Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Car Commercials

Just watched Seattle wipe out Denver, so off the top of my head here are some thoughts on the many car commercials! But first, special bonus points to Denver, since Ford used to make a nice truck called the Bronco, but I don't think anyone has ever driven a Seahawk.

Early in the game there were two Ford Fusion commercials back to back. That was kind of neat, but in these two and then another one later that played twice, I think they hammered home the message that the Fusion gets good mileage. The way they said it though, "about twice" the mileage of all vehicles, sounded like it also included dump trucks and SUVs that get 6mpg instead of compared to just mid size cars, but I'll give them a pass on that one.

Also in the first half was probably the most unique commercial, which started with a small kid giving a kind of inspirational speech about growing up to overcome the bullies and bad guys in the world. No clue what this commercial was about at first, and then all of a sudden it was a Maserati Ghibli commercial. I liked that it was unexpected, and being a fan of Italian cars I knew that parent Fiat has set a goal to increase Maserati sales in the US, so this was probably a pretty good way to do it.

One ad that was well done and funny was for a KIA luxury car, the one that featured Morpheus from the movie "The Matrix". Like in the movie, he asked someone to make a choice between red or blue, and when the couple chose the red or KIA car key, all of a sudden they were driving down the road in a Matrix like scene, complete with Laurence Fishburn (Morpheus) in the back seat. That was funny enough, but then Morpheus starts singing "Nessun Dorma", so that put it over the top for me, best car ad of the Superbowl.

Various Chevy ads highlighted their trucks, their support of fighting cancer, and the one with the big Chevy truck hauling a livestock trailer with a bull that eventually we see is being taken to some cows "hello ladies", came close to being really funny, but just didn't tickle my funny bone like the KIA one did.

Late in the game there was a Jaguar commercial that didn't really tell us much about the cars, but it did try to make a connection between movie bad guys being British, and I guess that Jaguars are British cars. Maybe since it's the Superbowl you have to have some funny bits in your commercials, but based on the Jaguars that I have driven in the last year, they would have done better by somehow showing how great these cars really are on the road.

Volkswagen was back with a pretty good ad, just not as good as the Darth Vader commercial from a few years ago. In this ad, a dad explains to his daughter how cool it is that his VW just hit 100,000 miles, something any car person that remembers the clunkers of old as a good thing!  The daughter doesn't get it, so the dad explains that it's like when any VW hits 100K miles, another VW engineer gets his wings. So of course we see various folks at a VW plant getting their wings, sometimes in funny situations. But the best line of the commercial then comes from the daughter who says something like "so when you hit 200,000 miles do rainbows come out their butt?".  Not your normal car ad, that's for sure!

Another original commercial and funny, was from Audi.  Audi? The German maker of the TT, and various other nice cars?  Yep!  To demonstrate that Audis are made with no compromise, this commercial played out a scene where a Doberman and a Chihuahua were crossed, so by the end we see Doberhuahua dogs running amok and terrorizing the world. Sounds silly, but it worked and ended up being funny. I'm not sure if everyone will remember it as an Audi commercial, but that's show biz!

Car Max, the used car guys had a good ad also, the one where the buyer drives away in his Car Max purchase, and all the way home he gets the slow clap from everyone along the way. OK, maybe it was just a little bit funny.

A Toyota Highlander ad featured a guy who stopped to help a broken down hippie bus, and it turns out to be Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, the band from the old Muppet Show!  I liked it, but there might be a lot of folks that aren't into the Muppets.  Apparently the Highlander is big enough for a lot of people, or Muppets, and drums and stuff. Or something.

Two Hyundai ads plugged the Elantra and the Genesis. The Elantra ad had the actor who plays one of the characters in "Big Bang Theory" (medium funny), and the Genesis ad eventually shows you the emergency automatic braking.  Like their cars, these ads were not bad, and compared to the recent non-Superbowl ad from Toyota that actually claimed that the Camry was "fun to drive", I'll put Hyundai ahead of Toyota until they prove otherwise!

Late in the game there was a very simple ad with Bruce Willis just talking to us. He reminded us that people, friends and family are important, and he suggested that we hug the folks around us. And since Honda makes highly rated for safety cars, that Honda cares about us too!  Nice simple commercial, with no special effects.

Last but not least, there was an ad for the Chrysler 200. It was mostly some guy talking about America being unique. That guy was Bob Dylan.  I still don't know what to say about this, given that he's been such an iconic singer and songwriter, and I can' think of anything else he has endorsed or advertised for in all this time, give or take 50 years. This reminded me of the Clint Eastwood Chrysler ad. If you can afford Bob Dylan to plug your car, it probably cost a lot of money. In light of Chrysler now being owned by Fiat, well, yeah sure, only in America!

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