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Super Bowl XLVII comes with good, bad, ugly advertisements

By Billy Bowden
On February 5, 2013

Every fall since Jan. 15, 1967 there has been one day of remarkable pride and

entertainment in the United States.

Is it because there is a rise in economy? No, not necessarily. Is it because of donations for

educational purposes? No. Is world peace finally being conquered? Unfortunately that's

not even close. Yet, there is the Super Bowl, an event that has now seen its 47th year

since its conception that thrives on the sole purpose of entertainment.

There are in fact two games being played each year, yet many people do not fathom

the second, which are the Super Bowl commercials. Companies are willing to spend

an average of $3.8 million per 30-second slot for their advertisement bids. While our

economy continues to find its place in the dumpster, our society still manages to pull out

$3.8 million to air a 30-second commercial, interesting, to say the least.

In previous years, we have seen the child version of Darth Vader using the "force," to

start the engine of a Volkswagen automobile. We've seen the infamous

commercials, where attractive women parade the screen gaining the attention of some

of the 110 million people watching the event. Just when the majority of viewers thought

companies might not be capable of entertaining the general public, we were all proved

wrong. Again. In 2013, however, like many others years, there have been the good, the

bad and the ugly.

Budweiser subjected viewers to an emotional twist rather than the usual comic

advertisement by introducing the story of a horse breeder whose horse goes off only to

later recognize its breeder and then come sprinting back to his side. However, Budweiser

did not stop there and kept the dice rolling when they asked viewers to log onto their

twitter accounts to suggest names for the young Clydesdale. Bravo, Budweiser, bravo.

Among the commercial hybrids was the Audi "prom" commercial in which the car

inspires a young student who seems primarily shy to open his more rebellious side. He

did so by parking his car in the principal's reserved spot and barging into the prom while

laying a kiss on the prom queen's unexpected lips. When the prom queen's boyfriend

realizes what has happened, he gets frustrated and the car owner is shown driving off

with a proud smirk and a blackened eye. With no relation to cars whatsoever the message

promotes one thing; drive an Audi and expect the unexpected.

Before I can close the curtain on what was classified as good in this year's espionage

of commercials, I must embrace the quality of Rhode Island's homegrown company,

Alex & Ani. Boasting its passionate symbols of peace, love and energy, not only did

the commercial touch close to home, but also it was incorporated well with the theme of

the Super Bowl and American pride. The closing seconds of the commercial shows an

American flag blowing in the wind.

Unfortunately with the good, you also have to expect the bad. Although there were not

many commercials this year, there were a few rotten eggs. Dodge Ram's "God Made a

Farmer," commercial had me lost from its beginning. Watching this commercial brought

to my mind John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," and there was no comparison to

the Dodge Ram until the words crept onto the screen and the pickup truck was shown in

the last drawing seconds. Viewers expect quick, effective commercials that will grasp

their attention often relating to pop culture icons. This ad fell quite short of the prototype.

Although it was boring and quite irrelevant to the product, one thing that the Dodge Ram

commercial was not is disturbing.

Which brings us to the last category for Super Bowl commercials: the ugly. Need I say more? Watching even an attractive woman make out on the

screen for a long enough duration of time was guaranteed to upset the stomach of many

viewers. Over the past few decades we have seen television become less restricted on

what is allowed to be shown. However, this was just not pretty. The Super Bowl is often

shared by a family enjoying a home cooked meal or an assembly of friends trying to

enjoy one of the greatest commencements of American sports. We did not sit down for

hours to be disgusted, but that is the only term that comes to mind while watching this


All in all it was an impressive commercial year for the Super Bowl. With another $3.8

million spent for each advertisement, no matter which team they supported viewers

should be pleased with the commercial efforts made by each company.

How could we complain when the entire light source of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

was out? Players sat and stretched for a full 34 minutes while the light were restored to

the stadium and eager fans sat and found their medium in the entertainment provided by

these commercials. For now, we can only watch the clips of this year's creative marketing

schemes until next year when a new list of the good, the bad and the ugly will make its

mark on the big screen.

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