The 2007 Super Bowl opened with much hope and promise, at least for those of us who are Chicago Bears fans. Devin Hester caught the opening kick-off and immediately ran it for a touchdown. It was a great way to start and, sadly, it became obvious that this was going to be the highlight of the entire game. Why? Because Billy Joel sounded like crap when he sang the National Anthem and the Cirque De Soleil thing was stupid and then the Bears began to suck. Fortunately, there were the commercials, or so I thought.
The problem is that for about the third of fourth year in a row the commercials, overall, were a disappointment. Too many times myself and my compatriots watching the game were left shouting, “hey. I’ve seen this one before.”
If there was one company that seemed to take things seriously and spend a lot of money on consistently funny and interesting commercials it would have to go to Budweiser. Kudos to the Anheuser-Busch company for realizing that spending over two million dollars for ad time means you should probably also spend some money on quality commercials. They did not hit a home run every time, but they sure hit more of them out of the park that anyone else.
The first commercial break featured a Bud Light commercial with the two men playing Rock/Paper/Scissors over the last Bud light in the metal tub at a backyard barbecue. Of course the one guy chooses rock and literally throws a rock. Nothing makes men watching football laugh harder than watching a man hurt another man over beer.
The Dorritos commercial followed that and this was a homemade commercial by some fans. It was funny. We all laughed, but I think it is one where the joke will get old very quickly. This involved a guy checking out a girl only to end up rear-ending someone and then the woman falling into the car. Once again it involved injuring people and that is always funny to a roomful of guys drinking beer and hoping to watch grown men slam into each other.
By the second break the Sierra Mist folks decided to pull out their playbook. The standard folks who have been hocking Sierra Mist for the past few years came out to play. Jim Gaffigan is very funny in these and the group I was with particularly enjoyed the one with the beard come-over. The one with the karate people was not nearly as amusing despite involving the same group of people.
While the Bears were doing their level best to move backwards down the field and Rex Grossman was showing why he is no Peyton Manning, the commercials continued to roll and the group I was watching with were generally underwhelmed by most of it.
Sales Genie had a commercial everyone agreed was stupid. The Fed Ex office on the moon was apparently an attempt to create the Fed Ex in prehistoric times sequel. This one did not work at all. It was confusing and muddled and rather silly despite a weightless dog.
Meanwhile Budweiser was still cranking out pretty funny commercials. The wedding auctioneer was pretty funny. They also scored a hit with Carlos Mencia teaching English to a bunch of foreigners and teaching them how to ask for a Bud Light.
Coke made a few attempts and it looks like they spent a lot of money. The one where they sort of reenacted scenes from “Grand Theft Auto” but with the main character handing out Cokes instead of shooting people was fairly funny. The Black History one didn’t quite work and there are many of us who wonder when it will be that it is no longer newsworthy when black men are successful.
Snickers had at least one commercial that was an attempt to be funny but succeeded only in being disturbing. I do not want to see mechanics kissing and I certainly do not want to see them ripping hair out of their chests. This was not particularly funny and it certainly made no one I was with want to buy a Snickers Bar. M & M/Mars needs to get some decent ad people soon.
Budweiser struck again with the men slapping each other commercial to replace people doing the “fist-pump.” It was funny at first but then it went on and on and on too long. Before too long it was old. Shorten the commercial and this one could be funnier.
Careerbuilder.com threw in some money to create some commercials and they ended up creating office workers who, for some reason, were in a jungle and either jumping off of cliffs or battling each other. In the end, however, most of us found them not particularly funny even though I certainly enjoy any jabs anyone can take at corporate America.
When it came to movie previews most of them were bad. The movie “Wild Hogs” has several things against it. Namely it has Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and John Travolta. The one thing it has going for it is William H. Macy. The commercial did not make me want to see it. Disney has yet another computer-animated movie called “Meet the Robinsons” and I have no idea if the movie will be good. However, any preview that has a T. Rex complaining that its head is too big and its arms too small gets a thumbs up in my book.
One thing was for sure this year was that CBS spent a lot of time trying to promote its own shows. Most of them were annoying and did nothing to make me want to watch them. However, despite this, they managed to score the only one genuine, huge, grab-the-TiVo-remote moment was when David Letterman did a promo for his show that ended up with a surprise guest. This one brought the house down and proved to be the highlight of the entire Super Bowl experience.
The game trundled on. Prince came out and sang and all of us agreed it was probably the best Super Bowl Halftime show we had seen in a very long time. Once Prince left the stage and more commercials started to run the spate of new commercials quickly ran it. Even though there was more than half of a football game left the commercials quickly became redundant.
There were a few highlights. For example the Emerald Mixed Nuts commercial featuring Robert Goulet was very funny. Nothing like Goulet dropping from the ceiling and then crawling across it like Spider – Man to elicit chuckles all around. Also Bud Light scored again with the ad about whether or not picking up hitchhikers who happen to be carrying Bud Light is a good idea.
Taco Bell did well with the talking lions commercial. The only thing that could have made it better was the voice of Ricardo Montelbahn. Oh wait, he was the one doing the voice over. In short, good commercial, well-written and very funny.
None of the car commercials were memorable. In fact, very few commercials were particularly memorable and I was taking notes the entire time. Plus the Bears lost so, in all, the entire thing was a disappointment all the way around.
As for Chicago, well, it will probably be 2027 before they make it to another Super Bowl. They probably still won’t have a decent quarterback, either. However, maybe by then, the advertising people will be coming up with some truly memorable, funny, touching, intense commercials.