Cognition & Reality

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Super Bowl Commercial Shutout

Filed under: Television — drtone @ 11:53 am

I do not know what this means, but pretty much all of the Super Bowl commercials I liked were hated by the rest of the audience. The one that stood out most for me–and not because I own a Hyundai–was the kaleidoscopic “Relax” ad for the new Elantra; only 17% of the audience liked it, and it was one of the five least liked ads. To me, it was a brilliant combination of high production values and humor, the sort of thing that Super Bowl ads are supposed to be, but rarely are. I also liked the simple animated ads for a business-to-business web application called “Chatter.com”; those ads were all in the bottom 10. Then there was the stylized Stella Artois ad, with Adrien Brody as a sort of male Edith Piaf; that, too, was in the bottom 10, although I gave it an “A” for effort and at least a “B” for effect. The only commercial that was popular with both me and the general audience was the “First Date” ad for Bud Light, which I’ve now seen twice and laughed at both times, although I think most Bud Light ads stink. Finally, the “Little Darth Vader” ad for the VW Passat, which was perhaps the most popular Super Bowl ad, practically made me puke; although I admire VW for not going for over-the-top video pyrotechnics, for my money,  it is an amazingly stupid commercial and the car isn’t interesting enough to be ugly.

To me, most of the ads that did well with the public this year, as in previous years, missed the boat. They were almost uniformly high-tech with an attempt at “wackiness,” as if the producers looked at admired Super Bowl ads from the past and abstracted those elements as the right ingredients, except that they forgot to include actual thought and good writing.  It appears that I’m upside-down and backwards in relation to public tastes. I suppose that’s a good thing, although it does make me feel a bit isolated.

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