Monday, February 3, 2014

Super (American) Bowl

For those of you who didn't tune in to football last night, don't worry: you didn't miss anything. If you didn't see the halftime show, well, that's okay too. Bruno Mars didn't disappoint, but I'm sure you can YouTube his performance with Red Hot Chili Peppers. My favorite part was his drum solo. And the commercials? You'll be seeing most of them for the rest of the year, so fear not. Oh, and I'm about to review them.

The Good. Overall, it felt like the advertisers were like "Hey, guys, this years theme is 'America,'" as if we need someone to sell our own country to us (let's be honest, I do sometimes feel that way)--and if so, well, they succeeded. I'm so ready for the Olympics now. USA! USA!

Coke. "It's Beautiful" : I hope Coke doesn't apologize for this ad AT ALL. They had to have known it would spark some ignorant comments from ignorant people, but that didn't stop them from making a sweet commercial featuring "America the Beautiful" sung in multiple languages over shots of all sorts of people just being American.

Honorable mention goes to their other commercial, "Going All the Way," which features an adorable kid running through Ashwaubenon to get to Lambeau Field after his coach tells him to "keep going," when he miraculously ends up with the football during his game.

Cheerios. "Gracie" : Another company that shouldn't apologize, despite viewer criticisms. And by viewers, I mean more ignorant people. This commercial continues the story of the interracial family from a commercial they aired last year; now "Gracie" is getting a little brother. Yay! Does this ad have anything to do with Cheerios themselves? Only as counters for family members, but very few commercials actually advertise the product they are advertising, so if this is your reason for discrediting the Cheerios family, that's weak.

Intuit. "GoldieBlox" : This ad was technically for Intuit, but featured toy-maker GoldieBlox, who tells us girls can (and should) be engineers, too. Not only that, but girls' toys don't have to be pink. Like the founder says in her contest entry video: "We don't have a national shortage of princesses; we do have a national shortage of engineers." What an awesome toy, and awesome for GoldieBlox to have this kind of exposure!

The Bad. There weren't any commercials that I felt failed the Super Bowl, but a few could be improved.

Volkswagon. "Wings" : Speaking of a lack of women in engineering, here is Exhibit A. Why is there an overwhelming amount of male engineers in this commercial, and why is the only featured female used as a sexual object?

Doritos. "Cowboy Kid" : Basic summary, mom pulls up in her car with groceries. "Boys, can I get some help?" Boy 1: "I don't know, can you?" STOP RIGHT THERE. If that was my kid, I would have sat down and eaten all those Doritos while he unloaded the groceries AND made dinner. Commercial not worth posting and I'm too angry to find it on YouTube anyway.

A Smattering of Car Commercials Featuring Celebrities Who Have Either Sold Out or Really Need a Job: I don't think I'll ever enjoy a car commercial...sorry America, I'm just not the market. Same goes for beer, especially beer/puppies/military.

The Confusing. Some commercials I just didn't get. Or I got, but didn't want to.

Axe. "Make Love, Not War" : My initial reaction to Axe's more social-minded commercial was positive. Yes, give peace a chance--they even partnered with Peace One Day, a nonprofit working to establish a global day of ceasefire. Still, this isn't Axe's normal angle. Usually they are trying to tell us how sexy Axe body spray will make you, at least smell-wise. I applaud this new direction while recognizing it probably isn't a permanent direction.

Dannon Oikos. "The Spill" : Not exactly the Full House reunion I wanted, though probably the one we deserve. I also just have a weird prejudice against yogurt commercials. When did yogurt become lady food? Why does it have to be sexy? Funny, but I'm not convinced I want to switch yogurt brands.

Butterfinger. "Cup Therapy" : Not for the overly conservative, this was probably one of the most risque ads of the night, if you really thought about it. What I got from it: when your relationship is shaky, try a threesome/swinging...but don't take it too far, aka no gay/bi stuff. I would've put it in with The Bad, but it just wasn't strong enough to illicit any other feelings besides confusion and slight groaning.

Did I miss any big ones? I'm happy that advertisers kept it (mostly) clean this year, and focused on positive images and messages. While it would have been nice to have a few more laughs, the Super Bowl itself was pretty funny. Now, bring on the Olympics!


  1. I didn't watch the game or the commercials, but I did see the Volkswagen angel wings one earlier this week. I agree - there should've been more women engineers!

    1. I know! Some racial diversity might have been nice too...maybe in 2015. sigh.