Super Bowl XLVII comes with good, bad, ugly advertisements
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 08:02
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 GoDaddy.com
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.
GoDaddy.com. 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.