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Super Bowl Sunday has become a day where the commercials are just as important as the game (depending on whom your allegiance lies with). Some of us set too high of expectations for commercials, setting ourselves up for disappointment. Here are some Super Bowl commercials that had me scratching my head afterward.
1. Budweiser Lobster (1999)
(Please visit the site to view this video)
When you have already seen great success as a result from an iconic figure such as the Clydesdale horses, it makes little sense to divert away from it. While this post pitches the idea that a Bud is so valuable that it can save a lobster from being boiled, it seems odd to go against the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” thinking.
2. Apple’s First Macintosh (1984)
This one was just flat-out weird. I get what the woman is trying to do by throwing the hammer at the screen but it feels like I’m watching a commercial about a cult. I get the message Apple was trying to convey, but I feel there are better ways to sell the idea.
3. Budweiser Aliens “Wasssup!”
A dog leaves his owners’ house and is beamed up by aliens. Its’ head is removed (Yes, you read that correctly) to reveal it is actually an alien that was undercover. And out of all the things the alien could have taken from the human race, what did he relay- obviously our “catchphrase”- WAAASSUUP! Weird for many reasons. When it comes to saying “waassuup!”- let just stick to the original men.
4. Weight Watchers All You Can Eat (2015)
You’re at a Super Bowl party surrounded by nachos, beer and pretzels. The last thing you want is to given a guilt trip about your weight. Now it would be one thing if they debuted this a couple days to a week after the big game, but to air it DURING – buzzkill. Their heart was in the right place (they’d have bigger issues than weight if it wasn’t in the right place), but the timing to air this was off.
5. Squarespace Jeff Bridges (2015)
Umm…yea. Nothing against Squarespace (Jeff Bridges is a good actor), but the man just sitting next to a bed where a woman is sleeping is kind of strange. Add in the fact that he is just going “om…om,” doesn’t help. If it was the Charlie Sheen from a couple years ago this might make more sense (because not much of what he did made sense- I blame it on his “tiger blood”), but it isn’t, which makes this a little weird and creepy.
6. NewCastle “Band of Brands” (2015)
It starts out slow with subtle ad placements then you may get overwhelmed with the countless brands thrown in your face. While the end emphasizes that this is a NewCastle commercial, if you don’t watch the entire ad you could get confused who it’s for.
7. UCool “Heroes Charge” (2015)
Car commercials- check. Beer commercials-check. Junk food commercials- check. Fantasy mobile game commercial- check…wait huh? If I was playing “which is not like the other?” – I’d choose the mobile game commercial. The main reason is due to the fact it was shown in full animation. The other mobile game commercial that comes to mind (for “Clash of the Clans”) at least stars Liam Neeson. Besides the fact that you’d get the most viewers during this time, I don’t feel they would be reaching their audience as accurately as if they could if they air it on a gaming network.
8. ETrade “We Wasted $2 million” (2000)(Please visit the site to view this video)
This is both weird and genius. On the surface and at first glance it seems like a pointless and stupid, but after realizing that was their point, you see the geniuses behind it. It’s a reverse psychology angle that works to perfection. The ad itself is weird, but the strategy behind it is great.
9. General Motors “Robot” (2007)
So this goes to show that you could have the intention of one message and that gets muddied up thanks to one small act in the ad. General Motors wants to emphasize high quality and it does so by firing the robot for dropping the screw. The robot’s life goes downhill and dark fast eventually showing the robot commits suicide. Not cool even if it revealed that this was all a part of the Robot’s nightmare.
10. E-Trade Bank Robber (2009)
(Please visit the site to view this video)
What better way to portray that putting money in banks doesn't earn you much interest (which means they're essentially stealing from you) than a bank robbing its’ own customers? Well, there are actually much better ways to get the same message across. The folks at E-Trade could’ve (and should’ve) gone in a different direction.
Are there any unusual Super Bowl commercials that you would like to share with the community? Feel free to share your thoughts by including your comment in the ‘Join the Conversation’ text box at the bottom of this string. Register to LexTalk and join the conversation.