February 4, 2008

How 'Bout The Superbowl... Commercials

All I can say about the game is that I'm glad I'm a Red Sox fan. Many people who tried to tune into "The Biggest Loser" on NBC were surprised when they realized they'd been watching the Patriots for a full half hour before noticing they were on the wrong channel.

However, whadja think of the commercials?

Commercials were noticeably less violent and mean-spirited this year, and I think they connected with more people. The group I was with for the first half seemed to respond a lot better.

Yet, there were still some commercials I wish I hadn't seen. Most memorable was the online job search commercial which had a woman whose heart decided to jump out of her chest, confront her boss and then hit the road.

At first I thought it was some sort of rogue breast implant, and my stomach did a backflip or two. My daughter was not amused. And it was a lot of effort to simply illustrate "follow your heart." I'd call that my least favorite commercial of the night.

I'd rather see a wardrobe malfunction any day over that commercial. And it frankly amazes me that the country would get worked up over a nipple but has no problem with a beating heart going all "alien chest-burster" on national television.

The halftime show didn't appear to suck as much as usual, though it never matters to me who is up on that stage, I just never can get into a halftime show. We skipped over it on the DVR.

What was your least-favorite commercial, or your least favorite aspect of Sunday, apart from the game itself?

Posted by James at February 4, 2008 1:51 PM
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Comments

I thought the Rocky-inspired commercial with the Dalmatian coaching the Clydesdale was cute, maybe just because I enjoyed the music and watching the Clydesdale work out in the rain. I didn't love it, but it didn't make me want to vomit like the heart commercial. After the heart commercial, I confess, I skipped over most of them.

I had been showing K and M different versions of the Thriller video online (MJ's is really dark and hard to see, we watched the prison one, skipped the Baliwood one, saw the marching band one), so it was funny to see a commercial with computer-animated geckos, or whatever those were, dancing to Thriller. We kind of caught a bit of it as we zipped past using the DVR's jump-ahead button.

But my favorites are the ones that I'll bet were your favorites, the two (that I saw) with the baby giving financial advice. The one with him spitting up and then the one with him saying he hadn't counted on the creepiness (was it?) factor of the clown. Usually when they try to animate an animal or baby to make it look like it's talking or making a weird facial expression, it looks bizarre and creeps me out. I don't know how they did it, but that baby really looked like he was talking. I thought they were funny.

Posted by: Maggie at February 4, 2008 2:26 PM

My least favorite aspect of yesterday was the inability to have a TV on for more than 5 minutes without being inundated with super bowl "news".

On the plus side I was able to get my taxes done and watch an episode of Twin Peaks.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at February 4, 2008 2:42 PM

I missed the baby ones entirely. The heart thing didn't bother me at all, but I thought it was very stupid in terms of audience appeal. (A giant candy heart with "I QUIT!!!!" on it might have been funnier and more effective.) I hated the Thriller one(s?) a lot.

The dog and the horse were cute, but my favorite was probably the Night at the Roxy ad for Pepsi Max. It wasn't brilliant, but it was good enough. I guess there are some schticks (or silly dance songs) that I never get sick of.

I know there were others that I liked, but I can't remember them now. I know there's a website where I could check them out, but on general principle I refuse to go out of my way to watch an ad. :)

My favorite part was the halftime show. I probably should have turned the TV off after Tom Petty was finished, especially since I didn't love the House episode that was on later either (or maybe I was just feeling grumpy).

Posted by: Julie at February 4, 2008 2:57 PM

BOB - I know, it's very irritating when you're trying to AVOID something that's on TV, but the people at the station you're watching think you urgently need to know about it anyway. Like you can't figure out how to find out on your own, or something!

Posted by: Julie at February 4, 2008 3:01 PM

I missed them all and am catching up on them today. We were at the theater all day yesterday, but after the outcome, I'm not sad to have missed it.

The commercials I have seen so far have left me underwhelmed. The "Top 5" were all uninteresting to me. Yahoo rated them as:

5. Justin Timberlake - Pepsi
Nothing terribly amusing about it. JT gets dragged through obstacles every time this girl in a bikini sips her Pepsi. How clever.

4. Will Ferrell - Bud Light
Promo for his new movie, but very similar to a few of his other characters.

3. Tide - Talking Stain
Who really shows up to an interview with a giant stain on his shirt? And the talking stain was really annoying. Was that the point? Maybe. But I didn't associate Tide with getting rid of the annoyance. I associated it with being the annoyance.

2. FedEx - Pigeons
Obvious and not funny. At least try to find a joke in there.

1. Audi - Godfather
Also obvious. Also not funny.

I need to go to a different site where they aren't ranked. Clearly, I am out of step with the rest of America if these were the favorites. Or else the commercials sucked really badly.

Posted by: briwei at February 4, 2008 3:02 PM

Most of the commercials were uninspired and unfunny but I liked a few of them:

  • Budweiser's Clydesdale training montage
  • Doritos' Mouse Trap
  • Pepsi's Justin Timberlake ad
  • Taco Bell's Fiesta Platter
  • The Wall-E preview (can't get enough Wall-E)
  • And the second E-Trade baby commercial with the clown
Posted by: Mike at February 4, 2008 3:27 PM

Oh, I thought the Pepsi Max was cute, but I wasn't sure why everybody was falling asleep to begin with, and I liked it entirely because of the song. Which is probably why I paused at the Thriller one for a few seconds before I zipped on (plus the irony).

Neither are songs I ever listened to, so the only time I really hear them is when they're in a skit or ad (or I'm showing my daughters a zombie dance sequence on the internet).

We didn't finish watching House, not that you were going to spoil it, but no spoilers please! :-)

Posted by: Maggie at February 4, 2008 3:41 PM

Oh, I'd forgotten about the pigeons. I thought that was funny. Talking Stain was just disgusting and all I could think was that M would have nightmares if we watched it, so I zipped past (James and K were at a Superbowl party for half the game, but M was home with me), and I missed the Doritos ad, the Justin Timberlake ad (it would've been funny if he'd had a wardrobe malfunction or something, right, or lame but I'd think it was funny?), and Wall-E is cute. Definitely the clown was funnier than the barf.

Posted by: Maggie at February 4, 2008 3:45 PM

The Pepsi Max people were nodding off because there wasn't enough caffeine in their regular Pepsi. (Let us ignore the health and safety implications!)

I liked the stain ad. I'm sure the guy didn't PLAN to show up at his interview with a stained shirt, but if some asshole on the subway spills something on you, there's not much you can do about it.

I loved the Will Ferrell ad - I just couldn't remember what the ad was for. That might be my favorite Bud Light ad since the "first time in a limo" one.

I don't remember the pigeons, but I remember the Godfather one now! I liked it, though I was more upset about the ruined bedsheets than the car. Maybe they could have worked something out with the Tide ad. Like a dual-sponsor tag-team commercial. :)

Posted by: Julie at February 4, 2008 4:34 PM

The thing about the stain is that if something like that happened to you, you wouldn't be pretending it didn't happen. You'd address it up front. "Sorry about the stain on my shirt. A guy spilled coffee on me on the subway." Or else you would be prepared with a spare shirt or a jacket to cover the shirt or you'd allow yourself extra time to deal with it if it happened. In none of those instances would Tide have helped you.

Posted by: briwei at February 4, 2008 5:34 PM

It's true. I'd mention the stain right away. That would probably be enough for most people, but I KNOW that there are people who would be so distracted by a stain that they wouldn't hear a damn thing I said. Even if they didn't hold it against me, it would still be a distraction.

I suppose I could say "I would never want to work for such a person," but I've not always been fortunate enough to be so choosy. I can't take a change of clothing with me wherever I go, but it's nice to have the option to get a stain out when I need to.

I'm not saying it's a brilliant ad, just that it made sense to me. I keep a stain stick in my bag because I'd rather get rid of the stain sooner than have to point it out to people, and then have to deal with a set-in stain by the time I get home.

All of which would have made a much better ad, I agree, but I don't think any of us are in the "target demographic" that this ad was aimed at. Also, it may have seemed much more sensible to the more inebriated segment of the audience.

Posted by: Julie at February 4, 2008 6:12 PM

If you had a Tide pen, you wouldn't have the stain. Those things are amazing. K dumped a Mickey bar all over herself in Disney World several years ago, and we got her almost completely clean with a combination of Shout wipes and the Tide pen. The pen really makes the stain disappear (whereas the wipes are a pre-treat and don't clean the stain). If that was an ad for the Tide stain pen, then it was spot on.

Ha ha.

Posted by: Maggie at February 4, 2008 6:18 PM

Favorite Commercials: Giant Pigeons, Creepy E-Trade baby and Justin Timberlake/Pepsi.

Least favorite commercial: All those advertisements for how friggan' open Wes Welker was on every friggan' play. He's a rascally little guy.

Posted by: Derek at February 4, 2008 9:37 PM

I think that Tide pen is for people like me, who can't seem to avoid stains. I've saved myself a few times with similar products.

Hated the commercial, but it does remind me that I need to get a Tide pen for work. So I guess it was effective.

Posted by: James at February 4, 2008 9:39 PM

What was your least-favorite commercial, or your least favorite aspect of Sunday, apart from the game itself?

Not being sure if the tape we'd set up to tape House would actually tape the show because football can go on and on and on and on with timeouts and whatnot.

Still, Sunday was great for me. As the husband worked on the taxes, I did my favorite Sunday thing: I cooked and listened to NPR while I did so.

Posted by: Patti M. at February 5, 2008 11:40 AM

See. Now I'm thinking about getting one of those Tide pens, but not because of the commercial. I was so busy being annoyed at the stupidity of it, I missed what the product did. I thought it was a pre-wash stain treatment pen. Now that you have explained that it will get stains out in real time, it has value to me. I think Tide owes you some money.

Posted by: briwei at February 5, 2008 12:05 PM

Well, honestly, we wouldn't be talking about it if it weren't for the commercial, so they should probably take some credit. The question is, how many of those little pens do they have to sell before they've paid for a superbowl commercial? Yikes.

Posted by: Maggie at February 5, 2008 2:46 PM

I liked the Ben Rothlisberger/American Idol commercial, but that's because I'm a Steelers fan.

Posted by: David Grenier at February 6, 2008 1:33 PM

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