Beiber, Eminem, and a Pug: Review of The Super Bowl XLV Commercials

While over 110 000 000 people (The Neilson Co) watched the Super Bowl XLV, more than half, it can be safely assumed, could not care less about the Packers and/or the Steelers. It is the watching of the game itself, and everything that accompanies the event, from social viewing parties to the half-time show, that attracts the colossal audience. For some, even the commercials.

Although a frail old Betty White being splattered into a blob of mud was absent, Sunday’s commercials were still quite the treat. With estimates ranging from $2.6 to $2.8 million dollars per 30 seconds of air-time, each and every ad mercilessly bombarded the nation with a three functioned hit list stored deep in its arsenal—inform, persuade, and remind.

2011’s commercials took flight with all guns blazing, but still, only the best survive to be victorious after all is said, done, and shot.

To Kim Kardashian—you cannot act to save your life; nor that commercial. The only salvation for that sizzling Skechers ad was that it looked hot. Why it looked hot, I know not. P

erhaps it is because so many epitomize “hot” with Kim. To me, however, she has become a “not” just because “hot” is considered synonymous with her body. However there are countless “hotties” out there who have no resemblance whatsoever to Kim Kardashian; hence, the notion of “hot” should remain amorphous.
Eminem’s Chrysler 200 ad was an unusually delectable treat because we saw him. His music alone was satisfactory; but then, poof! It’s him! Nothing fancy, nothing major, only a sentence or two. His words packed the punch for the ad and the city which are both receiving a lot of hype. It was point blank and dry; affective-ly effective.
Sprinkled with pirates, cowboys, Star Wars, Benjamin Franklin, and old luxury, thematically, a range of ads seemed to favor past icons. The pattern even spanned across very different industries, from alcohol beverages to the auto makers—drunk driving doesn’t count.
Little Darth Vader who used “The Force” for the Volkswagen Passat really seems to have tugged some heartstrings. The clip is undoubtedly in the top 5 on most rankings. Cute. Doritos’ starved pug reigns supreme. I personally loved the ad, although we saw it coming. Regardless, the viewer was hooked by the lead’s acting. His self blindingly sadistic humor was projected perfectly through his over exaggerated facial expressions. Even the pug knew what he had to do. Best Buy’s Ozzy comment was my personal favorite—“What’s a Beiber?”

“Presenting the all new Chevy Cruze, with real-time Facebook status updates!” Really Chevy? That’s the best you can come up with for the Super Bowl? Did Zuckerberg bribe you with a billion dollars for a million dollar ad? Because the only thing I remembered from that soppy commercial, which tortured viewers by airing itself twice, was newsfeed.

Similarly atrocious was Suzuki’s deformed freak snowmen that chase a car hurling baseball sized snowballs. If marketing at its best can only come up with this to present as the most important ad of the year, even Snooki now has hope in advertising. It’s no wonder the winning Doritos “Pug Attack” ad was filmed for $500 by a J.R Burningham, a freelance editor and part-time web designer and was ranked #1 by USA Today.

Major brands like Coke also fizzed out while Snickers this year was just stale. Coke had some goody-goody theme going on with cheaply animated furry Wookies and thirsty isolated border patrol personnel. Pepsi swooped in for the kill overshadowing its nemesis with saucy ads based on first dates—horny guy, over thinking girl; and a funny couple’s issues—a vicious

female dominated relationship. Humor triumphs over feel good.

2011’s other surprises included “baby smack” from’s “test baby” (thought it was a real baby and couldn’t stop laughing); Joan Rivers the new GoDaddy Girl (that was so bad I could see Microsoft Paint at work); and the Doritos’ finger-sucking-and-pants-ripping guy (I cringed). E-Trade’s baby is still a classic, and Motorola’s daringly open jab at Apple with its XOOM Tablet did raise an interested eyebrow.

Ah, “What’s a Beiber?” and “Pug Attack!” still crack me up. In case you missed any, or have your own favorites, you can watch most of them at Enjoy! Adieu.

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