Every year, I tend to watch the Super Bowl with a group of people from outside the ad business.
And every year, I'm embarrassed to be in it.
This is the one day of the year when people actually stop talking to watch the commercials. They lean forward. They're excited.
And how do we, the ad industry, reward them for their excitement every year? With kicks in the crotch, punches to the face, and people smacked in the forehead with said product. Sight gags. Misogyny. An utter dearth of intelligence and anything resembling wit.
There were two, count them, two, great ads in the Super Bowl: the VW ad above, and Chrysler's brilliant ode to Detroit below.
Most of the rest were, as a CD of mine used to say, an extremely long walk for an extremely short reward.
Here's my blow-by-blow of advertising's walk o' shame http://bit.ly/fZhZtg
The only problem with the Detroit ad is that it is all fiction. If good advertising is just fancy lying then recent political campaigns should win awards, for asserting that nothing is something.
I agree with Diogenes. The Detroit ad was like a slick commercial in which Charlie Sheen is presented as a Master of Self Control. Impressive, mostly for its brazen ridiculousness.
How is it fiction? The cars (some) are built in Detroit. The company is still in Detroit. It's actually the best kind of advertising in that it takes a truth and tells it well.
The ad talks mostly about the virtues of Detroit. "What does a city that's been to hell and back know about . . . . . "
The city has been to hell. It is still there. The city has brought hell onto itself. It is a third world city in America, leading the way for Cleveland and Philly and Chicago to follow. All these cities are hollow. They once had soul and virtue and strength. Now, they are welfare queens, trolling for $.
The ad is a pure 100% lie. But it sounds good to people who use their heads for tatoos and nasal jewelry, but not for thinking. A better ad - would ask a question - how do we bring back the city Detroit was when it had GM, Ford, Chrysler and Motown. And they were all profitable. That would be a good honest ad. Maybe if they started critical thinking, instead of bragging about their hellhole, they could dig out. In the meantime, the real residents are packing their U-Hauls and heading south.
Any city that uses me as to carry their message is totally F*&#@D up.
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