Super Bowl Ads: Apparently, Guys Do Dumb Things for Beer

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Photo: Image: SierraMist.com


Last night's Super Bowl commercials were, as expected, a hilarious and witty set of well-executed premises leaving viewers with increased affection for and knowledge of the various brands the usual series of "jokes" about things like letting an unkempt, rapey-looking fellow into your car against your girlfriend's objections — because he has beer! Also, there was a pitch for something called salesgenie.com that was so earnestly terrible it actually evoked sounds of sympathetic pity — the kind of noises one might make upon seeing a three-legged dog getting chased away from his food bowl by a pack of strays — at our viewing party. Where, we should add, we were roundly chided by the group for not realizing that the actually quite-good Coca-Cola Grand Theft Auto takeoff has been running in movie theaters for some time already.

Coca-Cola itself was then roundly chided for its crass, Black History Month–inspired attempt to associate itself with various courageous figures from the civil-rights movement, which was not only crass but redundantly crass, as Alcatel (using some digitally altered "I Have a Dream" footage) has done the offensive-appropriation-of-patriotism thing more offensively already.

This was the problem last night: As a culture, we all seem to agree that the Golden Age of Super Bowl Commercials is over and the nadir was established in 2004 with Bud Light's "rocket made of horse farts" spot. Now, the ads just seem like a lot of the same; the detritus we're stuck with while waiting for the paradigm shift to Google-targeted user-generated ads that we'll all beam directly from our iPhones into the LeVar Burton visors we wear over our eyes. And perhaps in that medium, New York comedians Michael Ian Black and Jim Gaffigan will make good on their deadpan chemistry by writing an ad with actual jokes, and for a product more deserving than a soda that sounds like it's the Key Food version of Mountain Dew. —Ben Mathis-Lilley

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