In good news for me and terrible news for you, I have been assigned PEDESTRIAN.TV’s yearly Super Bowl ad roundup piece. Have I collated all of the ads here? Fuck no, there are so many! It’d be a waste of both of our time if I sat here picking up each and every short, most of which concern brands you can’t even buy here. Instead, consider this curated selection of things I’ve seen while watching the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Francisco 49ers in a sport I only peripherally understand.
First up: A mortgage ad, centred on the idea of unnecessary and life-altering burdens? Now, I’m the first to admit I lack the intellectual fortitude required to be an advertising guy, but that seems downright silly to me! Years from now the next great American body horror auteur will field a question about their inspiration; while they’ll rattle off something about Gaspar Noé or John Carpenter, they will really be thinking about Jason Momoa in that weird Rocket Mortgage ad.
For reasons unknown to me, Audi saw it fit to make Maisie Williams sing Frozen hit Let It Go while hooning around in one of their new electric models. I’m not sure which is more suspect: the lip-syncing is a little off, or the concept of saving the world from climate catastrophe through the purchase of a luxury SUV. Anyway!
On the topic of electric SUV’s, here we have an ad for the new petrol-free Hummer. Did you know the car’s new spokesperson, LeBron James, drove a Hummer during his senior year of high school? His mum dropped US$50,000 on a loan for that thing. The ad itself probably cost twenty times that.
If Daniel Craig no longer wishes to be associated with James Bond, I volunteer – even if it means being contractually obligated to drink Heineken.
While I wouldn’t say I necessarily respect brands which make jokes about someone literally having their head up their own arse, the new spot for Reese’s Take 5 bar, which seems like a bootleg Picnic, is hardly the worst on this list.
Conversely, I have no respect whatsoever for anyone who’d dip their pizza in hommus. What the fuck is wrong with you.
It also appears Sabra Dips Canada (Canada!?) turned off their YouTube comments as a result of this one, which makes sense considering the kind of bile the average hommus-appreciating internet user would unleash on that comment section.
Another one in the Celebs Gawk At A Car category, take this opportunity to Google if Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, and John Krasinski are actually from Boston.
Fuck it: Bryan Cranston and Tracee Ellis Ross in a The Shining parody. Why not.
High-end cars abound in this roster, and Genesis – a brand with a vanishingly small presence in Australia – were the ones who had the foresight to hurl a sack of cash at Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. Come for the chance to see Teigen do anything, stay for Legend harping on about his Sexiest Man Alive win, and the playful insinuation that hoarding ungodly amounts of new money is somehow superior to intergenerational wealth transfer.
I know I am harping on about money in what is ostensibly a light-hearted look at some commercials, but consider this: The Hollywood Reporter states a 30-second ad slot during the 2020 Super Bowl broadcast cost US$5.6 million (AU$8.6 million), so it’s not unfair to consider the financial forces which propelled these ads. With that in mind, Heinz did pretty well to squeeze two minutes of ad time out of their thirty-second slot. If my gig as James Bond 2 does not pan out, I will gladly go for a burger at the sci-fi villain lair shown in the top right.
Speaking about wealth redistribution, consider this not-quite-a-Super-Bowl ad big-upping Democratic primary contender Bernie Sanders.
Until next year, at which point I assume I will have become even further radicalised against the entire advertising industry.