Monday, February 2, 2009

super bowl ads? really is the cheapest joke stupid violence?

ok, 1. we are in recession, so the amount of money spent on commercials (and writing them) is probably at a low. writers are probably shaking their boots about their jobs and therefore not at their creative height. 2. ads are mostly stupid (at the very least) and more often sexist/racist and obviously manipulative and materialistic.

given these 2 points, the ads for this year's super bowl sucked. the people i watched it with noticed almost all of them had to do w/ gratuitous violence (ok ok, one might say so does football, but can we get a break please). of course there were also some sexist (the potato head ad) and slightly racist ones (white horse=attractive female). in my opinion there was only one good ad (alec baldwin, i love you, especially when you dis on tv and advertise hulu, my own tv vice machine)

ok, if i were an ad woman this is what i would have done: capitalized on the "hope" message and/or sacrifice... and add some puppies. pepsi and coke try at this, but those ads were tired too. pepsi even made their new logo more like the obama o...

so what was your most or least favorite super bowl ad?

SF gate article about the ads that agrees w/ me mostly ;)

hulu ad
potato head ad
pepsi adapting the "o"


Colin said...

definitely cash for gold!

Anonymous said...

My favorite one was, well i actually can't remember what it was advertising, but at some point for some random reason a gush of wind blows off all the clothes a woman was wearing, except, of course, her lacy underwear.

is it so blatanly sexist that it's a parody of itself? it remains lame either way.

I also thought the bob dylan one was a total sellout, who owns the rights to his songs?


Aaron Frank said...

Assuming any racist connotations in the white horse ad is a real stretch.

Right with you on the violence thing, though, and I find the new Pepsi campaign to be way too derivative. I agree with the timely nature of the hope and optimism message, but it would be great if the whole thing wasn't obviously capitalizing on Obama's influence. A bit craven, if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

The potato head ad, while not particularly clever, I really don't find offensive or sexist. Calling the white horse ad racist is so far off the mark that it almost completely undermines your credibility.

Anonymous said...

wow. ok. so, white horse as attractive female is not racist? would you have known that was supposed to be a female if it wasn't white? imagine that commercial with a black horse. i don't know where this falls in terms of sexism and racism, but do you seriously think there's nothing there? i don't.

so the irate wife, who doesn't deserve to speak isn't sexist? hmmmm.

in terms of undermining credibility... here at wtf, we do not claim to be experts in most of what we talk about, just speak from the heart (like most blogs). we welcome your comments and are glad to have you disagree w/ us. but b/c my opinion is different from yours doesn't mean mine is not valid.

Anonymous said...

Crass and awful as this may sound...seeing a guy get hit in the nuts as slapstick humor never quite ceases to be funny. Kudos to Doritos for their blatant attempts to outdo Bud Lite for the basest, most anti-intellectual advertising.

Aaron Frank said...

hotpants, I know your comment wasn't a response to mine, but I'll answer anyway. When I initially saw the horse ad, I assumed the white horse to be female. I went back and watched the ad again to reconstruct why I assumed this, and looking back, would I have assumed the white horse was female if it was black instead? Emphatically, yes.

1. The white horse is named Daisy. Just to make sure we get that she's female, her name is thrown out 3 times in the first 5 seconds, and again at the very end. Daisy is simply not a name traditionally associated with males.

2. The brown horse is jokingly referred to as "Romeo," of all names. Unmistakable, no? In case that doesn't drive home his gender, he is also referred to as her "loverboy."

If you look back, I'm sure you'll see that the ad is trying very hard to make sure that we know that these horses are in some sort of anthropomorphic hetero romance. I don't get, with all the more obvious clues, why you would make the assumption that color (and by extension, race) is the determining factor for the horse's gender.

If you wanted to criticize the ad as being sexist, well, I think that's maybe a bit of a stretch, but you would certainly have ground to stand on. The racist thing really doesn't play, IMO, though I'm listening if you want to make a deeper case.

The potato head thing... whether it's offensive is a matter of personal taste, but yeah, it plays on some pretty base stereotypes, and I'm not going to argue with that.

Last, re: credibility... you obviously believe strongly in what you're saying. That's worth a lot, and it's a big part of why I've enjoyed reading your blog. But racism is a tough thing to throw around casually, and when the connection really seems to be missing, as it seems to be here, I understand why brave "Anonymous" feels like it may undermine the other valid points you're making.

Anonymous said...

touche. thank you for your frank comments aaron frank.

admittedly, i definitely did not watch that ad as carefully as you did. i don't really want to make much more of a deeper case for the white vs. black horse, b/c as you and anonymous both detected, i did so with no deeper of a case than i've already explained. except to say that i still believe it plays on our perceived perceptions of race/gender and that i believe there was an ad exec meeting at some point that chose daisy's color for a reason. i don't know what it was, but i have some suspicions. however, it is possible that this is not to much different than choosing a blond for an ad over another type of person, which generally we do not think of as a bad thing... generally... anyway, that being said, i will be careful using the words "slightly racist" in the future.

i still think that using the word "credibility" is uncalled for though. but obviously both you and anonymous felt strongly opposed to that part of my blog entry and i appreciate hearing (er, reading) that and have certainly thought about this issue more deeply b/c of it.

Aaron Frank said...

Honestly, I didn't actually pay much attention to the ad at first, though I remembered it when I read your post. I only looked deeper into it because you mentioned it. And obviously, having suspicions is very different than being definitive in declaring the ad slightly racist, so I appreciate the clarification. We can certainly disagree on your reasons for being suspicious, but I would never say that the feeling isn't valid.

About credibility, just to let you know, I wouldn't have used that word (I only quoted it in an attempt to try and expound on what "Anonymous" was getting at). The words I would use would be "I believe this undercuts your argument," which I don't think is the same thing. It's about your argument, not you. So, I hope you don't take it personally.

Anonymous said...