Super Bowl Ad Roundup

turd Each year, the Super Bowl football game features the latest and greatest television advertising tactics.  Ordinary TV ads being far more expensively and lavishly made, in dollars-and-details per second terms, than even the biggest Hollywood movies, these ultra-hyped ads are always a serious reflection of the state of the marketing art.  As such, they get worse — dumber, sicker, more smarmy and culturally childish — every year.

This year’s crop was so godawful, TCT hereby splits its uncoveted Golden Stool Award between three spots, each of which is so mind-bendingly horrible, distinction fails.

First, the directly, proudly fascist:

Paul Harvey was an undisguised fascist, a pal of J. Edgar Hoover, a flatterer and indulger of all that is backwards in white-American culture.  His speech used here was racist tripe and one of the most ham-handed and undeserved pieces of audience buttering I’ve ever encountered.  Need we compare the percentage of the population that is now farmers to the percentage of the population who merely allow such ridiculous drivel to keep them wasting money driving pick-up trucks?  That gap is huge, thanks to this long-running overclass “cowboy” trick.

Next, another remarkable piece:

The two proposals of the ad are “buy this car for your kids,” and “use the in-car computer to control what they say.”  Meanwhile, car crashes remain what they have long been — the number one cause of death (including all natural causes) for children aged 1-21.  So, yes, get them a car — and be sure to ask for that redundant in-dash cell phone/entertainment computer, which further increases the threat to their lives.

Finally, this one from our old green-washing friend, Alex Bogusky:

Is it magic, this machine that claims to eliminate, rather than merely rearrange, the waste?  Um, not so much:

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Dan
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Dan

I’m not American so I don’t really have a handle on the cultural context of this (I only have the dimmest understanding of what the Super Bowl is) but that farming/car ad is a shocker. I’m pretty averse to calling things fascist but there’s a hideous stench of it around that poisonous little production. Reading the youtube comments (I know), you can see that it works, though.

By the way, you seem to have mixed up one of the links to youtube.

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

I somehow managed to tune out the Harvey ad, but puked a little in my mouth when I saw the Kia baby ad. There is so much more that is horribly wrong with it, especially the depiction of adults in the car: timid, soft, apparently sexually immature, nice, polite and decent “exemplary” middle class douchebags that can always be counted on to give you a nice smile, and that for reasons unbeknowns to me would feel compelled to come up with a bullshit story, rather than give the kid a minimum respect and the straight up answer: “Babies come out… Read more »

Martin
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Martin

The white mon ad was pure colonialist racism, the halftime show Christian stripper Madonna rip-off tuneless bombast (Reifenstahl- Bigelow), the Harbaugh brothers abusive shitheads, the concussions plentiful for the minority gladiators – so what where we left with, the Puppy Bowl – it was also pure violence, and showed cat torture, but in a much better cause. Okay, what’s a good hipster to do on Suepr Bowl Rally day? Alexis Madrigal did some good homework, but he works for the once Michael Kelly-led Atlantic, a thoroughly corporate rag, and his book on the Green economy was wired with pabulum. So… Read more »

Martin
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Martin

Yeah, I mentioned her Pepsi ambassadorhood to the inmates where I labor, and some of them circle the wagons for her, but others see the rampaging American hypocrisy in her lust for money and fame. I think it’s beyond funny to see the Christian militarists (i’m not sure what’s wrong with fascism here, maybe overuse?) like the Obamas gushing over her warmed over pathetic stripper routines and New Kids- level schlock, but feminism, oh boy, why try to “teach” that on American campuses when fifty years after “Feminie mystique” this is what is gobbled by the gazillions of viewers? “Childish”… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

I haven’t actually read Postman yet, but the topic of childhood is fascinating. Paradoxically, one of the factors that contrinbute to the infantilizaiton of culture is the *strict separation* of adult and kid worlds during childhood. Inevitably, this leads to infantilized adults who lose their adult identities in the process of hauling their gilded darlings from one activity to another, and of course, it also creates self-centered, narcissistic, and helpless children (and eventually adults). Perfect. Not to mention that childhood is one of the best opportunities for “life event marketing”. Who could say no to spending extraordinary amount of time… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

When childhood and adulthood were not so strictly separated, it seems like much healthier situation –> the kids gradually become involved in actual adult tasks and interactions thus developing actual social and work skills, while adults get to enjoy the opportunity to goof around and play and have fun alongside with the kids while teaching them how to do stuff.

No such luck in today suburban america, where the kids are not supposed to be exposed to any semblance of the real world until they are 35…

Mike
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Mike

Pretty much the only actual farmers, not managers, left here in Ohio are Anabaptists. Amish, Mennonites, German Baptists and the like. And they typically limit their use of or don’t use trucks. Great googly-moogly I love advertising!

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

So, on this rainy weekend day I finally actually looked up some of Postman’s essays (not the books yet), and I’d say so far he’s amazing – and certainly not “humorless”, esp. in his writings on education.