Super Bowl Sad-vertising

AdsThe Seahawks colossal choke officially signaled that my luckless routine has resumed.

Oh well.

Thinking the universe is on my side would only complicate things.

The Super Bowl isn’t really about the game and who wins or loses anyway. The losers walk off the field kicking the turf and hanging their heads as they sulk, “Man, I only get a jillion dollars instead of two jillion. What a rip off.”

Watching the Super Bowl is mostly an excuse to food glut and see what the high-powered suits in advertising have been up to. As for food, we rallied—big time. When my sister-in-law found out about our pathetic popcorn plans, she took pity on us and insisted we come over and bask in her party-food palooza. I ate like I was Templeton after the state fair. And it’s a good thing the food rocked because I thought the commercials were a bit disappointing overall.

The auto industry definitely came out in full force this year. About every car company on the planet pushed some idea about how the right car could make you a better dad, an Olympic athlete, live to be 100 years old, a parallel parking master, see Katie Couric twerk, or spend a cozy cabin weekend with Pierce Brosnan. I do, however, truly believe that owning a Jeep would drastically improve my life and make the world a more beautiful place.

The advertising typicals were present; the your-life-is-better-with-beer commercial featuring a dude playing in a life-size Pac Man board after slurping a Bud Light, and the ads with shameless skanky content, which may or may not relate to the promoted product. The off-the-wall ads presented by Loctite glue, Skittles and “Avocados from Mexico” made me wonder if they were produced in states where marijuana is now legalized.

Many were pretty clever and well produced, but I was mainly disappointed by the lack of humor this year. Most companies went sentimental and/or serious with their campaign.

Some were downright depressing.

Nationwide, really? Talk about a wet blanket.

The cut-open-your-heart-and-rip-it-out ad about the sweet little boy and all the things he can’t do because he died of a preventable accident. For crying out loud, it’s the Super Bowl! Why not just give Katy Perry the boot and replace her half-time “Roar” extravaganza with Sara McLachlan riding on the back of an enormous animatronic puppy with a limp! Nationwide was also responsible for the awkward “Invisible Mindy” concept. Who knew a commercial with a Matt Damon cameo could go so wrong?

And allowing Weight Watchers ad space during the Super Bowl is downright dirty. It came on just as I’m enjoying my chicken jalapeño triple cheese nachos.

I did tag some faves, though. The Doritos “Middle Seat” ad produced rare audible laughter that day. And the McDonald’s “Pay With Lovin’” campaign is brilliant. I mean, the surge in sales they’ll bank with people trying to cash in on that gimmick will more than compensate for the freebies they give away. Any ad that would cause my teenage son to call in the middle of the day to say he loves me is masterful. Even if it is just to get free Chicken Mcnuggets.


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