As most of America cheered on their respective teams last Sunday at the Super Bowl, the rest of us tuned in to see the highly anticipated release of new and old products being shown in this year’s advertisements. Whether you were at home enjoying the game or at a friend’s for a night of classic American consumer traditions, this year’s commercials did not add up to those of the past.
In previous years we saw the introduction of the Old Spice man as “The man your man could smell like” and the timeless Betty White Snickers commercial. We have seen talking babies promoting finance companies and screaming forest animals trying to escape being run over by a car. All of these combined have created a whole new reason to watch the Super Bowl: to see which company’s product advertisement will come out on top as the funniest or most influential commercial that year.
This year was a different story. Some companies have gone from funny to desperate. One example of this is the website GoDaddy.com. This is a site dedicated to helping other companies or persons create and manage their own websites. GoDaddy has a reputation of having somewhat sexual advertisements but this year’s Superbowl one went above and beyond. To promote its “sexy and smart” side, the company produced a commercial where two strangers make out for 15 slow motion, awkward seconds. The camera is so close you can see the pores on Jesse Heiman’s face and the sounds make it even worse. This commercial made everyone watching uncomfortable.
Another disappointment in the early commercial lineup was the Century 21 ‘mini-mart’ ad. A man and his wife stop off at a mini-mart and after winning big on a lottery scratcher, the man begins to choke on his hot dog as his female counterpart shouts for a Century 21 agent to help them buy a new home. Naturally, there is a Century 21 agent there who agrees to help them find a new home while doing the Heimlich maneuver on the man who has some requests about the house design the moment his life is saved. If this commercial sounds complex and random, that’s because it was. It made a sad attempt at trying to be funny when ultimately, compared to the following advertisements it, looked out of its league.
Of course we had some great Doritos laughs (whose commercials who never fail to entertain,) a Taco Bell commercial featuring a group of senior citizens partying like they were in their 20s, an Oreo whispering disagreement in a library, and an emotional Budweiser classic Clydesdale commercial—all of which were worth the Super Bowl hype. The sad thing is, these were practically the only memorably good advertisements during the entire four-hour game. My point is this: if you are going to pay $3.8 million for 30 seconds of ad space during the famous game, make it a good one.