All Super Bowls have their drama: the onside kick to start the second half, the game-changing interception, the helmet catch. For the diehard football fans among us, this Sunday is a half-step short of Christmas, especially if your team is playing for the Lombardi trophy.
For the rest of our great nation, Super Bowl Sunday is a truly American holiday: food, football, and TV. I’m not talking about the game itself, of course; I’m talking about the commercials. Advertisers still think reaching a massive national audience is a worthwhile pursuit, so the going rate for 30 seconds of air time during the Super Bowl is a preposterous $3.5 million ($4 million if you want to be right before kickoff). The companies who spend this fortune on commercials always make it worth our while (and their money), sometimes more than the game itself.
Now, in a very Black-Friday-becomes-Black-Friday at 5AM-becomes-Black-Thursday right after Thanksgiving-meal way, a lot of companies have released their ads on YouTube or elsewhere before the game; they’ve become an institution unto themselves.
So BlogDailyHerald can make even your Super Bowl commercial watching even more mindless and convenient, we’ve prepared a preview of some of the ads already out online.
1. Sandman spills all his pixie dust on some guy; Mötley Crüe, Adriana Lima, and a Kia (?) appear. Oh, and Chuck Liddell is in it too. With a guy on a bucking rhino. And lumberjacks sawing through a giant sub. The only thing not manly about this ad is the Kia itself, it would seem. 0/10 for misogyny, 10/10 for celebrity cameos.
2. Jerry Seinfeld really wants a 2012 Acura NSX, something even the Soup Nazi and the last living munchkin can’t buy. Flying squirrel Jay Leno escapes with the NSX. Another excellent use of celebrity cameos, and my pick for the big winner among the car commercials, especially for Seinfeld fans, even if Jerry’s acting was REALLY weak. Great cameos, and very clever, if only maybe a 7/10 for execution.
3. Danica Patrick isn’t wearing much clothing. Again. She still isn’t very good in IndyCar or NASCAR. I’ve never been a fan of the GoDaddy.com commercials; it took me two Super Bowls just to figure out what it was they were selling. Patrick’s celebrity has parlayed way too heavily into sex appeal without enough talent to balance it out (see Kournikova, Anna). I don’t like the whole Internet-content-unrated aspect, either. -4/10 for the dreaded combination of even more misogyny than Kia and the sad over-sexualizing of a pioneer female athlete.
4. This year’s heavy hitter: Matthew Broderick as middle-aged Ferris Bueller. This would be more exciting if Broderick hadn’t transformed into a pitchman to the very parents and teachers he was taking his “Day Off” from in 1986. It already has over 10 million hits on YouTube, but the ad is more a depressing look at Broderick’s aging than anything else; Ferris Bueller drives a Ferrari, not a CR-V. 6 points for inspiring me to re-watch “Ferris Bueller,” but -3 points for turning Broderick into a pitchman for a Honda (not the kind of nostalgia the ad department was looking for): 3/10.
5. Polar bear makes a diving catch for a Coca-Cola bottle in a only slightly more improbable fashion than David Tyree. It’s only a 30-second spot, but it ends with the warning that “the polar bears are watching the game, live” on cokepolarbowl.com. I’m not sure who they expect to watch the bears instead of the game, but I’m sure someone who gets paid a lot of money thought this was brilliant. Can’t really give a score until someone bothers to watch the bears during the game, but I’ll give a 6.4/10 for creativity and cute computer-animated fauna. For best results, go Antarctic and use penguins.
6. Toyota has reinvented the Camry, the couch, the police officer, the baby, and more. The baby doesn’t poop. It’s also a time machine. The reinvented plant fights crime. Funniest ad I could find. Bonus points for political correctness and throwing in both scantily-clad women and men (it’s unclear if advertisers are aware women watch the Super Bowl). Clever, BlogDH-approved snark, pizza, and the equal objectification of sexes? 9.5/10.
7. Fake documentary becomes flash mob-style invasion of a rec hockey league game. In what might be the most heartwarming commercial coming out of Sunday night, Budweiser sent hundreds of rabid fans, mascots, and announcers to a classic overtime thriller between the “Amigos” and the “Generals.” Not quite as tear-jerker-y as that ad welcoming the troops home was, but a great look at what sport really means to most people: 8/10.
8. Audi has discovered a way to kill everyone from Twilight. The 2012 S7’s headlights can vaporize vampires — a far less bloody affair than the whole silver-stake-to-the-heart strategy (and not as smelly as garlic). Run and hide, Robert Pattinson and Anna Paquin. Run and hide. Twi-hards give this a 0/10 and will never buy an Audi again, so imagine what the rest of us think.
Even if the ads have kind of become caricatures of themselves in recent years, perhaps — just like the game itself — the real value lies in the spectacle of the whole thing. And in the glimmer of hope that a Cash for Gold ad will make it into the lineup (start at about 0:50) right after halftime.