Super Bowl XLVIII Ads: Good, Bad and Odd

Super Bowl XLVIII Ads: Good, Bad and Odd

The 2014 Super Bowl was pretty much done by halftime, so really all that was left was to watch the ads. We look at the best and the worst of the bunch.

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Morpheus bursting into opera singing made me LOL, and the special effects resulting from that were spectacular. I haven't bothered to watch them all, but I doubt the others can top that.

Xman490:
Morpheus bursting into opera singing made me LOL, and the special effects resulting from that were spectacular. I haven't bothered to watch them all, but I doubt the others can top that.

Did you notice the car, or were you looking at the lady in the red dress?

Remus:

Xman490:
Morpheus bursting into opera singing made me LOL, and the special effects resulting from that were spectacular.

Did you notice the car, or were you looking at the lady in the red dress?

I noticed the street lights bursting AROUND the car and the bending spoon HELD BY the lady in the red dress. But yeah, the car and lady look really nice, too.

I admit, I was growing a tad weary of any gung-ho 'Murica commercials, so I admit I disliked the Coco-Cola one on concept alone... but I admit it wasn't BAD even if I knew some "speak American, you foreigners" would object.

Personal favorite was the Radioshack one. 80's kid here. It was a nostalgia bomb.

The Axe one is brilliant.

Unlike Coca Cola's, which is just cloying in a way that had me flashing back to old United Colors of Bennetton Ads. But the hysterical reaction to the ad makes up for the banality of the ad itself.

Edit: Didn't watch them all though. I know US TV is notorious for its commercial breaks but good grief... is this one longer than the game itself?

"Hello, fellow sport-loving Americans! Let's celebrate how sport-loving and American we are!".

Thank you kindly for making many base assumptions here. I thought this website was supposed to be about *games*?

My favorites?

-Volkswagon Wings: Easily the funniest commercial this Superbowl. I practically laughed my head off this one.
-Radio Shack 1980's: As a pop culture buff, I enjoyed this one immensely, though I admit not everyone would get it.
-Axe Peace: Sappy, but very sweet at the same time. Or maybe I'm just a big sap.
-Toyota w/ Terry Crews and the Muppets: Because the Muppets are awesome, and I admit I found it amusing.
-Doritos Cowboy: Funny and awesome!
-Budwiser's Hero's Welcome: Because I'm sentimental, that's why.
-America the Beautiful: See above.
-Wonder Pistachios Stephen Colbert: ...Because Stephen Colbert.

I really don't remember any of them. I'm terrible at watching TV. I had it on next to my computer while playing Skyrim and list interest before half time.

I liked cokes, and the amazing spider-man trailer but I watched both afterwards. Though I only watched coke because my racist/redneck/stupid distant relatives went on facebook to talk about how unamerican it was and how they will now boycott all Coke products which is retarded given just how many there is.

Huh. You guys didn't include Rob Riggle's and James Franco's Ford ad? I thought that one was pretty clever...

Other than that, damn good comprehensive list! I missed a lot of them, and I was watching the game on TV. Like... actual TV! Craziness!

Meanwhile, my household was watching Puppy Bowl X, which had awesome Subaru commercials like this these:

The first thing I thought when seeing the America the Beautiful commercial was that it was going to bring out the haters. It's not even really xenophobia, just people getting enraged when they hear a language that is not their own. If they had sung it all in English and just showed the various peoples and cultures in the ad, it probably would not have been as "controversial" (although some would have still raged, but a lot less), but the inclusion of the different languages seems to be what set people off. It's sort of ironic that these people call themselves patriotic and probably show up at Tea Parties even though from the beginning the US has been based on ideals, rather than someone's language/nationality/religion.

One thing I have to say: The Bob Dylan commercial where he insinuates that it was the US interstate system that inspired the Autobahn? It's *literally* exactly the other way round.

"The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.[9] He recognized that the proposed system would also provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System

This bugs me alot. There were alot of things factually wrong and weird about that commercial, but this one really bugged me. As an American, I see way too freaking frequently that blatant lying and misinformation is often tolerated as long as it's "patriotic." This commercial's just an example of this, but that whole thing bugs me whenever I see it.

Ehh, I say let people be proud about their respective countries as they enjoy a pastime that they believe encompass their culture. All that said, the Coca-Cola commercial was a bit eyerolling and well, 'robotically' structured. If you're going to do the whole 'multicultural super America feel-good' thing, then I think Cheerios shows how it's done right.

On one note I hate the fact the we glorify commercialization so much to the point that we have reviews and playbacks, but the hilarity and ingeniousness of many of them help make up for it.....I mean, it has Morpheus singing an Italian-opera, Morpheus, you'd be a stickler to get mad at that.

I'm probably a bad American because I didn't care for any of the Budweiser or Coca-Cola commercials, and if I rolled my eyes any harder they would've popped out of my skull. For the most part, I thought most of the commercials this year sucked, but I did appreciate that they spread them out this year rather than have them all in the beginning.

For me, the Radio Shack, Toyota with Terry Crews, Kia with Morpheus, and Audi with the 'fuck you' dog were pretty awesome. The Go Daddy one with the body builders made me snort my drink (which hurt because it was whiskey), and the Doritos ones were pretty funny.

Sixcess:
The Axe one is brilliant.

Unlike Coca Cola's, which is just cloying in a way that had me flashing back to old United Colors of Bennetton Ads. But the hysterical reaction to the ad makes up for the banality of the ad itself.

Edit: Didn't watch them all though. I know US TV is notorious for its commercial breaks but good grief... is this one longer than the game itself?

I don't know - I thought the Axe commercial was nice until the bit with the soldier and the Vietnamese village girl. That whole ordeal was hell on earth - the things that the troops went through were horrific, absolutely, but what would happen to some village girls after a raid were every bit their equal.

So when he drops his rifle and they embrace in the commercial, I felt like it was spitting in the faces of such girls.

Maybe their ad team just didn't know much about the kinds of things that happened there. They can't be blamed for not knowing, but I thought this stuff and subsequent investigations into it were common knowledge.

It's clear they were trying to do something nice, but because of that bit, it failed in execution for me. This ad seems to be on a lot of favorites lists, so I freely acknowledge that I'm seeing, or reading something into, the ad that many other viewers don't; and in context, I'm sure it's something that was never even intended. But I just can't ignore that element.

sagacious:
One thing I have to say: The Bob Dylan commercial where he insinuates that it was the US interstate system that inspired the Autobahn? It's *literally* exactly the other way round.

"The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.[9] He recognized that the proposed system would also provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System

This bugs me alot. There were alot of things factually wrong and weird about that commercial, but this one really bugged me. As an American, I see way too freaking frequently that blatant lying and misinformation is often tolerated as long as it's "patriotic." This commercial's just an example of this, but that whole thing bugs me whenever I see it.

I noticed this too. Oh, how my eyes did roll. I mean this is middle school history class stuff - even in the States. I don't think marketing departments are generally the most cultured, historically-aware group.

My three favorite Ads out of the Superbowl were:

Doritos Cowboy Kid
Puppy Love
Cheerios 'Gracie'

Funny how the best ones (in my opinion) were cute, touching but also cleverly funny without dragging the joke out. Oh and the stars were like, kids and a puppy... pretty sad when the rest were awful in my opinion. Either focused on landscapes with little focus on the product being relevant at the time or the whole thing showing off how rich people were with their cars.

Actually I was annoyed with how many car commercials there were, mostly featuring well known people showing off said cars and driving with no humor or appeal to the people not looking into buying a car. Least they could of tried making it humorous like the Matrix one, but alas... it was all for naught. Only 2 other commercials made me laugh like the 80's one with the recognizable characters and the hybrid dog one. All else lacked anything good, despite the nice visuals.

As much as I love the Muppets and the 80s, the Doberhuahua commercial clinched it. It was cool seeing Alf again, though, that takes me back. Actually remember when Radio Shack was THE place for electronics of all kinds, so i kind of hope they really go somewhere with this retooling and become great again.

The Doberhuahua commercial, the Budweiser Clydesdale/puppy commercial and the Axe body spray commercial were my favourites. The patriotism thing doesn't really bother me since it's the Superbowl, but the misinformation in Chrysler's commercial really just annoyed me.

Coca-Cola's also seemed a bit forced, but the reaction of the xenophobes and bigots is just mind boggling.

I really liked the Microsoft ad, seeing how some of this stuff is used in the real world, not just them pushing surface/8.1/xboxone. I got a little choked up, especially with the kid who had magic legs, and the soldier who got to see his newborn child... it really reminded me that technology really is magical to people, I just take it for granted every day and forget that to some people it's not just a computer... its life changing.

Also stephen colbert continues to be epic.

vagabondwillsmile:

Sixcess:
The Axe one is brilliant.

Unlike Coca Cola's, which is just cloying in a way that had me flashing back to old United Colors of Bennetton Ads. But the hysterical reaction to the ad makes up for the banality of the ad itself.

Edit: Didn't watch them all though. I know US TV is notorious for its commercial breaks but good grief... is this one longer than the game itself?

I don't know - I thought the Axe commercial was nice until the bit with the soldier and the Vietnamese village girl. That whole ordeal was hell on earth - the things that the troops went through were horrific, absolutely, but what would happen to some village girls after a raid were every bit their equal.

So when he drops his rifle and they embrace in the commercial, I felt like it was spitting in the faces of such girls.

Maybe their ad team just didn't know much about the kinds of things that happened there. They can't be blamed for not knowing, but I thought this stuff and subsequent investigations into it were common knowledge.

It's clear they were trying to do something nice, but because of that bit, it failed in execution for me. This ad seems to be on a lot of favorites lists, so I freely acknowledge that I'm seeing, or reading something into, the ad that many other viewers don't; and in context, I'm sure it's something that was never even intended. But I just can't ignore that element.

I for one fully understand the subtext you saw in that ad, but for me that was part of why I thought that the ad was well done.

The tank scene, and that Vietnam scene in particular, for me were more powerful because they subverted actual horrors that have occurred. The whole theme was "make love, not war" so I viewed those scenes in the light that they were actually playing out love stories as opposed to the horrific realities. That is that the girl and soldier really were in love with each other which was being intentionally contrasted against the kinds of things that actually occurred.

From that perspective it does have a beautiful, and somewhat idyllic, message that this is how events could have turned out in another world.

But I can certainly see how a person could view it as being insensitive to very real atrocities. I think, however, we can all agree that regardless of how well they pulled it off, it was still a nice departure from the drivel that has constituted Axe commercials in the past.

It's a slightly sad indictment of the sheer weight of advertising within American football that I've seen almost every US news outlet discuss this in detail. I've watched American football on TV a few times, all i took away from it was that it is mostly adverts upon adverts upon adverts with a little bit of setting up plays in between whilst commentators and graphics fill time.

vagabondwillsmile:

sagacious:
One thing I have to say: The Bob Dylan commercial where he insinuates that it was the US interstate system that inspired the Autobahn? It's *literally* exactly the other way round.

"The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.[9] He recognized that the proposed system would also provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System

This bugs me alot. There were alot of things factually wrong and weird about that commercial, but this one really bugged me. As an American, I see way too freaking frequently that blatant lying and misinformation is often tolerated as long as it's "patriotic." This commercial's just an example of this, but that whole thing bugs me whenever I see it.

I noticed this too. Oh, how my eyes did roll. I mean this is middle school history class stuff - even in the States. I don't think marketing departments are generally the most cultured, historically-aware group.

When I was watching and it got to the "What detroit made" line, I thought it either meant the car (which would be a falsehood) or the production-line method of mass-manufacturing cars Ford popularised. It was a tad ambiguous and mentioning Detroit just reminds everyone how the industry has declined. American pride seems an odd route for Chrysler who are owned by the Italian car company Fiat, were known until 2007 as Daimler-Chrysler (after merging with the German Benz company in 1998) & had to be heavily bailed out by the U.S. government in 2008/9...

Anyway, it was interesting to see another country's adverts, even if it makes me wonder how long their advert breaks must be. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be the one from Radioshack and I don't even have any 80's nostalgia.

TwistedEllipses:

vagabondwillsmile:

sagacious:
One thing I have to say: The Bob Dylan commercial where he insinuates that it was the US interstate system that inspired the Autobahn? It's *literally* exactly the other way round.

"The Interstate Highway System gained a champion in President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was influenced by his experiences as a young Army officer crossing the country in the 1919 Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway, the first road across America. Eisenhower gained an appreciation of the Reichsautobahn system, the first "national" implementation of modern Germany's Autobahn network as a necessary component of a national defense system while he was serving as Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II.[9] He recognized that the proposed system would also provide key ground transport routes for military supplies and troop deployments in case of an emergency or foreign invasion."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System

This bugs me alot. There were alot of things factually wrong and weird about that commercial, but this one really bugged me. As an American, I see way too freaking frequently that blatant lying and misinformation is often tolerated as long as it's "patriotic." This commercial's just an example of this, but that whole thing bugs me whenever I see it.

I noticed this too. Oh, how my eyes did roll. I mean this is middle school history class stuff - even in the States. I don't think marketing departments are generally the most cultured, historically-aware group.

When I was watching and it got to the "What detroit made" line, I thought it either meant the car (which would be a falsehood) or the production-line method of mass-manufacturing cars Ford popularised. It was a tad ambiguous and mentioning Detroit just reminds everyone how the industry has declined. American pride seems an odd route for Chrysler who are owned by the Italian car company Fiat, were known until 2007 as Daimler-Chrysler (after merging with the German Benz company in 1998) & had to be heavily bailed out by the U.S. government in 2008/9...

Anyway, it was interesting to see another country's adverts, even if it makes me wonder how long their advert breaks must be. If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be the one from Radioshack and I don't even have any 80's nostalgia.

In general I quite like Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" campaign that they've been utilizing the last couple of years. I do think it's nice that the company is proudly sporting its Detroit roots. Regardless of who holds the property now. So many American businesses are under the umbrella of organizations elsewhere in the world now, finding a completely domestic product may not be easy. The ad spots from Chrysler that I really like are the ones that are being shown outside the U.S. especially in England. They are very classy. One thing Fiat has brought to the table that they weren't able to find on their own is the ability to easily enter the European market - even moreso than the acquisition by Daimler Benz.

I don't think the pride is really misplaced. It isn't as though the aquisition caused all the factories and workers to move to Italy. They are still here (as is the company headquarters for that matter), many are proud of what they do, it's alright to express that in an ad I suppose. And in regard to the bail-out in 2008-2009, it may be important to note that Chrysler was the first of the big three to pay back their loan (Chrysler paid-in-full over $7 Billion in 2011 - just two years after the bail-out), and was the first of the big three to record a post-loan profit. As loans, and restructuring, and aquisitions go, they have been pretty successful.

So the spirit - the key concept - of the commercial isn't what bothered me. What bothered me was creating or, at the very least, insinuating imaginary history. There is so much REAL history they could been poetic about, it's a shame that shadow is cast on an overall positive message.

I was pretty unimpressed with the commercials this year when I watched the Super Bowl. I got an eye-rolling chuckle at the Matrix bit and I will admit to getting a decent laugh out of the doggy cross-breeding (the announcers at the dog show are great), but as for everything else...didn't really seem that much more than any random commercial you'd see while watching regular TV.

Sarah McLachlan getting attacked by the dog was the best. :P

The Radio Shack commercial was my favorite. That thing smacked me right in the childhood. After the happiness subsided though I was quickly reminded of how old I am. Still, It was great to see Sgt. Slaughter in the back ground......even if for only 1 second.

DeadMG:
"Hello, fellow sport-loving Americans! Let's celebrate how sport-loving and American we are!".

Thank you kindly for making many base assumptions here. I thought this website was supposed to be about *games*?

If something doesn't interest you then don't click on it.

This site is about pop culture with an emphasis on games.

 

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