Disclosure: This year’s review is possibly the snarkiest. That’s just my honest reaction.
Well, that was a pile of nothing much. Since 2015 (and maybe earlier), I’ve carved out some time to watch and comment on many of the Super Bowl ads. I don’t watch the game. The story of why I don’t watch sports (except for curling) goes back to 1982, which I won’t go into here; but why watch someone else sweat when I can do that myself? I watch the ads for investment ideas, and what an unrepresentative collection of corporations and organizations think will appeal to an enormous crowd. Some years and ads are memorable. This year? Let’s take a look at what I saw.
Thanks to AdBlitz’s YouTube channel for lining up over seventy ads. That wasn’t all of them, but I’m watching for general trends, not for the best or worst.
Memorable Or Not
I watched the ads on Monday morning; my version of Monday morning quarterbacking? I’m writing this after lunch. Only one ad stands out, and that was because an article said it was the best. That was the Amazon ad about the family pet being left alone, so they got it a pet. That doesn’t seem epic. It was cute, eventually; but, I was curious about what happened afterwards. Did the two get along? Did the puppy distract the adult dog or did the adult dog teach the puppy how to destroy the house? This was about Amazon.com? I saw it as a family that didn’t have room for the pet they put into their lives, and hired a stand-in. A shruggable moment.
Take away the celebrities (nice folks, I am sure – mostly) and the majority of the content implodes. The celebrities were celebrating themselves to the point that the companies were lost, to me. Even the Bic lighter ad that included Martha Stewart had a lost reference until I remembered the candle being lit. My first recollection was that it might have been a marijuana ad.
Either the word ‘power’ was used or someone used a thesaurus first. You have the power – to use our product. Our product will give you power. See how powerful this is? There was a football game involved so that fits?
These cars are POWERFUL, oh yeah, and they’re zero emissions (sort of). But look at the celebrities.
Taxes, credit scores, cash back offers… At least there were some frugality-minded products like ThriftBooks, and they are there to make sure you can have it all. Yay and cringe at the same time. As for generating income, were there any Jobs.com, Monster.com, LinkedIn.com ads?
There were more ads for golfing than any other sport – and that may include football. Has golfing become the sport for everyone, or is it somehow the safest one to show? Weird.
Oddly enough, several ads included collaborations or fake competitions, or was if competitions and fake collaborations, involving companies that could each afford their own ads. Not sure why, and left the ad needing no reason to know more about any of them
Perennials Or Not
I missed any iconic Budweiser ad, but thought the E*Trade ad was welcome (and didn’t come to mind until now.) If any others pop up, I’ll write them in. Old Spice, good but I’ve already forgotten about it except for a flash memory of a hairy armpit.
Snacks And Drinks
There were snacks and drinks, but far less than usual, and definitely not memorable.
Movie and ‘TV’ ads are usually spoilers for me, but they make less sense now because most of them are behind firewalls. I only use one streaming service, and that’s because it comes with free shipping; or is it the free shipping I find valuable and the streaming service is a bonus? One conflict of interest: I sell my books on Amazon. Another bit of news: I just bought a $15 VCR/DVD player at the thrift store so many of my movies have a background soundtrack of whirring tape drives or spinning disks. Be kind. Rewind.
Cruise ships, et al. Get away. You deserve this, if you can afford this.
Artificial intelligence was mentioned, but considering what has happened recently with ChatGPT (sp?) I was surprised there wasn’t more mention than the SquareSpace.com web builder ad. Next year? How many will be created that way? At least Crowdstrike mentioned something relevant in an entertaining way, preventing Trojan Horses.
Phones are about instant gratification and cameras. Quality of providing a reliable means of communication? That would be retro. Well, I’m old.
Shoot ’em up is still the goal, unless swords or magic are the tools of choice. Whatever happened to SimCity? Minecraft? Construction rather than destruction?
Thank you, Grainger, for showing an ad about the real world of work. But, was this a Super Bowl ad, or ad inserted amongst the other ads, simply because it was YouTube?
Do the math. Most ads are about a minute. It takes time to take notes. There were 79 ads. Watching and writing took me more than two hours. Millions of dollars were spent on those ads. At times like this it is obvious that the ad business is still busy, and probably lucrative.
And yet, they left very little impression on me. They weren’t aimed at me. I’m frugal. I’m a minimalist. I see an over-abundance of wealth trying to accumulate more wealth and hiring wealthy people to sell the idea who are going to give up what wealth they ave, whether they truly have it or not. That is not my world, but I live in – or at least beside – it.
And it wasn’t even very entertaining this year. None choked me up. None brought a hint of a tear. None made me laugh or applaud or both, as some have some years.
As I wrote above; “I watch the ads for investment ideas…” Not this year, though I have a long list of companies to possibly avoid because I am convinced that 2024 is going to be radically different.
At least Crown Royal gets points for celebrating Canada. Hmm. Will Canada rule the world in 2024? Now there’s an idea worth advertising.
The ads as presented by AdBlitz, as they scrolled by on my screen. Here are my notes. I have several questions.
- Booking.com – travel, booking from bed, Because go from lounging to vacationing?
- Hyundai – Kevin Bacon, EV Dad jokes, While playing with lights rather than what the car can do. Mail is retro.
- Snapchat – hallucinations, so I moved on, Maybe mushrooms will be legal next year?
- T-Mobile – celebs singing about fiber, underutilized, not convinced, As if the celebrities can’t afford high-speed internet unless it costs $50/month?
- Google/Pixel – photos more than phone, erase imperfections, because unreal images are more important than real conversations?
- Rakuten – cash back – fast fashion, unnecessary, age issues
- Takis – food, hallucinations, again?
- T-Mobile – Bradley Cooper – 5G, family, Is that Mom drunk?
- Netflix – spoilers
- Nissan – EV – north pole, electrify you, Irony? Talking about driving to the North Pole, which can require a boat because it is melting?
- Skechers – celeb shoes, unrealistic football
- Paramount – streaming
- Bud Light – wait time – drink, dance, Cool, but drinking with a beer in hand rather than each other? Come to dance class, folks.
- Busch – outdoors, basics, Sarah McGlaughin, Huh?
- Marvel – spoilers
- Amazon – family, dog, puppy love, See above.
- ABC spoiler
- PopCorners – popcorn, Breaking Bad, Popcorn and drugs. Odd enough?
- Dead Space – shoot em up game, humanity ends
- Hello Fresh – dinner, mindful, If that’s what it takes
- Heinz – 57
- Pizza Hut – big New Yorker, Because big is important, right?
- Pepsi/Lays – loud
- Squarespace – Singularity makes me interested, and confused, 2024?
- Million Roses – Quantity is more important than the thought?
- Bic EZ Reach – celebs – understated and effective and short
- Dyson – hairdryer – short and good enough
- NFL – flag football, parkour, women but not in the game, Radical notion not expressed: let women in the NFL.
- Old Spice – antiperspirant – living up to ad expectations, almost
- Uber One – singers, good if you are already familiar with Uber, And if Uber is anachronistic?
- Pringles – stuck, doesn’t matter, Almost enough appeal.
- Crowdstrike – Troy – cyber Trojan Horses, OK, but why this one and not that one?
- Dunkin – Ben Affleck, but why?
- ? – launch your campaign (for what?) Oh, ads
- ThriftBooks – we can have it all, Only if you are already making more than you spend,
- Michelob – golfing, retro, ?
- Casper – mattress 6 degrees
- Carnival Cruise – family
- Transformers – spoilers
- GM x Netlflix – EVs in movies
- Flash – spoilers
- Indiana Jones – spoilers
- Netflix and Michelob – More golfing?
- Dead Space – game
- Budweiser – retrospective – you know the type – back to basics
- Disney – celebrate our monopoly, And pay us to do that?
- Pepsi – acting, Ben Stiller – Pepsi is real?
- Apple Music – halftime, somehow compelling, cute, And already forgotten.
- Pepsi – acting, Steve Martin – Fan of Steve, but I can barely remember the ad.
- Remy Martin – football and champagne, winning, They can’t be serious?
- E*Trade – kids, therefore cute, Thanks.
- Tubi – watch something not football
- Tubi – rabbit hole, kinda spooky, but don’t oversell yourself, you aren’t wikipedia
- Fast X – spoilers
- Dialpad – sales goals – Good AI?
- Grainger – who get it done, A real ad about an actually useful company? Radical.
- Peacock/Poker Ace – spoiler
- NBC/Magnum PI – spoiler
- Oikos Yogurt – strong family showing off
- Doritos – something new, triangles, who
- DraftKings – betting,
- Experian – Happy Guy, raising FICA, singing
- Sam Adams – Boston acting nice
- TurboTax – dancer You can dance, taxes
- Fabletics – do not – cheap clothes – celeb
- FanDuel – kick – gambling
- McDonalds – celeb relationships dating
- Priceline – travel – prices
- Gatorade – fast twitch
- Nissan – EV – way to the top, power serenity
- Nissan – EV – powerful and polish, you can have it all
- Subway – celebs – greatest
- Miller Lite / Coors / Blue Moon – martial arts
- Cancer pledge – skip
- Pluto TV – celeb,
- Hello Fresh – odd family meeting
- Flowers.com – kiss-cam, friendship,
- Holland America – time of your life, live in the moment
- H-E-B – ice cream, sauce?
- Xfinity – moon landing, 5G, 10G
- Crown Royal – Canada thanks
I’ve look forward to your notes, analysis and opinions on the Super Bowl ads for the last several years. It’s fun to read and you have a different focus than I do. There are very few of the ads that have stuck in my brain – the Blue Moon ad comes immediately to mind. Cute and good for a chuckle, though they spent more time on their competitors products than on their own. I really disliked the getting-a-buddy-for-a-pet Amazon ad. My thought was along the same lines as yours – why did these awful people get a pet when they clearly didn’t have time or space in their lives for one (which is why they are awful)? I miss the Budweiser Clydesdales. Those were some really classy ads! 2024 will be radically different…..Huh…interesting thought, especially since it’s a presidential election year. Joy. Oh – and I totally missed the point of the Caddyshack parody ads, can’t even remember who they were for though I do remember who was in them. Clearly a fail from the perspective of what they were selling.