I won’t even bother talking about the game itself because not only would the majority of my readers not care, but because I didn’t get my bets in on time so even I barely cared. Still, I was all prepared to wake up this morning and write a “best and worst Super Bowl commercials” post. Unfortunately, the word “best” has been commonly used in the English language for some time now (I looked it up) to denote things that are better than good. And I’m not prepared to either change the definition of the word “best” or use it in reference to any of the ads I saw yesterday. So in the alternative, my new list will be called:
O.K. and Worst Super Bowl Commercials (Get excited!)
CareerBuilder: Office Jungle – I see what they were going for, but I just don’t think they got it right.
Would have been better if: they included outtakes, like a monkey throwing a banana right in an actors’ crotch. Everyone loves monkeys!
GM: Robot – At least everyone in the room was interested and cared when the robot seemingly plunged to its death.
Would have been better if: It was a real person losing its job to a machine. And after he jumped off the bridge, he didn’t wake up. Because it wasn’t a dream, it was a nightmare. A real nightmare.
SalesGenie.com – I can’t believe this company had the balls to put that commercial out there. You have to applaud them. It’s like the school nerd asking the prom queen to dance. She still says no and laughs, and he still cries, but you can’t look away because you’re laughing too.
Would have been better if: at the end, they cut to a scene of a conference room where it turns out the CEO was previewing the commercial. As the pitchmen nervously look on, the CEO says, “Well I think it sounds great!” then stands up, grabs his seeing eye dog, and leaves the room, not before knocking over a plant.
Coca-Cola: Grand Theft Auto – For no other reason than the part where the guy puts his jacket on a homeless guy and pushes him into a convertible full of scantily clad girls, prompting a confused look on my friend Matt’s face as he says, “That’s not very nice.”
Would have been better if: there was a follow-up segment where all the girls from the car are sitting in the police station beaten and covered in blankets, and the officer who takes their statements offers them a Coke.
Every other commercial tied for last place. Doritos, Sprint, FedEx, all of them. Especially Bud Light. In fact, I’m never drinking Bud Light again.* I understand that their core demographic is [dumb] 21-35 year old guys, but an auctioneer wedding? Different ways to ask for a Bud Light, depending on what nationality you want to make fun of? It was just brutal. The one ad that seemed it might have promise was the one where the couple picked up the guy with the ax on the side of the road. But even there they didn’t have to guts to make it funny, like have the ax murderer driving the car at the end with a big duffel bag in the back seat, and then he gets pulled over for, what else, DRUNK DRIVING! Get the irony?
The biggest letdown, though, was a commercial that didn’t air. All week I had been telling everyone about this guy who was going to propose to his girlfriend on a commercial during the Superbowl. He had lined up an advertiser to front the $2.5 million and had recorded a 30 spot in which he professed his love and asked her to marry him. Everyone I told seemed legitimately excited about it. Then, come the fourth quarter, everyone started saying, “Dan, why do you lie so much? Why would you make that up?” And there you go – suddenly I’m the bad guy because I believed something I read in Sports Illustrated.
This morning I set out to prove to my friends that while I may lie to them about many other things, this wasn’t one of them. So I did some research, which involved two or three minutes of Googling things and then sitting here at my desk, looking out the window and coming up with various scenarios, both plausible and implausible. Here is what I discovered:
Apparently, this guy’s advertiser backed out on him at the last minute. However, there was already a video made and ready to air, and, at the very least, it was supposed to be uploaded to ifilm.com, along with the rest of the Superbowl ads. What the mystery boyfriend is now saying is that instead of posting it on the internet and ruining the surprise, he is buying ad space himself from his local syndicate of the CW so the commercial will air during his girlfriend’s favorite show, “Veronica Mars.” This way, instead of 100 million people watching him propose to his wife, a few thousand viewers will watch instead.
Now, a few things:
Already there is talk that this was one big hoax perpetrated by CBS to get women to watch the Superbowl. And, indeed, there were more than a few comments at his website from women saying, “The only reason I watched was to see your commercial.” This, however, seems absurdly underhanded for a station like CBS. Likewise, it seems absurdly pointless, considering that I was the only person in the room who had heard about it (so it couldn’t have been prevalent enough to have a discernible impact on the ratings). Also, I may not have this right, so someone correct me if I’m wrong, but when they play the Superbowl again next year, it will still be football. So my guess is, advertisers, who can’t even seem to buck the trend of talking primates, won’t buck the popular trend of targeting [dumb] males ages 18-35 with their ads just to include a few women who were tricked into watching sports.
On the other hand (God, is this what “real” writing is like? It takes so long.), you mean to tell me that this guy thinks it will be equally as cool to propose to his girlfriend during “Veronica Mars” as it would be to propose to her during the Superbowl? “Veronica Mars”? That’s not even “The OC,” which would still be lame. Why not just propose to her during “NCIS” or a repeat of “Friends” on TBS? Because when it’s all said and done, if somehow this is all still a big surprise to her, and maybe she is impressed by him asking for her hand in marriage during “Veronica Mars,” he’s still going to have to tell her the story of how he had originally planned on doing it during the Superbowl. Which is like telling her he tried really hard to rent a chateau in the south of France for the honeymoon, but it didn’t work out so instead they’re going to Niagara Falls. I just don’t see all the pieces fitting together on this thing.
If I learn anything more about it, I’ll post the updates. And if anyone knows any more than I do, comment or send me an email. Because I don’t mind my friends thinking I’m a liar, I just don’t want them thinking I’m a liar about such gay things as this.
* This proposition of course discounts any scenarios wherein Bud Light is the only option for an alcoholic beverage or where it is being given away for free. Or where it is happy hour and my choices are Budweiser or Bud Light. Or if I am at a party and someone gets two Bud Lights from the refrigerator and the person they got the second one for has gone missing by the time they get back, and I am too lazy to get up from the couch, so I take the second Bud Light.