I am no friend of commerce for its own sake. Retailers who callously take advantage of holidays to manipulate shoppers with their "sales" advertisements turn me off. Capitalism itself, in its 21st century incarnation, is seriously flawed.
Thus is it not surprising that I turn the sound down for TV commercials, and have little patience for them. Rare is the ad that doesn't insult the intelligence of the viewer. Oddly, there is a program which airs only once a year, which attracts some fairly ingenious ads ~ yes, I refer to football's annual Super Bowl and its commercials. In this morning's online Washington Post there is a collection of eleven of "the most successful Super Bowl ads from years past". It's not clear whether "successful" translates to popularly enjoyed, or to increased sales for the product or service. They include ~
- 1979 ~ football player "Mean Joe" Green for Coca-Cola
- 1984 ~ Apple's "Big Brother" ad for its Macintosh computer
- 1995 ~ Budweiser's CGI chameleons and frogs
- 1992 ~ model Cindy Crawford displaying sex appeal for Pepsi
- 1999 ~ Monster.com's children talking about their hopes
- 2012 ~ actor Clint Eastwood's "Halftime in America" for Chrysler
- 2010 ~ Old Spice Man
- (various) ~ CareerBuilder.com's office staff of chimpanzees
- 2011 ~ rapper Eminem defending Detroit and Chrysler
- 2010 ~ the E-Trade baby talking about investing
- 2012 ~ soccer star David Beckman baring skin for bodywear
Here is the collection, a series of scrollable videos.
2013's ad campaign has already gone viral for Budweiser. The ad "Brotherhood" portrays the growing bond between a trainer and a Clydesdale from newborn colt to adulthood, and what happens when the two are separated as the horse joins the Budweiser Clydesdales circuit. I have to admit, it made me weepy.
So who knows, I might even tune in to Super Bowl XLVII, to see that ad and the spectacle of opposing head coaches who are brothers ~ Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh. Or, I may take advantage of so many people staying home for the game, and go out to see the movie Lincoln in a less-crowded theater. Win-win.