Super Bowl Sunday is annually the biggest day of the year for those of us in the advertising business. It’s sort of like our Christmas, except nobody gets presents and we don’t have to spend time sitting around a table pretending we like each other. Rather, Super Bowl Sunday is the day that the advertisers get to bring out their big guns and show off their best and brightest advertisements for the largest audience they’re going to get for the rest of the year. So how did things go this year? The answer is meh. The 2012 Super Bowl ads were not huge hits by anyone’s standards, but the important thing is that, like the New England Patriots, they did try. They just did not try as hard as the New York Giants did. So here’s some of the highlights.
Honda: Matthew’s Day Off
So there’s a few points to be made about this advertisement. First point to be made: No. This should not have happened. Second point: Anything that pretends to be Ferris Bueller but does not involve either Cameron or Sloane is not really Ferris Bueller. Third point: If you can’t get Ben Stein to say “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller,” then please don’t waste our time. Fourth point: Considering the entire point of this commercial is pointing out that, while Ferris Bueller was a young and vibrant high school kid playing hookie for the day to drive a Ferrari 250 around Chicago, whereas now, 30 years later, Matthew Broderick is an aging actor skipping a day of movie filming so he can drive his Honda CRV SUV around Hollywood, isn’t that a highly depressing message to be sending, and how exactly does that sell cars? Does it? Because I don’t think it does.
I’m not sure if I can keep going now, as depressed as I am, but I will give it my best effort.
MetLife has, in the past, made use of the license to the Peanuts characters in their advertisements to great effect. And now, in 2012, what they would like you to know is that they have the license to the images of EVERY CARTOON CHARACTER EVER MADE, and that I guess is the point of this ad. MetLife owns every cartoon now. Also, you can buy insurance from them. Good to know, I suppose.
Volkswagen: The Dog Strikes Back
You may recall that at last year’s Super Bowl, Volkswagen was considered by many to have had the best advertisement with their Darth Vader kid ad. Volkswagen is all too aware of this fact, as is demonstrated in this year’s ad. It seems like the advertising agency that makes Volkswagen’s commercials decided, at some point, that their ad featuring a dog getting himself into shape so that he can chase after a Volkswagen Beetle, did not quite measure up to last year’s effort. So, panicked, they hurriedly tacked on a little Star Wars bit to the end of it, as if to tell you, the viewer, “Hey, remember that Star Wars ad that we did last year? Remember how much you liked it? Yeah, that was great! Sorry about this year.” Which is weird, because the dog commercial they made is not that bad. It isn’t. You don’t have to make all of your ads about Star Wars now, Volkswagen. We still like you. Honest.
20th Century Fox: “Star Wars” The Epic Saga Begins
Speaking of Star Wars, how many of you were thinking to yourself, “Hey, I really wish someone would rerelease “Phantom Menace” in 3D”? Anybody? Nobody? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Bud Light: Rescue Dog
No Super Bowl would ever be complete without 183 Budweiser commercials. This one is for Bud Light, and boy, does it ever strain for laughs. See, the dog’s name is “Weego,” and he brings a Bud Light whenever anyone calls him. So, whenever anyone says “Here we go,” this dog runs and gets a beer for them. But is that really something you hear a lot of people say in any given day? Here we go? How many times have you said “Here we go” out loud today? None? Yeah. But this also does advertise for rescue dogs, which is admirable, so forget everything I just said. Adopting dogs is important.
Chevrolet: Camaro Happy Grad
One of the few laugh-out-loud moments of the night. One, because that kid thought he was getting a car for his graduation. Stupid kid. Also, his parents bought him a fridge for his graduation. Really, parents of that dumb kid, a refrigerator? You can understand why he reacted that way, right? It is readily apparent that the apple has not fallen that far from the very stupid tree.
Enough. Please. We get it. The baby can talk. Please stop.
Doritos: Sling Baby
If there’s any lesson to take away from this Dorito’s ad, it’s probably that computer animation is very difficult to do. Also, sometimes kids taunt old people and babies with their chips. Actually, maybe there’s nothing that can be learned from this commercial. Which is odd, for a Dorito’s commercial, which are usually highly informative and thought-provoking.
Assuming you’re interested, you can see more of this year’s advertisements by going here or here, because there was just too much ground to cover for one blog to handle. If you had any favorites or less-than-favorites, share them in the comments below and we’ll engage in a conversation over the subject. Thanks for reading, and we’ll do this again next year for the 2013 Super Bowl ads, where hopefully there will be considerably less Matthew Broderick involved.
Erik Hagen is a writer for KK BOLD. Despite all of their efforts, he still refuses to drink Bud Light.