Like many Americans, my husband and I watched the “Inverse Super Bowl” which means we fast forwarded through the game and only watched the commercials (and the half time show to see if Prince’s ghost would pimp slap Justin Timberlake). This year’s crop of ads came in three distinct flavors: Pandering Displays of Diversity, Fun Ones and Head Scratchers. Here are some of the ones I can actually remember.
There were quite a few ads that tried to shove diversity down our throats with a multi ethnic spoon labeled “we get it”. When one of these commercials came on I screamed “MAGA” at the t.v. and imagined how mad the red hat brigade must be right now. One of the worst offenders was the T-Mobile one where Olivia Pope tells us adorable babies aren’t racist while All Apologies is ominously farted out on a music box in the background. Look, this is the Super Bowl, bring it. Infant race war or GTFO.
(See also: Kraft “Family Greatly” one, The Toyota “a priest, a rabbi, an imam and a monk walk into a bar…” one, and the Coke one that says “I’m ok, you’re ok” as long as you are young, thin and attractive etc.)
The best commercials of the night were the Tide ones and I will fight anybody who says different. Not only is David Harbour a hot daddy (AND HSOTY adjacent!!!), the commercials were actually funny and effective. David’s quizzical “does this make every super bowl ad a tide ad?” was a stroke of genius because there was one really dumb ad with a Charlie Brown type ghost and the sheet was so damn clean I was all “yo, this is totally a tide ad” and it wasn’t! You got, me Tide. Hat tip to you, I will give eating your pods a try now.
(See also: None. There were many who tried, they all failed)
A terrible one was the Ram ad that used Martin Luther King Jr. to shill for their shitty truck. How did they think this was a good idea? Instead of that one, I recommend this one where some hero replaced Ram’s voice over with Dr. King’s actual thoughts on advertising.
The other one that that really had me scratching my head was the ad for the Church of Scientology. One dude asks in voice over “Have you met a scientologist?” and a lady goes “yeah, like what do they believe?” and then we get a frantic matrix-like look inside and I guess and they believe in malls, light boards and spaceships which pretty much lines up with what I already thought so I’m not polluting my browser history by tying in “what is scientology”, thank you very much. Also, you would have thought that Tommy Boy could have made a cameo or at least sprung for a full 60 second ad.
And let’s not forget the Kia one where Steven Tyler starts driving backwards and I was all “oh, he’s about to reverse time and be young again” and also “I wonder if my nail shop can do me silver nails like that” but then at the end I was all “oh, NM. That’s just some weird looking lady”.
I’m sure there’s something profound I could say about how the Super Bowl ads reflect where we are as a nation but I have indigestion from the “chicken wings for one” I made and ate at 10 o’clock last night which is just as apt a metaphor I think.