Here’s the deal. The Super Bowl just ended and I’m hoping that everybody saw my commercial for this very blog. It was 3.5 million dollars for a thirty second spot this year. I don’t quite have that kind of money, but I did empty my bank account and, for just under twelve thousand dollars, I purchased a tenth of a second Super Bowl commercial. It was right after half time, so if you have the technology and can go frame by frame, please check it out.
As to the companies who could afford the millions, I’m sure everyone is eager to discuss the best ads this year. Not me. I want to talk about the worst.
They can’t all be winners. They can’t all feature a yogurt-induced John Stamos head-butt. So, without further ado….
The Top Ten Worst Super Bowl Ads of 2012
11. Ferris Bueller 2 – Sure, there were probably worse ads, but this one suffered from potential. Where was the twist? The original take on the classic movie? It was just Matthew Broderick repeating the lines he spoke twenty-six years ago. If I wanted to see actors repeat decades old performances, I’d rent Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull…or Rocky Balboa…or Live Free or Die Hard…or…
10. You Missed a Spot – At the end of the first Go Daddy ad, the ladies say, “We missed a spot.” How right they were. This spot missed (get it? Cuz a “spot” is a commercial? These things practically write themselves). For thirty-two years in a row, Go Daddy has used this gimmick. They almost show nudity and promise more of it on the internet. Guess what – people who want nudity on the internet aren’t going to your site. There are, in fact, a few other websites dedicated to the subject. And your ads are not shocking or titillating…nor do they have anything to do with your product. Enough is enough.
9. King John – Elton John is a king who denies Pepsi to his subjects until some woman sings really well and then Elton is dumped into a pit with Flavor Flav. You spent millions on this, guys. You can’t just throw a bunch of familiar faces into a bizarre scenario that doesn’t make any sense…well, I guess you can.
8. That’s NOT Ironic – After Tom Brady broke Joe Montana’s record for the most consecutive completed passes in a Super Bowl, Al Michaels noted how it was ironic as Brady grew up in San Francisco. (Obviously I understand this wasn’t a commercial, but this is my list and it really bugged me). Mr. Michaels, this is definitely not ironic. It’s not even a coincidence. It’s a stretch to call it an interesting side note. Don’t call it ironic, call it time filler. Call it a random, barely-connected fact. Call it pointless trivia. Anything but ironic. (For a more detailed analysis of irony, click here).
7. Flower Power – We all know that sex sells, but I fondly recall a time when sex sold with a little more subtlety. This flower delivery commercial featured a sexy gal cooing, “Give and you shall receive.” That is, buy a female flowers and she will have sex with you. They could have saved a couple million and just bought a ten second spot with the graphic, “Flowers =” and then two dogs humping.
6. Lead Poisoning – There were a number of commercials for a new product – Bud Light Platinum. The first spoke about turning lead into gold and gold into platinum…which just made me question the intelligence of starting this concoction with a highly poisonous substance. Plus, the final product was an unholy bright blue color. None of this made any sense. Blue mixture of metals, mmmmmmm.
5. Road Kill – A guy’s driving down the road and his boss, in the passenger seat, suddenly dies. So the driver quickly accelerates and brakes a few times…reviving the man. The tag line was something about the car getting your pulse going. Which makes me wonder, what the stopping and starting was all about? Does driving get your pulse going, or does braking repeatedly get your pulse going? And then what do you do with the zombie boss next to you?
4. Hulu Minus – I watched two ads for Hulu Plus, and I still don’t have any idea what it is.
3. Go Daddy…Please, Go – The second Go Daddy ad featured a guy dreaming about a heaven full of scantily clad women. In addition to the points I made above, let me just say that she may fabulous behind the wheel, but Danica Patrick is not an actress.
2. This is a Hold Up – Okay, this one isn’t a commercial either – so what, sue me. Did anyone else notice that all of Madonna’s dance moves involved burly men holding her up (and when she was required to stand on her own she stumbled)? “Here, hold my leg and I’ll bend forward and stick my arm out…look, I’m dancing.” (Side note – best part of the halftime show was the crazy-afro-tight-rope-guy, I have no idea why he was on the stage, but I was lovin’ every second of it).
1. The Rest of Them – That’s right, I said it. The rest of them. Were there really any good commercials? Any that warranted millions of dollars and weeks of hoopla? (Granted, all of the ads for upcoming movies were fantastic…hey, I work for these people, I’m not going to bite the hand that occasionally feeds me). I’m sorry, the ads just weren’t that good. It’s almost as if we’ll have to start watching the Super Bowl for the football…
But how about that John Stamos getting head-butted? Stamos teased me with a carton of yogurt back in 1993 and I’ve been waiting for someone to do that ever since.
You know what, I’m going to start saving up right now. And next year I’m buying a two-tenths of a second ad starring John Stamos and crazy-afro-tight-rope-guy. And…what the hell…throw Flavor Flav in there…couldn’t hurt.