I remember a number of school teachers who would ask, "Who is watching the Super Bowl this weekend?" Some classmates hoorahed, their hands flailing in the room. She would continue, "I don't even know who is playing," and the jockish boys would affectionately disown her, and she would say, "But I like to watch the ads," to which the thirteen-year-olds would soulfully agree, "Oh yeah," or, "Me too!"
The cult of Super Bowl ads--the minute-long skydiving epics, heartbreakingly emo, adventurously idiotic, the precious, the unbelievable, the dudes saying "whassup"--reminds viewers in chorus with those same grade school teachers that this game isn't only how they demonstrate TVs in a BestBuy, it's part of how they're able to manufacture so goddamn many of them. I won't be making a point of watching the game this year, but from poking around a little bit, I've already seen most of the ads. So just as a warning, if you're the type that actually waits for Christmas Day to open your presents, you might want to click out of this window now.
Taco Bell - "Viva Young"
This is my favorite. It's not even that smart, but it jives nicely off of Taco Bell's Live Más concept: That geriatrics are exuberant enough to eat a Dorito Loco taco, get a Mexican gang tattoo and let loose in a swimming pool. Not that I'm a brand ambassador for any of these companies, but I'm kind of a sucker for Volcano Tacos, for which I have a GIF art fanpage. Greg Creed, Taco Bell CEO, told CNBC that the ad spot has already had over 500,000 views on social networks alone.
Doritos - "Chihuahua's Chips"
This ad seriously sucks. The only thing interesting is how gender neutral they made the dog, but I suppose this will come across as some torture inflicted by the annoying blonde who answers her phone, "Hey babe." And for being one of the worst ads ever, during the game tomorrow, it's going to air like 100 times, until people are somehow magically forced to like it.
Economics surrounding the NFL are cut throat, and small business owners in New Orleans know this by now; their throats are pretty bloody, at least in terms of what they can and can't do to advertise a sandwich special tomorrow. Now that it costs $4 million to run 30 second TV ads during the 'big game,' this Samsung ad makes some decent satire about the state of the small town ad mandate.
Budweiser - The Clydesdales: "Brotherhood"
This is ad is so emo, very Pinterest-conscious, it's almost as heart-melting as that T-Mobile flash mob stunt in Heathrow airport ad. But it's not. Still, I felt it taught me something. I had automatically gendered the long lost Clydesdale as a girl, but this ad is entitled "Brotherhood."
Toyota - "Wish Granted"
I just watched a girl give a longform review of this ad, because I really don't know what to say. It's clever, it's family fun. I had to Google "Kaley Cuoco" which helped me further realize just how alienated I also am from the mom and daughter segments of tomorrow's audiences.
Coke - "Chase"
This race between steampunks and Vegas showgirls that have overcome a camel caravan doesn't end until game day. Probably some shenanigans that'll end with a live confrontation at the 50 while Destiny's Child is trying to show everyone they still got it. I don't know why I'm rooting for the steampunks, but I am. Go Williamsburgh!
Ok, I like this Pepsi ad better than the Coke ad, but that isn't to say I'll ever like the Blue-Red Yin-Yang better or the flavor for that matter. I am pretty into Mountain Dew, but I haven little to seldom interest in these Next, Zero, Light, Maxx flavors. I just want to duct tape myself to a ceiling and defiantly drink some soda at my friend's parent's house now.
Mercedes - "Soul"
I already sold my soul when I was 15, and for far less than any $29,900. I made the deal with some druid-wicken-role-playing-gamer-nightowls at a Denny's in Bellevue, WA. I got five golden shrimp, a six ounce sirloin, a side of tomato slices, a side of cottage cheese, a starter soup, a starter salad, a milkshake, some juice, some coffee, bottomless cigarettes; the whole works. They drew a few drops of my blood, mixed it with some dust of a deer bone in a small vial, and voila–soul captured. By the way, is Willem Dafoe wearing a masonic ring at 1:20?
Volkswagen - "Get In. Get Happy."
All praises be to Jah, but do you think this is racist? Some Jamaicans have given it a thumbs up, but which market does it really speak to? And how will it be laughed at? Oh well. But still, why was the Jamaican cable guy really mean to my gay friend the other day? And why is reggae the chillest, most harmonious, most medicinal music we have?
This ad won't actually air tomorrow, CBS was not down with it, obviously, as it shows a lack of dependency for all the Coke and Pepsi bottles in the world. I felt it strike a chord in me, I guess. Then again, maybe that's because I saw my friend working her new Sodastream machine the other day, and it was kinda cool.
If you're hesitant to watch the game, and don't want to wait for the that moment of music (called a stinger) before the screen goes black before one of these face-melting ads, then I hope this roundup has been of some service. There's always the throw back ads to watch as well. Whether it's those bros saying, "whassup," the girl at a laundromat crunching into a Dorito, Charles Barkley spitting an awful rhyme about Taco Bell's $5 Buck Boxes or some Coor's or lending itself to the studies of American tramp stampery, there has to be a reason for everyone–especially non-football fans–to watch TV this Sunday. What will yours be?
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