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Photography, notes, commentary and much more from former Reporter Online Editor Chris Stanley.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl ads

 Well, everybody else has weighed in, so I may as well join the fun.
 Despite my initial near total lack of interest in the Big Game this year (which I have to admit got pretty interesting after the lights went out), I always enjoy watching the Don Drapers of the world try to out-do each other for our attention between plays.
 USA Today released their Ad Meter list after the game, and the Clydesdale once again rose to the top of the help of Super Ads.
 My personal favorite, the Oreos in the library (ever seen a fight in whispers?) wasn't even in the top ten, however, coming in at a mediocre #26.
 I generally discount the talking baby, the chips, the colorful candy, and yes, the gorgeous horses because I consider these re-runs. These companies found something that works, and basically just re-tool it every year knowing that people will laugh and ooh and aah - nothing risked, nothing lost.
 I also discount all the 'shock' ads ('Too hot for TV! Too sexy for TV! And new this year, Too Racist for TV!).
 Of course there was the ad that made everybody lose their nachos, you know - the model and the geek - these ads are like modern art. They don't care if anybody likes them, the point is to get attention and make people talk about the purpose of their existence (done!). So while that ad rated the lowest (and cooled down my long-distance celebrity lust for the model by, well, a lot), the owner of the company is basking in his (apparent) success.
 Here's a much better kissing commercial, though you didn't see it on TV during the game unless you lived in two or three select cities in the midwest. Replace disgusting with surreal, and here you go:

 You may remember last year's WF ad, where the name of the beer never got mentioned. Or maybe you don't remember it, since it only aired in North Platte, Nebraska.
 Anyway, here is my armchair review of a few notable ads, for what it's worth:

Ads I liked

 Oreos: Classic physical comedy with an understated sound track.
 Miracle stain: Great story.
 The Big Pitch: It's like, the writers couldn't think of anything to do with Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, so they created an ad about Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen thinking of something to do. But somehow it was still funny, and I even remembered the product since it displayed an image of LeBron James.
 Best Buy: Amy Poehler asking the salesman to read her '50 Shades of Gray' was odd, even a little disturbing, but worked somehow.
 Wish Granted (Toyota): Watch that spare tire disappear.

Ads I didn't like

 The Kiss: See explanation above.
 Hot Bots (Kia): Just didn't get it
 Audi prom: The car didn't make him brave, it made him a stalker.

Ads I was supposed to like but didn't

 Farmer: Yeah, I know, folk hero Paul Harvey, American-made trucks, what's not to like? The photos were great, the presentation was clean, and if you like PH, he was at his best in this speech. But while God may have made farmers, he doesn't make trucks,  and in the end I felt manipulated, not inspired.
 Jeep soldiers: Replace farmers with soldiers - using our good will toward our troops to sell cars. It just felt wrong. Sorry, Oprah.
 Pistachios (Gagnam Style): This ad wins the wasted potential award for what could have been a great play on what has quickly become an over-used cultural icon. Unfortunately they did very little with it, except dressing the dancers as nuts. Forgettable.


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