Monday, February 02, 2004

Com... Mer... Cials....

What's up with the ads during the big game? There were only a few that I was impressed with, while the rest were just kinda dumb. Ooh, the mangy dog bit the preppy guy's crotch. Ha ha ha. Ooh, the horse fart lit on fire and burned the girl's hair. He he he. Ooh, the man walked into the wrong room and got a bikini wax instead of a massage. Ho ho ho.

Come on, people. Surely, we could do better. I mean, even the "Waaaazzzaaaaappp!!!" guys were more inventive than this (at first, anyway).

One commercial I liked that I'm glad got some more attention was the Lay's commecial involving the elderly couple wrestling over a bag of chips. It was so absurd that I laughed during the entire time. And yes, it may be just as tasteless as the others, but dueling geriatrics are more amusing to me that "below the belt" humor, any day of the week.

Another commercial I thought was rather clever was the Pepsi commercial involving a young Jimi Hendrix choosing between Pepsi and Coke, and how that changed his musical destiny. Although I'd like to hear Weird Al take a stab at "Purple Haze."

The commercial I was really impressed with was one that has gone virtually unnoticed in the press that I've seen. It was by the group "Truth" who run the aggressive anti-smoking ads. In this ad, they skewer the "positive" ads that Phillip Morris was forced to air about the dangers of smoking. If you haven't seen the Phillip Morris ad, go here and click on the button for the "lower yielding brands" ad that states "there is no safe cigarette". Then, go here and click on the "Shards o' Glass" ad. Pretty harsh, but dead on.

Now, I should say that I see the Truth people (a.k.a. the American Legacy Foundation) wanting to outlaw smoking, and then torture tobacco manufacturers to death, and I don't agree with that at all. I think smoking is stupid and gross, but if you want to do it, by all means, do it. Because these same anti-smoking people will want to outlaw caffeine and Big Macs next, and they're welcome to try, if they can pry the burger and can out of my cold dead hands.

Anyway, like I said, I think smoking is a dumb personal choice, but it should be a choice, not a law. So I disagree with those folks about that. However, they were right on the money with this ad. The Phillip Morris ad is the result of the massive class action suit against "Big Tobacco" several years back; ads like these are stipulations of that decision. I think the ads themselves are moronic and disingenuous, because if Phillip Morris really wanted people to quit smoking, they'd stop making cigarettes. So you have this tobacco corporation saying "oh, yeah, man, smoking is BAD *wink*". And the Truth folks are showing just how stupid that is. Bottom line: while I don't agree with the ideology behind it, the Truth ad manages to shed light on a rather obvious hypocrisy in the corporate world. So well done them.

All told, I wasn't very impressed with this year's crop of commercials. Good thing (maybe not) that they weren't the only excitement between plays.

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