07 February 2011

"Imported From Detroit"

Generally speaking, I'm happy to report that this year's Super Bowl ads weren't as violent as last years.  The worst exceptions came from Doritos, Pepsi Max and HomeAway (what's that?).  That level of viciousness isn't just for championship football games anymore, so I'll mention them again in a later post.

I won't offer further comment on either the Skechers ad with Kim Kardashian or the GoDaddy spots. With sexism on that level, why is either company still in business?  Oh, never mind; that question pretty much answers itself.  Professor Chaos has a good overview of the worst of Super Bowl 45, none of which involved either the Packers or the Steelers.  [The game wasn't the most exciting, but it was decently played.  Both teams belonged.]

Apart from Steeler coach Mike Tomlin's mystifying decision to green-light a 52-yard field goal attempt, the on-field action actually pleased me.  So, too, did some of the ads.  Coca-Cola followed a 2007 spoof of Grand Theft Auto with a hilarious parody of Warcraft and its MMORPG cousins.  Volkswagen had a funny bit about a kid trying hard to be Darth Vader (yeah, I was that kid once).

The ad that's going to stick with me for a while, though, is this one from Chrysler:

Whatever it intended, Chrysler didn't pitch cars; it pitched the city of Detroit.  So many bad things have happened there, it's become too easy for outsiders to imagine it as a Midwestern version of Kabul.  But there are its landmarks, not just standing, but as beautiful as ever.  [Especially the Diego Rivera murals.]  Marshall Mathers is hardly my favorite performer (or person), but for an ad that was about both Detroit and defiance, his presence fit well as anyone else's could.  It's one the most emotional commercials I've ever seen.

Update (10 February):  The standard-length form of the Mathers Chrysler spot is now making the rounds.  Along with the images and phrases the they found extraneous, the producers managed edit out most of the emotional power.  That was inevitable, I suppose.

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