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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More Moronic Misogyny From Unilever

Our old reliable favorite, Axe perfumes for adolescent males, is at it again, taking heavily-researched stupidity-promotion and self-delusion to still new levels.  According to the latest Advertising Age:

Axe ads have traditionally been about products that instantly turn women into lust-crazed vixens bent on coupling with Axe-wearing gents as quickly as possible. But in the first ad for the new fragrance Twist, a robot makes over the guy repeatedly during the course of a date in which the woman appears acutely interested only at the end. The ad is based on a concept co-created by consumers and ad agency Ponce (in late 2008, the agency was renamed Ponce Buenos Aires after Fernando Vega Olmos left to work on Unilever at JWT).

Women get bored easily,” notes a version of the ad for Axe sibling Lynx in the U.K., which touts a “fragrance that changes.”

The reality, said David Cousino, global director of consumer and marketing insights at Unilever, is that all fragrances change, starting with a fresh, strong, usually citrusy top note that lasts for as long as an hour and aims to help cover the smell of alcohol-based propellants as they evaporate, progressing to a generally richer, milder mid-note and a longer-lasting and often subtler-still “dry-down” note. This is all old hat to fragrance developers and marketers, he said, but it was new and fascinating to the consumers in the development group.

“The guys linked that to the mating game and how guys are feeling that they need to constantly change and evolve to keep the girls interested,” Mr. Cousino said.

“Women get bored easily”?  Really?  In the 21st century, big businesses are still getting away with this?

And people wonder about the cultural impact of corporate marketing?