The game is over. As usual, I skipped the game and watched the ads. I’ll assume some team won the game and some team lost the game. Congratulations. Sorry to hear that. The ads are entertaining, but I watch them to catch the themes. The advertisers don’t coordinate their messages, but common threads appear that tell me something about trends and emotions, which affect how people buy, spend, and deal with each other. This year they did it again, without trying. Despite the event being a spectator sport, most of the ads celebrated getting active, physical or otherwise.
After writing up my notes I realize the underlying theme was rarely stated. Make fun of our political situation, carefully. Encourage commonality, carefully. Encourage activism, carefully. This year’s situation is too fresh and fragile. Next year’s ads will tell a different story; another reason for me to record my notes.
- Michelob – Exercise, get in shape, and then have a beer. Ah, check your calorie balance.
- Pistachios – Exercise, and eat nuts for their protein. Remember to clean up after yourself in the gym. Don’t eat and run.
- Honda CR-V – Move forward despite failure. Believe you can make it. Dreams are within reach and worth chasing.
- Ford – Exercise any way you can, even if you don’t succeed, because eventually you’ll break through.
- Audi – Forget what everyone else says. Ignore conventional wisdom and old stereotypes. Work hard and succeed.
- Kia – Nature needs your help, and you must help if you are going to be a hero. Don’t be surprised if it hurts.
- Budweiser – Pursue your dream, and if you need a role model, look to immigrants and refugees.
- Mercedes, AMG – Even bikers band together when they find a common enemy, and then find he’s one of their heroes.
- Budweiser – Don’t drink alone, or you’ll be visited by the ghost of a dog.
- Febreze – Want to see something we all have in common? No you don’t, because it is the bathroom break.
And then there were the indulgences – The Greatest, None Better, You Deserve This
- Tiffany – Somehow Tiffany is a rebel. Yeah.
- T-Mobile – You deserve everything, all the time, no limits.
- WeatherTech – Even your car’s floor mats should be the best.
- Nintendo Switch – You should be able to play your game anywhere on anything.
- Battle of Evony – You should be a king, empress, general in a great battle. Ignore diplomacy.
- King’s Hawaiian Bread – Bread so great you should hide it from the rest of your family, who then steal it from you.
- Wendy’s – Don’t settle for frozen beef, as if fast food is an exercise in luxury.
- TurboTax – Just because you can, you can, even if it is stupid and someone else has to pick up the pieces.
And Also The Apocalypse
- Ghost in the Shell – A movie about a stolen life that must be saved, thanks to a naked robot that isn’t a naked woman, really.
- Transformers – A movie that shows the world is dying, and that we must seek redemption, with lots of explosions.
When In Doubt – Nature
- Fiji Water – A gift from nature. Untouched by man because man is messy.
- LIFEWTR – Art makes life, and life requires water.
- BUSCHHHH – A mountain stream, an eagle, USA, and a noisy beer.
- Skittles – Everyone gets some, skittles, that is.
- Avocados from Mexico – Conspiracies, leaks, and plenty of missed opportunities about fruits coming over the border.
- Yellow Tail wine – Pet your ‘roo, but only if it says yes.
Ads That Made Me Shrug
- KFC – Not the real Colonel. Kind of get it.
- Tide – Socks and sleeves were king of cute.
- Wix – A great series of ads that were impressive and expensive, but that didn’t engage me.
- Buick – At least it reminded me that Buick hasn’t gone out of business.
- Sprint – Anti-Verizon, which is supposed to be enough.
- Lexus – Great dance routine, inspired by a car?
- GoDaddy – Making up for years of outlandishly sexist ads?
- Mr. Clean – Sex sells, anything.