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Super Bowl: Trish’s take on the commercials

Super Bowl: Trish’s take on the commercials

Of course you can’t be in advertising and not watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Sure it’s about the game but when you do what I do, which is buy commercials, you can be sure I won’t miss the biggest commercial event of the year!  In fact, this was a big year for Richmonders to be watching the game – nationally the game did a 47.6 rating, but here we saw that rating jump to 51.

I watch (and listen) to a lot of commercials – I am the person that turns the radio station when the music comes on, I flip away from articles and look at the ads first in a magazine – very opposite of most people.  So, it only makes sense that I have an opinion on the Super Bowl commercials.

I have been hearing people say that the commercials stink or that they were weak.  Why is that?  Is that because we saw half of them in advance online this week and the element of surprise was gone?  Or was it because there was a lack of bold, in your face, slapstick humor that we have come to expect?  Or maybe, it was just a little bit of both.

If I could only use one word to describe the commercials (I will refrain from using my one word to describe the game) it would be: Emotional.   This year had similar patriotic tones and much less humor and much more story telling.   Look at most of the automobile commercials – very focused on lifestyle, you didn’t even know it was a car ad until the last 5 seconds or so.  Even local spots had more “feeling” and did not try to go for the humorous.  But, is this what we are looking for out of our Super Bowl commercials?

They say sex sells, but not this time.  When you can usually expect something shocking from Go Daddy and the M&M’s, they disappointed this year.  In fact, the only thing I can recall as being marginally sexy was the Butterfinger commercial and Scarlet Johansson trying to be sexy.  Of course there was Beckham in yep – you guessed it – his underwear!  Perhaps the Chevy ad with the cows and bull could have been considered in this category – after all “You Sexy Thing” was the song of choice.  But that was it really.

Sure there were definitely some funny commercials.  Among my favorites were the Muppets in the car, the Volkswagen engineers pooping rainbows, and the Doritos ad where the kid rides the dog.  That is what you expect from Super Bowl ads – a good old belly chuckle.   Too bad Seinfeld and the cast of Full House couldn’t have produced the same – such high hopes surrounded these secret spots!  And again, just a little disappoint at the lack of “laugh out loud, need to watch it again” in those spots.

Perhaps this may not what we have been expecting, but with the past year of horrible natural disasters, shootings and heightened National security, maybe it is just what we needed.  Maybe we needed to be reminded of the power of the human spirit, and even the animal spirit.  How many of you “oohed and ahhed” at the puppy love in the Budweiser commercial? How wonderful was it of Cheerios to not respond to critics and show that love does not have racial bounds?  Coca-Cola, highlighted the beauty and diversity of America.  And Budweiser, welcoming home an American Hero.  Perhaps these weren’t the commercials we wanted, but rather the commercials we needed.

And with watching those, maybe folks will be just a little nicer, kinder, and a little more proud to be American today.  Unless you’re a Broncos fan.

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