Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Commercials 2018

The Super Bowl is often counted as one of the big events in the American calendar. That having been said, I suspect a lot of people look forward to the commercials that air during the game more than the game itself. As someone who prefers the commercials to the game (in fact, I don't even watch the Super Bowl--I watch the commercials later), I have to confess that I was somewhat disappointed in this year's adverts. Unlike the past few years most advertisers eschewed politics and instead made commercials that tried to be funny (usually a good thing, IMHO). And I cannot emphasise "tried" enough. The M&M's commercial with Danny DeVito had potential, but it ultimately fell flat. Amazon's advertisement didn't work for me because, quite frankly, I would just as soon Alexa lose its voice (I truly despise virtual assistants).  I didn't find a lot of the Super Bowl commercials very funny and some didn't seem that special either, almost as if they could have debuted during a summer rerun of Blue Bloods.

While this year's Super Bowl commercials weren't particularly funny, they also steered clear of controversy for the most part. There was nothing as disturbing as Nationwide's "dead kid" commercial from a  few years ago. That is not to say this year's Super Bowl commercials were entirely free of controversy. A Dodge commercial used the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a voiceover to sell their trucks. Outrage on the part of viewers was swift and immediate, as they took to Twitter to take Dodge to task for their sheer tastelessness. Strangely enough, the particular sermon  from which Dodge lifted the Rev. Dr. King's words addressed, among other things, the dangers of overspending on material goods. Somehow Dodge apparently missed that.

While I was disappointed in most of this year's commercials, I do have to say that Tide rolled out some of the best (and most meta) Super Bowl commercials ever.  The Tide ads were a series of commercials  starring David Harbour of Stranger Things. They began as if they were for cars or beer, only to have them turn out to be for Tide instead. The spots were truly funny and truly witty as well.

Of course, several movie trailers also aired during the Super Bowl. In the past it has generally been the big blockbusters that Hollywood chose to advertise during the big game. Certainly some blockbusters were advertised this year: Han Solo, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, among others. Other film trailers just seemed out of place as they were not what one would consider "Hollywood blockbusters".  A Quiet Place, Skyscraper, and Red Sparrow just did not seem like the sort of movies whose trailers would debut during the Super Bowl . Here I want to stress that I am not saying that these are not necessarily good movies. In fact, I would rather see A Quiet Place in the theatre than another Jurassic Park or Mission: Impossible movie. It looks very interesting That having been said, they don't seem typical of the sort of movies usually advertised during the Super Bowl.

Anyhow, I am hoping that next year's batch of Super Bowl commercials will be better over all than this year's batch.  At the very least, at least there was nothing as truly frightening as Mountain Dew's creepy PuppyMonkeyBaby from two years ago....

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