(Apologies to Tom Tom, whose sunny post immediately preceding this one.)

Given that my post lands on the day after the Superbowl, how could I not address the ritual humiliation of advertising associated with the big game?

Let us be clear. As I sit here, about to begin watching the Superbowl, I’m already pissed off and embarrassed about this year’s advertising mess. Because it’s always a mess, and every year it’s further exacerbated and amplified by all the media hype about the ads. It’s going to take all the restraint I can muster just to try to react to a few of the high and low points without going off, as the spectacle unfolds.

I must recuse myself from reacting to any of the Budweiser ads because my bias against them precludes any kind of meaningful assessment of this year’s crop. As for the rest of the ads, if there are three exceptional ads the entire night, I will be surprised. My intention is to only remark on the remarkable, one way or the other.

Tick tick . . .

So, the first quarter ends with not one commercial of any particular note. Sheesh. Not one interesting idea. Not one laugh. Not one raised eyebrow.

Tick tick . . .

Second quarter, presents a totally unremarkable spot promoting the spot they wanted to run, which was deemed unairable by Fox, if you can imagine such a thing. I’ve grown weary of godaddy’s yearly attempt to do a cheap titty exploitation ad while somehow expecting not to be held accountable. So I will not be going to their website to view the spot in question.

The FedEx big pigeon commercial: pretty funny, nicely done. But what was the point?

The Tide commercial about silencing the stain : kind of funny, except it just rips off the Jim Carrey/Steve Carell schtick from Bruce Almighty. Will we ever stop relying on movies and tv shows for our jokes? Are we that bereft of funny writers in advertising?

Maybe the best commercials are being saved for the second half.

Tick tick . . .

Guess not. Game over. In my modest judgement, not one exceptional commercial. A truly pathetic showing. Again. Zero risk. Zero smartness. Practically no genuine laughs. I got my hopes up with the spot featuring a dog drinking from his bowl, but it needed a payoff. No such luck. The Coke big balloon ad was charming in a wincingly sappy way, I suppose, but it raises the issue I will take on next Monday, borrowed interest.

Yawn. As always, most advertisers and their agencies squander their budgets on CGI and other production value stuff, or celebrities or hit songs, in the vein hope of masking the absence of new ideas, or of any ideas, really.

Almost four hours of “entertainment” and only one surprise—the final score.


Tom Tom said...

Yeah, Jim. I gotta say I feel a bit upset myself. It's like I introduced it with the parade from the movie Aladdin, but instead of "Prince Ali" appearing at the end, it was a moist turd. It's not even that the ads were really out there but missed. They were safe and missed. I had a few laughs at the Baby Bob rip-offs that E-Trade did, and Will Ferrell can do no wrong, but other than that it was eerie silence after each commercial (or audible groans). Not a high-point for the industry for sure.

Jim Morris said...

Hello ello ello

I guess it's just you and me, tom tom. I confess I too chuckled at the Etrade talking baby, but I did so through gnashing teeth because, while it was a very well crafted ripoff, it was a blatant one as well, and not just of Baby Bob. I tried to sell a talking baby spot like the above mentioned ones back in 1989,and I'm certain the idea was already well visited then. Since then, there have been altogether too many talking babies in commercials. At a minimum,can we agree to a statute of limitations on the imitation of ideas,hey, we could call it a statute of imitations, so that at least a little time passes between ripoffs?

Chuck In Manhattan said...

Just FYI - that Tide spot was written at least 4 months before the release of Evan Almighty...and it was made for about six dollars.

Jim Morris said...

I admire the simplicity of the Tide spot,and the fact there is an idea there. And it comes off like far more than a six dollar spot.

The "ripped off" scene I was referring to wasn't in Evan Almighty, but rather in its predecessor, Bruce Almighty. Conceptually, the stain talking unintelligibly, overlapping the guy talking wasn't a precise ripoff. That is to say, the schtick was a little different in the movie, because Bruce was causing Steve Carell's character, a newscaster, to speak jibberish, rather than present the news.
But the feel, the impression, was very, very similar. I always assume that, when that happens, the creative team was "inspired" by the original schtick, even if they give it a little different twist. However, it's possible that the idea sprung up independently, and that the creatives were unaware of the original schtick. That's happened to me more than once, and it's very frustrating.
Stupid parallel thought. I hate that.

Chuck In Manhattan said...

whoops...looks like i mixed up my "Almighty(s)"

The spot looks fantastic, I just happen to know that they spent about 10% of what it should have cost to make that thing :)

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