For aficionados of both football and new commercials, this year’s super Sunday had to be a bit of a disappointment. I don’t know a hell of a lot about sports, but I do know that all the jokes people made in the lead-up about it being between two teams from legalized weed states came astonishingly true, with many of the players conducting the game as if they were stoned.
I’m not sure what excuse the ad men have, though, because there were some shockingly strange decisions made in creating the commercials. Let us now run them down.
1. Movie Commercials for Movie Commercials
Okay, bad enough that we got online teasers for the trailers we were going to be shown for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but then those trailers turn out to just be teasers in and of themselves, sending us online to view the whole thing.
The Devil Inside got a whole lot of viewers angry when the movie ended with a plug for a website, and it would seem we’ve learned nothing from that. Fans love to discover secrets and hidden easter eggs, but this is just jerking around.
2. That Commercial for Scientology
On the day Philip Seymour Hoffman is found dead, no less. What rat-brained man-animal gave that the go-ahead?
3. Noah Idea
Overheard at my party: “Is that the Bible Noah?”
Once clarified in the affirmative: “Oh. It just looks like an action movie.”
4. Hey, You Know Who’d Be a Great Pitchman? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!
You’re selling a deodorant, and your big idea is to make light of the two major world leaders we’re most afraid of having to go to war with over their nuclear weapons?
Double fail for not knowing that Ahmadinejad isn’t even president of Iran any more, or that the president of Iran doesn’t have authority over “the button” anyway.
5. Chevy Encourages Thoughts of Beastiality
“A man, his truck, and a very eligible bachelor.” Look, when you say it that way, people aren’t necessarily going to think that the man’s taking a bull to mate with cows. Pretty much everyone at my party just wondered why the hell there was a commercial about a guy wanting to fuck a bull.
6. Ping-Pong Playing Arnold Schwarzenegger Dressed as Bjorn Borg Talking Like Tommy Wiseau
Seriously, go to 0:36 in the commercial above and tell me he isn’t doing a line from The Room.
7. Butterfinger Suggests a Threesome
It’s not even a fair threesome, because the new guy in it only wants to pleasure the woman. Seriously. This is the product Bart Simpson used to pitch.
8.Goldie Blox Realizes Slade Are an Easier Target Than the Beastie Boys
Well, after all, they did let Quiet Riot build an entire career based off of covering their tunes. Surely they won’t mind selling toys for girls.
9. Ellen DeGeneres Goes to a Furry Convention
That is what’s happening in this, right?
10. James Franco Claims to Be Rob Riggle, but Doesn’t Remotely Try to Impersonate Him
Wouldn’t this ad have been just as good, and less confusing, if he just said “I’m James Franco”?
11. Sarah McLachlan’s Weird Bit of Self-Parody
Look, I like that she’s a good sport about sending up her image as the painfully earnest advocate for pet adoption. But perhaps placing her in a commercial advocating for a dangerous mutant dog who looks like Milo from The Mask is just a wee bit counterproductive. Yes, it’s a reductio ad absurdum, but it’s basically implying that some misguided canine breeds are dangerous and ought to be put down.
Oh, wait…it was selling a car? When?
12. Radio Shack Gives Us Bubo, Chucky, ALF, Hulk Hogan and the California Raisins All in One Ad
Okay, this ad was really good. The WTF factor here is that they can afford the money to get all these licensed characters, when they should be putting it towards making products that don’t break after you use them just one time.
13. Stephen Colbert Opens His Head to Reveal a Pistachio
Weirdly disturbing. It gets the product and brand across loud and clear – but associates it with possibly unintentional creepiness.
14. The Michael Bay Movie Had the Best Trailer
Regardless of how you think Transformers: Age of Extinction is going to be, let’s look at what this trailer did that none of the others did:
-It showed completely new footage.
-It revealed Grimlock, which is what we were waiting for – but did it so quickly it got people freeze-framing and rewinding.
-It offered a genuine tease – a glimpse that leaves the viewer with more questions as to what the movie’s actually about.
-It was – unlike many Bay trailers – comprehensibly edited.
Bravo, Paramount marketing.
Most of the commercials can be viewed all in one spot on YouTube. Which ones stood out to you?