games, a shady-looking guy drives recklessly through mean city streets, stops and goes into a shop, grabs a bottle of Coke… and slaps the money down on the counter for the clerk (who looks like he expects to be shot). Man leaves, and as the soundtrack plays “You give a little love, and it all comes back to you”, man strides through mean streets doing a series of good deeds (which I imagine turn the conventions of GTA and other such games on their heads) as the action around him builds to a giant Busby-Berkeley type musical number.
VERDICT: see, I thought this was technically interesting, entertaining, clever, humorous in its various unexpected details, and in its central premise, it harkened back to that old retro “I’d like to teach the world to sing” Coke advertising ethos. Thumbs up. (Bonus points for an overhead shot of spinning hot-dog vendor umbrellas that made me think of “Resident Evil”… **shudder**)



SECOND QUARTER

“Budweiser: Dalmatian Ambitions”

White mutt has no luck in the streets of the city. (Mutt is clearly not an actual dalmation.) Chased and unwanted, he stops and sees a parade go by, and catches sight of a real dalmation sitting proudly up on the seat of the Budweiser wagon. Mutt gets splashed by taxi going through puddle. Mutt catches glimpse of self in store window, and realizes that he now looks like he could pass for a dalmation. Runs after parade, scrambles up onto the Budweiser wagon seat opposite the real dalmation. Is loved and accepted.
VERDICT: fable-wise, I guess you could get “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” out of this one. Not a “wow” ad, but an okay addition to Budweiser’s longstanding tradition of no-talking animals ads. (More gentle and less ha-ha funny than some of them.)


“Garmin: The Champion of Personal Navigation”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxrj3OQcXJY

Guy in car has trouble with folding map. Hard-rock sountrack kicks in with “Evil Map-o-Saurus” song as map expands and changes into a giant (but fakey, guy-in-suit-type) map monster, trampling the countryside like Godzilla. Man gets out of car, grabbing dashboard navigation thingie and… transforms himself into a giant, silver-spandex-clad Ultra-Man type hero who battles with and conquers Evil Map-o-Saurus.
VERDICT: okay, that was surreal. I’m betting I’ll never remember this company’s name. But that was fairly charming. Who does Ultra-Man spoofs any more? (Who did Ultra-Man spoofs, like, EVER?)


“CareerBuilder.com: Do More than Just Survive the Workweek”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-En-JrsBBc

Elaborate set-up of “office” in a big jungle. Then there’s a raid, with pens being shot like poison darts, nets, swinging water-jugs on ropes, etc. “What do they want?” “Volunteers for a training seminar!”
VERDICT: not bad; many clever details to spot, nice “office as jungle in which survival is difficult” metaphor, very elaborately executed, some nice deadpan humor. Not sure why the last shot was of all the stampeding workers trying to escape the “training seminar” running off a cliff, though… well, okay, if I think about it, I get that, too…


“Doritos: Check-Out Flirting”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8K9IxCQSfE

Big guy with handlebar moustache is buying a bag of every type of Doritos in the store. Check-out woman comments on each, and as she does so, she and the guy flirt more and more.
VERDICT: Despite the fact that the woman was kind of my nightmare check-out lady (who wants a check-out lady who comments extensively on one’s purchases? Not me!)… I have to give it to this commercial for the fact that the guy was moderately good-looking in a not-a-model, regular-guy way, and the check-out lady, while pretty, was short and a little overweight… but I didn’t get a sense off the ad that the attraction was laughable, or wasn’t mutual (or that it was based only on gluttony or anything). Midway through I was kind of afraid that it would find humor in the guy being scared by an overweight woman’s too-aggressive flirting… instead he just returned it, and it was kind of cute.
I didn't go to look it up, but at the start of the commercial they flashed a caption that seemed to indicate that the commercial concept (at least; or maybe the script or something) had been sent in by some real person, I think. Maybe Doritos held a contest? At any rate, on second look, it showed that this commercial was submitted by a woman.


“Chevy HHR: Guys Can’t Keep Their Hands Off It”

Several hot women driving a Chevy HHR are approached at a stoplight by a schlubby, possibly homeless guy, who uses his coat to polish off a smudge on the HHR’s finish. This devolves into the car being mobbed by a really large number of guys who rush in and rip off most of their clothes, to polish the car and also flirt with the girls (one of whom sits in the back with her hands over her eyes, “Tell me when it’s over”.)
VERDICT: weird, but harmless. Obvious reversal of the “hot, scantily clad chicks writhe all over cars” trope. The multi-racial chicks in the car were all hot, but the guys ran a wide variety, some hot, some kind of scary/funny.


“Bud Light: Fist Bump is Out”

Guy learns from his cool pool buddies that the fist-bump is out. “What’s in?” A slap across the face. Montage then shows a variety of people slapping each other in a congratulatory manner.
VERDICT: Well… this is the “mildly violent slapstick” variety of humor, and everyone in the commercial seems dumb. I’m guessing that the commentary is more on the dumbness/strangeness of gestures like the fist-bump, and the absurdity of imagining taking it to the extreme, but… ehn.


“American Heart Association: BeatYourRisk.com”

Elaborate production about a guy in a big heart suit being stalked/pursued/threatened and then beat up by various villains wearing labels like “High Blood Pressure” and “Diabetes” and so on.
VERDICT: … huh.


“General Motors: Suicidal Robot”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQKk3PI-DW8

You might have heard of this one too, by this point. A robot on the GM assembly line fumbles a screw, and is fired. Dejected, it goes out and tries to get other jobs, but it fails at them all. In the end, we find it on the railing of a bridge, jumping off and committing suicide. (But then! It “wakes up”, and it was all a dream; “GM’s new 100,000 mile warranty has everyone at GM obsessed… with quality”.)
VERDICT: oh, GM… you dickheads. Technically speaking, this is an okay commercial. It’s kind of amazing how much expression and pathos you can get into a completely non-humanoid robot… though anyone who remembers Pixar’s signature hopping desklamp won’t be surprised by that. (Also, can I just say: there’s an actual song called “All By Myself” that sounds like it’s to the tune of “Don’t Cry Out Loud”? Really? Ugh.)
But message-wise? GM, what were you THINKING? In the first place, that tag-line I quoted above doesn’t MAKE SENSE with what we saw in the commercial. The robot wasn’t preoccupied with providing service under the new warranty… the robot was preoccupied with fear of FAILURE as a result of the higher pressure brought on by the new warranty, as far as I could tell. That’s… not a positive message, GM! Nor is it particularly cute or funny to watch a fired worker (albeit a robot) fail at life and COMMIT SUICIDE because you fired it. Not when you have “laid off” or fired about 35,000 HUMAN workers relatively recently. Who may be out there failing to find other jobs right now, and contemplating real suicide.
You fail, GM. You fail worse than Snickers.


“Coca-Cola: Celebrates Black History”

Coke bottles from different eras in the company’s history are shown, next to the year and a comment about a notable black historic achievement from that year (such as: “North Pole, 1909: A black man is on top of the world”.)
VERDICT: simple, effective. The “especially today” tagline to the “Celebrates Black History” ending obviously refers to the first two black head-coaches to get to the SuperBowl, and thus that by the end of the day, the first black head-coach would win the SuperBowl.


“Sprint Mobile Broadband: Connectile Dysfunction”

Grey-tinged commercial with dejected man in airport gazingly enviously at others using wireless connections for their laptops. Voiceover is clearly a spoof of Viagra-type ads.
VERDICT: but it’s not all that clever or funny a spoof, and therefore it kind of winds up just reminding you of the annoying aspects of grey-tinged “ask your doctor” erectile dysfunction ads, which I’m sure wasn’t their intention.


“Doritos: Not Just a Game”

A montage of black people of various ages and communities focused on watching the game on TV, with the message (in the voiceover of the game announcer), “We got more than a game here, we got history. It’s not just getting here, but what getting here represents.” - While, interspersed words on the screen say, “Who’s winning?” “We all are.” “Enjoy the game.”
VERDICT: Maybe you can overplay the whole historic nature of “the first two black head-coaches to make it to the SuperBowl”. Certainly, winning coach Tony Dungy had commented prior to the game that while he knew they were the first two to actually make it to the SuperBowl, he knew they weren’t the first two with the **ability** – there had been black head-coaches before he and Lovie Smith who’d been just as good, as coaches; they just happened not to make it to the SuperBowl, for whatever reason (just as not having made it to, or not having won, a SuperBowl before this year didn’t mean that Peyton Manning wasn’t one of the best quarterbacks in football). But, okay, having said that – that doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to reflect on and celebrate it finally happening. So, nice, underplayed spot.


“Coca-Cola: What Else Haven’t I Done?”

Nursing home attendant asks Mr. Hadley if he wants a Coke. “Sure; I’ve never had one.” He tastes it. “What else haven’t I done?” It inspires him to… call a woman he’s loved for years and tell her he loves her (she hangs up on him); do a cannonball off a high-diving board; run with the bulls at Pamplona; get a giant tattoo on his chest in Mexico; go for a ride on a really fast motorcycle.
VERDICT: in a “go for the gusto, even if you’re old!” sense, nice enough.



HALFTIME

Oh, Prince.

Actually, Prince was really energetic, he looks great, he sings just fine. And you have to admire the Giant Demon Guitar Penis Silhouette thing. (Part of the show consisted of a bunch of colored silk curtains rippling in the air, onto which a silhouette of Prince was projected, and there were an AWFUL lot of posed shots of the shadow of him and his weird-ass guitar which looked… mega-priapic, if you get my drift.) Because the great part about that is, if CBS or the FCC got any complaint calls, they could just say, “What? It was a silhouette of a guy playing rock-guitar. Hey, if you thought it looked dirty, that’s you and your own perverted mind.”



THIRD QUARTER

“E*Trade: Bank Robbery”

In big downtown type bank, manager guy and all the tellers put on creepy plastic animal masks. “Good Morning, I am your bank manager; this is a robbery. Would everyone please get down on the floor – DOWN ON THE FLOOR! – and give your money to the tellers.” The point: why get robbed by your bank, when you could use e*Trade instead?
VERDICT: creepy, pointed, snarky; good production values, but not exactly all that memorable.


“Coca-Cola: Magic Coke Machine”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1492uVh87eQ

Man sticks quarter (just one?) into a Coke machine, and we follow the quarter inside… to a magical land full of… weirdly creepy magical beings, and the entire world inside is also the factory assembly-line that fills the Coke bottle, chills it, and delivers it to the man outside.
VERDICT: this commercial **looked** like it cost a HUGE amount of money. But it FELT empty. While there was a lot of inventiveness in the world and the critters… I found all of them off-putting, rather than enchanting or compelling to watch. The whole thing felt like a giant ball of “quoi?”


“Bud Light: Gorillas”

Two male gorillas sit in a zoo. One explains to the other his elaborate plot for hijacking the Bud Light delivery guy, who goes past them every day. (In a ZOO? To whom is he delivering???) The second gorilla keeps fading the first with “Okay”, but he’s not really listening, he’s watching a pretty human woman outside the enclosure who’s waving, and eventually, the second gorilla is more interested in smiling for her when she’s taking their picture than in paying attention to the first gorilla’s plan.
VERDICT: gorillas? Bud Light, leave the CGI-enhanced (and NON-TALKING) animals to your non-lite division, okay?


“Revlon: Cheryl Crow”

Revlon convinced Cheryl Crow and her stylist to use their hair-color on her for her new “Not Fade Away” tour; singer and stylist are pleasantly surprised by how long the color quality lasts.
VERDICT: that’s it? Yes, that’s it. The weird part? Most of the start of the commercial is all in black and white. (Eventually, they do show you the hair-color in, you know, COLOR, but it’s all kind of grainy, faux-documentary footage anyway.) Weird. Also? It makes me a little depressed to hear even a cover of a Grateful Dead song being used to hawk Revlon hair-color.


“CareerBuilder.com: Promotion Pit”

A return to the gritty jungle setting of the previous commercial. Here, under the eye of clean, suited executives seated under a tarp, office workers who have created armor out of various office supplies battle it out: last man standing gets the promotion.
VERDICT: chaotic, elaborate, a little funny in spotting all the details of what office supplies people use for armor and weapons; also in the punchline, which is two guys stopping and staring at a whirling maniac: “You’re just the delivery guy, you don’t even work here!” You know, I give this year’s ad campaign this much: I do find these ads mildly more entertaining than last year’s (which were filled with chimpanzees, and in one case, with donkeys). “Survivor” office spoofs are funnier than frolicking chimps, in my book.


“Taco Bell: Steak Grilled Taquitos”

On the Serengeti (why not?), two male lions watch a guy pull up to a safari campsite with bags of Taco Bell take-out (on the Serengeti?????), and the one starts rhapsodizing to the other about the new grilled Steak taquitos with carnes asada (i.e. thick, seasoned steak). The one lion likes semi-growling the “carrrrrrrrnes” part, and keeps trying to get the other lion to roll his r’s. “No no, SEXY, like, you know, Ricardo Montalban: carrrrrnes”. The other: “Ricardo Montalban?
VERDICT: for a talking-animals spot, not too bad. Best part: after the above the commercial cuts away to the standard shot of the product and voiceover, which is by… Ricardo Montalban. I’m still scratching my head over where the heck you get Taco Bell take-out on the Serengeti, though.


“VanHeusen: Our Guy Knows How to Dress”

Runs backwards through the day of a male-model-looking guy who is successful in all things, which can clearly be attributed to his many boring but classically stylish outfits from this menswear company.
VERDICT: blah.


“Toyota Tundra: Incline Demonstration”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D81uh6I-2Q4

(By the way, in regards this and the other Tundra add in the 1st Quarter: the commercials do claim “Actual Demonstration”.) This time, the Toyota guys construct a big metal grid into a long, steep incline and decline track; the center part of the track is actually on a big pivot. Then they put what looks like a 10,000 lb. block of concrete on a trailer and hitch it to the truck. Then, starting from a dead stop, the truck pulls the 10 ton block up the incline… and as it goes over the central point of the pivot, the middle part of the track its on tips over and sends it hurtling down the decline on the other side, where it has to brake before hitting the bottom.
VERDICT: again, as a visual demonstration of the truck’s capabilities, this is simple, straightforward, and convincing. And the commercial interjects just enough visually arresting showmanship into the execution of the demo to make it interesting (like the giant see-saw part). I think what might have made both commercials a little cooler would have been if there’d been a simultaneous demo of a competing model failing to do the same things.
(Hah! While hunting up the clip for this one, I ran across some references online to this commercial having been "banned" - but I couldn't get any confirmation on any controversy surrounding it. Not that I dug that deeply. I did find some forum discussions where people were arguing about whether the claims in this commercial were, in fact, actually true, and whether it was misleading about how the Tundra compared to its competition, such as the Silverado... Hmm!)


“Emerald Nuts: Robert Goulet”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEswRc2wKH4&mode=related&search=

Setting: a boring office. “Around 3pm, when your blood sugar and energy are low… some say Robert Goulet appears… and messes with your stuff.” And… Robert Goulet slides down a big rope, and starts messing with all the zombie-like office workers and their stuff, like a gleeful, naughty elf. “But the natural energy in just one handful of Emerald Nuts… is enough to keep Robert Goulet away!” Seeing a guy snacking on Emerald Nuts, Robert Goulet stops, backs away quietly… and makes an oddly ninja-like getaway by crawling away backwards **across the ceiling**.
VERDICT: **loves** Purely for, well, Robert Goulet. Look, I grew up on the soundtrack to the Broadway version of “Camleot”, okay? Plus I didn’t even know that he was stil alive. (And using Grecian Formula, I see.) That, plus the surreality, made me love this one. Also, because I had grown more than tired of Emerald Nuts’ former campaign (which was all about making weird-ass acrostic sentences that would spell out “Emerald Nuts”).


“T-Mobile: Who’s in Your Fave Five?”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnYPJDpgLIw

This is actually an older commercial. Current NBA star Dwyane Wade and old NBA star Charles Barkley are having lunch together, arguing between Dwyane’s current popularity versus how Charles is an icon and everyone knows him… when the young blond waitress rushes up to the table to gush about Dwyane Wade (while a disgusted Barkley looks on), and finally delivers the coup de grace: turning to Barkley, she smiles, and then turns back to Dwyane: “Oh, is this your DAD?”
VERDICT: ouch, poor Charles Barkley! But kind of funny. Interesting that the company chose to run this ad during the SuperBowl, considering it was already out there in circulation. Still, sports figures: hard to go wrong with that. And Charles Barkley is still cute.


“FedEx Ground: You Can’t Judge Things By Their Name”

When a guy in a business meeting says, “FedEx Ground? That doesn’t sound very fast”, he is answered with the above statement… and then there’s an extended visual joke in which the woman who says it asks others confirm the maxim… and every one of them has a name that describes their appearance (Harry is hairy; Eileen is… leaning; Joy giggles; Bob… bobs his head up and down vigorously in agreement).
VERDICT: har har, FedEx. Everybody loves puns… oh, wait, they don’t. Well, at least you didn’t actually KILL ANYONE in this commercial.


“Nationwide: Kevin Federline”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ4SLkj0k7U

Federline the rap-star shoots a bling-filled video, and then things pull back to show that in fact, Federline is working as a fries cook in a fast-food joint, with a manager barking at him to quit fooling around pretending to shoot a rap video into the security camera. “Life comes at you fast” is the commercial’s tagline.
VERDICT: I couldn’t care less about Kevin Federline, but hey, at least he can laugh at himself and his 15 minutes of fame going by so quickly.
I never quite understood why fast-food workers were supposed to be so offended by this commercial. Maybe it was the insinuation that formerly successful people could fall no further than to wind up working at that type of job. I dunno, fast-food workers of America. At least it wasn’t insinuating that working at that type of job was just one step above (and on the road to) committing suicide (I’m looking at YOU, GM).


“Bud Light: Hitchhikers”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aO3TO5L0bM

Man and woman driving in car at dusk on deserted two-lane road. Shadowy figure is standing on the shoulder. Man starts to slow down. Woman: “What are you doing?” Man: “Shouldn’t we pick him up? He has Bud Light.” Shot of hitchhiker, who is indeed standing there with a case of Bud Light under one arm… and a big axe in the other. Woman (appalled): “He has an axe!” Man: “But he has BUD LIGHT.” Woman: “And AN AXE!” Man: “Oh, I’m sure there’s a reason for it. Hey buddy, what’s with the axe?” Hitchhiker: “It’s uh… … bottle opener.” Man: “Hop in!”
VERDICT: men are stupid when it comes to Bud Light? You have to admit, that’s a step down from the cleverer men of the 1st Quarter Bud Light ads. (Unless the clever man in this commercial is the axe-bearing hitchhiker, who's using the case of Bud Light as a lure...) However, I have to admit, even I laughed at the punchline: later, the man pulls over (it’s pitch dark by this time) for another guy at the side of the road. This guy looks oddly misshapen, has a sack over his head, and is holding a 12-pack of Bud Light… and a chainsaw. Man: “Look! He has Bud Light!” Axe-Guy (in back seat; appalled): “And A CHAINSAW!”


“Chevy: Silverado”

This was actually the second playing of this commercial; the first was at the end of halftime. Standard truck commercial: truck drives in variety of settings, city, town, countryside, while voice-over touts its features.
VERDICT: Chevy paid to show this TWICE? Completely boring standard car commercial.


“Honda: Redesigned CRV”

See above, and for all places where I say “Chevy”, you can substitute “Honda”.


“Budweiser: Crabs”

On a sunny, sandy beach, a bunch of little red fiddler crabs get together and hijack a red cooler filled with Budweisers, carrying it off and then worshipping it because if you squint just right, you realize it sort of looks like a giant icon of a fiddler crab.
VERDICT: well, that was weird.


“Prudential: A Rock Can Do a Lot of Things”

Actually, it’s more like, rocks mean a lot of different things TO people, and people can do a lot of different things to/with rocks (skip stones on the water; build Stonehenge; etc.).
VERDICT: is it just me, or did the ads get decidedly lame during the 3rd Quarter?


“Honda CRV: Burnin’ Love”

A Honda CRV sits on a stage, backed by 3 walls of blinky disco lights, while Elvis’s “Burnin’ Love” plays, and the car vaguely rocks in time to it. The end.
VERDICT: no, it’s not just me. This string of commercials is deeply lame. This is a worse car commercial than the usual “driving muscularly through the countryside” variety.



FOURTH QUARTER

“Izod”

Izod – remember them? Sure you do, they’re the clothing company with the alligator polo shirts. They create a sometimes visually striking but disorienting commercial that shows a man and a woman doing a bunch of different sports while wearing Izod gear – like, um, golfing on a glacier. The way you do.
VERDICT: no, you don’t, and I'm betting nobody does. A lot of the visuals in this commercial are just… weird. Also, Izod? I never wore you in the 80s, I’m not going to start now.


“Budweiser Select: Expect Everything”

Two guys – and I just know I’m supposed to know who they are, and King Kaufman in Salon even SAID who they were, one is a rapper and one is some old, revered NFL coach, but I’ve forgotten their names again – play a CGI-laden futuristic version of fantasy football, and the rapper beats the old coach because his date interferes, and…
VERDICT: why do I bother? This commercial was just kind of dumb. Neat visuals, but… I think I was supposed to care who the two guys were, and not being able to identify them, I didn’t care.


“Flomax”

One of those “montages of guys doing things, living their lives to the fullest!” types of ads aimed at showing us everything that a guy could do, if he would take Flomax, which would help him with this medical problem wherein he has to pee all the time.
VERDICT: yeah, that’s what I got out of it. Meh. This was a standard “how good your life can be if you only take this medicine! Ask your doctor if Flomax is right for you!” ad, with nothing at all clever about it.


“E*Trade: Things you can do with one finger”

The last of which is: click on your mouse to use e*Trade as a broker to do research and save dough and make dough.
VERDICT: mildly clever; the funniest and most unexpected example illustrated was, “Save Holland.” Heh.


“CareerBuilder.com: Performance Evaluation”

Third in the office-in-a-jungle series, this one depicts performance evaluations as somewhat sado-masochistic rituals like… walking on hot coals, or having your upper body and face covered with bull-clips.
VERDICT: ow. I mostly couldn’t get over wondering whether they actually got a guy to DO that, or if it was a make-up effect. I’m guessing the latter, but still: ow.


“Honda: Fuel Efficiency”

Take the ubiquitous salt flats out west somewhere, where they do all those car ads. Take a bunch of vintage gas pumps. Line the old gas pumps up like pylons. Take one example of each of Honda’s 9 car and truck models, all in silver. Have them weave in and out of the gas-pump pylons. Shoot artistically. Explain in voiceover how fuel-efficient Hondas are.
VERDICT: boring, of course. But kind of visually striking, even somewhat mesmerizing.


“GoDaddy.com: Everybody Wants to Work in Marketing”

No, I’m not kidding. They just replayed the same ad.
VERDICT: And I didn’t even like it the first time.


“Snapple: Green Tea with EGCG”

Man climbs steep mountain in remote China to consult with wise hermit at the top about what the wonder-ingredient in Snapple’s new green tea does. Wise hermit points out to him that it explains it on the label (it's an anti-oxidant and it blah blah blah).
VERDICT: inasmuch as it really did look like they went all the way to China to shoot that commercial… that was kind of dumb. Expensive, and dumb.


“NFL: It’s hard to say goodbye”

A montage of deeply invested fans (who’ve bought all the gear, and painted themselves and/or their horses) of all the teams who **didn’t** make it to the SuperBowl this year, being sad about bidding this season goodbye.
VERDICT: awwww.


“Cadillac: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit”

A morphing sort of montage of successive Cadillac models, from 1902 to the present, driving down one of those long straight roads out in the desert somewhere.
VERDICT: old cars are cool. It was a little creepy that they were clearly speeding down the road, but all were empty, though.



Final verdict:

Best ad? Ehn, I dunno. I think my favorites were (in this order): Emerald Nuts (Robert Goulet); Coke (Grand Theft Auto); Bud Light (Hitchhiker).

Worst ad? Oh, no contest. The GM Suicidal Robot Ad. FAIL, GM.

Lamest ad? Oh, where to begin? Salesgenie? (You've forgotten what their ad was already, haven't you? You'd have to go look it up.) The razor ad? The above-mentioned standard boring SUV ads?



The thing is, though – while I liked the ones I just named okay, not one of them was as good or as funny or as memorable as the recent Bruce Campbell Old Spice commercial… which **felt** like a SuperBowl ad, but which was not in fact shown during this SuperBowl. I guess Old Spice didn’t want to pony up the dough to show it. Too bad, as I think it would have caught some attention. Just for the heck of it, here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af1OxkFOK18


Finally, I leave you with what is still one of **my** favorite SuperBowl commericals of all time: “Herding Cats”, for EDS (a company that I still don’t know what they do, and that probably isn’t even around any more):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UAwZKL4_0w

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
elishavah
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Good to know I didn't miss anything by not watching the Super Bowl this year (stupid colts, stupid mannings, bah). Last year didn't really impress me, either. Except for the huge viewing audience, the good SB commercials aren't really different from the great ones we get throughout the year now.

Oh, and EDS is a big IT company -- storage (where the tons of digital crap we've all got is kept), data mining (figuring out what the hell it is we've got in all that crap), etc. They're gonna be around for quite some time, I expect.
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
Good to know, about EDS. Although it doesn't change the fact that while that commercial remains famous and memorable, it also remains famous for not having make the *company* memorable, or clearly explained what the company does. (Yes, at the end, the tagline was "In a sense, this is what we do" -- i.e. herd cats. But "herding cats" has been applied metaphorically to many different endeavors.)

I dunno -- maybe it sort of worked, in the sense that if you knew *of* EDS already, it gave them an extra jolt in your brain; and that's all they wanted.

I have to agree (and I'm not the only one to observe this, this year) that the era of the big, surprising, blow-out, neat-o SuperBowl commercial is over, and has been for a few years. Though, in truth -- looking at my write-up for last year, there were a few commercials last year that I genuinely liked. It was 2005 that was unremittingly lame.

But you've put your finger on it, I think. It's gotten to the point where we will sometimes get big, surprising, blow-out, neat-o commercials at pretty much any time of the year, not just for the SuperBowl. So in contrast, the SuperBowl ads don't look *that* special. I mean, if ads have progressed that far (if not overall, then at least in some instances), then that ought to drive SuperBowl ads to be *even better*. But they're not "even better" now. They're just... the usual gamut of ads you could see any time, some clever, some really lame.
cityofbeige
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
The cat commercial was for EDS, which is an IT tech company that's actually been around for a while (sometime in the 1960's)... I remember they were part of the Engineering Job Fair at OSU when I graduated in '97, and I even got a freebee yo-yo from them.

Because they were already established in the "old economy", they never got caught up in the whole dot-com bomb thing... they're still around.
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)
Okay, good to know. :)

Little did I know, when I wrote 6500 words' worth of SuperBowl ad reviews, that the ONE THING that everyone would want to talk about is what the company EDS does...

Which is ironic, since while I love that ad, I don't *care* about what EDS does, which is kind of my point about how the ad is a classic piece of advertising art that is not, actually, good advertising.
ravenhbh
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
My thoughts:

EDS is a business/data systems consultancy. The guy who founded it is none other than Ross Perot. Yes, THAT Ross Perot.

I worked for a while for a subsidiary of EDS - as a matter of fact, during the era of the "herding cats" and "running of the squirrels" commercials (another of my faves). They were a sucky company to work FOR, but they had good commercials.

GoDaddy.com? They sell domain names, etc. for your website. Still have no idea what the busty, wet-tshirted girls have to do with that, however. It's been a long time since the Internet was the purview of 16yo geeky boys who would fall for a sales pitch by a wet-tshirt set of titties.

Who's Bruce Campbell?
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
EDS = Ross Perot. EVEN BETTER!

As I said -- a few years ago, maybe 2004 or 2005, GoDaddy.com made a fairly racy ad featuring a girl in a white halter top. I hear; I didn't see the ad. I think the point was that nobody saw the ad because CBS refused to air it because it was so racy, or something. I forget. Maybe it's on Wikipedia. ANYway, the point is -- since that time, GoDaddy seems to have decided that [a] if they are known for anything, it's for the controversy surrounding the racy ad-that-wasn't, and [b] it will make them seem cool and hip and rebellious to remind folks about that.

The fact that *I* still vaguely remember that controversy suggests that "a" might actually be sort of true. At least when the SuperBowl rolls around. But I'm not sure that the conclusion of "b" follows. Maybe I'm wrong about that, though.

Somebody had a commentary after this year's crop of ads, which I read, which talked about how media people will watch the ads and sniff at them haughtily - "so and so blew $2 million on that? they wasted their money!" And the point was made that when you looked at one of the so-called "lame" ads, maybe it didn't matter, because the company actually registered a huge spike in hits on their website anyway, lame ad or not -- so they did in fact get their $2 million worth out of the advertising. I *think* that the illustration of this was this year's GoDaddy.com ad, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.

WHO'S BRUCE CAMPBELL?????

"The Evil Dead" (and sequels)? "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr."? Autolychus on "Hercules" and "Xena"? "Bubba Ho-Tep"? *Dude*.
telepresence
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
I'm cracking up at your outrage about someone not knowing Bruce Campbell after your reactions to some of the ads featuring celebrities "This ad featured..someone..I guess they're famous, dunno." :p

The futuristic football ad featured former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula vs (gigantically huge on the scale of..I dunno, U2 or Bruce Springsteen in their pop cultural heydays) rapper Jay-Z. He's easily the biggest single celebrity in any of the ads. I played you a remix of one his songs one, I'm pretty sure you didn't like it. :p

The "singing songs about Chevy vehicles" ad featured a mix of celebrities and non-celebrities, none of whom you'd know or really need to know. (Mary J Blige, Dale Earnhardt jr, some country music people)

EDS is a fairly evil company, big in outsourcing and various other yucky business practices. Man, you know way more about EDS then you ever imagined now. :p

My favorite ads were the "And a CHAINSAW!" ad, the appalled Axe guy at the end cracks me up, and the "What you can do with a finger ad."

"Identify a MURDERER! *whoop tish!* *gasp!shock*!"

"Get to know your doctor."

"Tell your expensive broker where to go."

"Save Holland."


eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm cracking up at your outrage about someone not knowing Bruce Campbell after your reactions to some of the ads featuring celebrities "This ad featured..someone..I guess they're famous, dunno." :p

My faux-outrage is mostly geared towards the fact that in *my* LJ, I would *more* expect people to know a genre-heavy pop-culture icon like Bruce Campbell... than any given sports figure, you know?

I always tend to forget that while I went to college with Raven, and hung out in the Backsmoker with Raven, and was in the SCA with Raven, where she was doubtless bombarded with a constant stream of genre-related squee... she didn't always have the exact same genre interests/exposure that me or Judith or Tam did, say. Some of it (you want Monty Python? okay!), but not all of it. So I shouldn't be that shocked that she doesn't know Bruce Campbell... but then again, if you'd asked me to bet, I would have put a quarter on her having been exposed to Bruce Campbell at *some* point.

JayZ is one of those instances where, yes, obviously, by name I know who he is; by music; etc. But give me just him, out of context, just his face -- no. And I'm not really going to apologize for the fact that I don't watch enough rap videos to know the faces of who's currently big in rap, okay? :P

(Then again -- I would not have known that was Cheryl Crow, but for them telling me "We asked Cheryl Crow...!" Had it been KT Tunstall I *might* have recognized her, but then again, might not have. Had the rapper in the commercial been Kanye West, I might have recognized him... but might not. I just don't watch enough of the right entertainment TV or read the right magazines to know some of these folks' faces any more.)

Sadly, even if they'd told me Don Shula's name... that commercial wouldn't have been meaningful to me. I'd recognize other former player/coaches by name, and some even by face (Mike Ditka, for example), but not him.

And in the Chevy commercial -- yeah, I had a feeling I was maybe supposed to recognize the country singers, or the NASCAR guy (hell, I have even watched an entire hour-long special on Dale Earnhardt and his son... still didn't recognize him, though), and so on... but see above, I'm not consuming the right media for that and those aren't the faces occupying my brain any more.

(Now I want to know who the guy was singing the Elton John tune...)

But even if they hadn't TOLD me that was Robert Goulet... I would have recognized him. (At least, in a "Is that...? Is he still alive?" way.)
telepresence
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC)
Nah, you don't have to apologize (I actually don't even like Jay-Z all that much, I only have a couple of his songs). It just cracked me up. "Some rapper guy I guess? Let's get a real celebrity in here! Bubba Ho-Tep!" :)

Actually in that whole ad what I liked most was the holo football game thing, that was cool.

Oh, another useless musical factiod: All By Myself slightly predates Don't Cry Out Loud, and, by in terms of chart positions was probably a somewhat bigger hit.
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
"Some rapper guy I guess? Let's get a real celebrity in here! Bubba Ho-Tep!" :)

Not quite. ;-) I figured the Old Spice commercial would be more recognizable to the genre-geeks on my flist. Had Old Spice run it during the SuperBowl, though, I thought it might have made a bigger splash not because I thought that audience would recognize Bruce Campbell, but because I thought the commercial itself was wittier and funnier, even if you don't know who the actor is.

I agree that the holo-football game set-up thing looked really *cool*. I wish they'd figured out a context for it that didn't just wind up kind of irritating me. (Yet I actually kind of smiled at the ending: "Next time we play in a dome." - "Next time, we play for the rings.")

Songs: *really*? Interesting. I had no idea. I wonder why I feel like I've heard "Don't Cry Out Loud" *more*? And was there a "this sounds too close to this other thing" lawsuit at the time, or what? (I wonder if it's just a case of one song charting higher, but another song standing the test of time better. I'm a poor judge of that, as I dislike both songs.)
telepresence
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Your brain probably protected you from All By Myself, it got a big cover by Celine Dion recent-ishly.
ravenhbh
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
Uh, *blink.*

I think I watched Xena a handful of times. Remember, as much as we ran in the same circles Back In The Day, we ran in very different circles :-)

(crickets chirping)

What popped into my head about the Garmin ad was "is this what it takes for a guy to use a map? Godzilla vs. Ultra Man? Sheesh."

I'm still amazed that EDS could come up with some of the best ads EVER.

PS - Thanks, telepresence!
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Right, as I told Telepresence above -- as much as we ran in the same circles, and there are definitely geeky-genre properties we definitely had in common, I do tend to forget how much of the genre-geeking passed you by. I honestly would have rated it a 50-50 chance that you would have intersected with Bruce Campbell in at least one of his genre-famous guises at some point.

(*I* have only seen 3 total eps of Xena and Herc, only 1 of which had Bruce Campbell in it; he wasn't a regular. It was Brisco County Jr. that put him on the map for most folks I know, that and "Evil Dead", which are "famous" humorous zombie movies. More recently, he's sort of become "known" for being a "hey! it's that guy!" He wrote a show-biz autobiography called "If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a "B" Movie Actor".)

With the Garmin commercial, I pretty much said out loud, "Ultra-Man? REALLY?" I mean, the Godzilla-monster didn't faze me, but the Ultra-Man ref really took me aback.
telepresence
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC)
My guess is that the Ultra Man thing got a bit of a pop cultural radar boost because South Park did a big Gamera, Ultraman, and Mothra vs. Mechagodzilla spoof a while back.
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Ohhhhh....
barkley
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
The one thing I really liked about the Chevy commercial is that if you spent any time watching sports this past fall (I hardly spent any time and I've seen it a hundred bazillion times) is that you were subjected to the same commercial with white men loving their Chevy automobiles to the tune of John Mellencamp's "This is my Country." I generally don't feel any sort of underrepresentation pings in commercials, but I did there. A lot. So I liked that in the big game, they finally got everyone in there.

And as for the Garmin ad, you said, "VERDICT: okay, that was surreal. I’m betting I’ll never remember this company’s name. " It'd be interesting to see if this holds true. Not in the sense that it will be interesting if you personally remember them, but in the sense that right now their products are geared towards people with more expensive tastes than mine, and I want to see if it will eventually filter down to the rest of us. *g* The only reason I know them is that they are a HUGE name in personal GPS systems and I come in contact with a lot of sailors who all like to carry theirs with them when they go sailing. But I gather (and it would make sense) that they're also one of the companies behind bringing GPS navigation systems to cars, which to now has always been in cars fancier than mine. But I'm wondering if in ten years, that sort of thing is just going to be standard options on all sorts of cars like autmoatic windows are now.
eregyrn
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
...you were subjected to the same commercial with white men loving their Chevy automobiles to the tune of John Mellencamp's "This is my Country." I generally don't feel any sort of underrepresentation pings in commercials, but I did there. A lot. So I liked that in the big game, they finally got everyone in there.

Huh, yeah. That's nice to know. Especially as I specifically noticed how they were looking through a wide variety of musical genres to find the legitimate Chevy references.

I would not have responded much to an all-white-guys and John Mellencamp patriotic song. I keenly dislike car commercials that are jingoistic. What I liked about *this* commercial was that instead of the jingoism, they were playing on the fact that Chevy has been enough a part of the cultural landscape to make it into song lyrics *without prompting*. Fair point, Chevy. Fair point.

(Why Cadillac hasn't made a commercial to the Bruce Springsteen song, I do not know. Maybe he won't sell the rights?)

But I'm wondering if in ten years, that sort of thing is just going to be standard options on all sorts of cars like autmoatic windows are now.

Yeah -- well, they're becoming more and more common now. It does seem like a fair number of car commercials tout the option of having some kind of GPS navigational system installed. (It is certainly an option on the Mini; but I didn't like it and didn't want it.) But I had no idea what "company" made such things.
telepresence
Feb. 25th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
One of the things I hate about pickup ads is that a huge percentage of them have a "Here in the heartland, the working man needs a tough truck to get work done. Haulin' and carryin' and towin', all our..hay...and plywood and cement and stuff. Manly men, buildin' America!"

And 99.99999999 of the people in these ads are white men.

What, no black folks work in rural communities? No women on farms? No latino folks buildig things? It bugs.
jenlev
Feb. 25th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
i love this, thank you for posting it. and watching them all.

i can't think of rock-paper-scissors without remembering a certain farscape moment. ::::poignant farscape sigh:::

and i adore the david letterman one with oprah. hee!

also, good point about the check out lady, i quite agree. the general motors ad sounds creepy as does the snickers.

and from the follow up, it sounds like cbs did exactly what you predicted with the whole silhouette guitar issue. heh.

ps. i think the guy who made the "hard to say goodbye" ad is from NH. ;)
ravenhbh
Feb. 26th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
So, update per last night's Oscars:

GM has apparently revised their unpleasant suicidal robot ad, changing the ending to the robot ending up at a junkyard, looks up to see a big pile of trash falling on him, and wakes up just before he gets clobbered.

eregyrn
Feb. 26th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yes! I noticed this too, and was intending to post an update about it this morning. While the entire tenor of the commercial is still a little off-putting... at least it's not as out-and-out disturbing as the "committing suicide" one.

I wasn't sure if the robot had wound up *in* a junkyard itself, or whether it was just passing by one, and saw the car getting junked. One can over-analyze this commercial, obviously -- but through the entire thing, the dejected robot keeps seeing GM cars going by. That made me wonder if the big car that it saw being junked (tumbling down the pile) wasn't some older model of GM car. One *might* (if one was being generous, and I do wonder if this is what GM was thinking) "read" the storyline as being that what depresses the robot isn't just getting fired and not being able to hold down a job... but seeing all those cool GM cars going by, to the manufacture and upkeep of which it is no longer connected.

Thinking about that weird tagline, still, but -- if "everybody" (even the robots) at GM is supposed to be extra-concerned about the longeivity of your GM vehicle, what with this new 100,000 mile warranty... then the robot seeing what might be a GM car crushed and tumbling down a junk-heap could be read as disturbing for a different reason.

... I'm over-thinking this, aren't I?
(Anonymous)
Feb. 26th, 2007 11:54 pm (UTC)
NFA
It makes me a little depressed to hear even a cover of a Grateful Dead song being used to hawk Revlon hair-color.

"Not Fade Away" is a Buddy Holly song..
eregyrn
Feb. 27th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Re: NFA
Thank you, anonymous tipster! I never knew that!

In fact, consultation of Wikipedia relates that while the Grateful Dead having played the song 530 times in their concert career (making it their 7th most-played song) probably deserves a trophy of some sort -- the song was also one of the first hits by the Rolling Stones (their first British top 5 hit, in 1964, and their first single released in the US), and was also the debut single by Rush in '73. (Apparently, the Holly version never charted.)

All of that is pretty cool to know. Given how many artists have covered it, okay, I'll give that one to Cheryl Crow -- although it will always be primarily associated in my mind with the Dead. It seems so iconic of them (which I guess makes sense for their 7th-most-played song).
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )