Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl LII Car Commercials!

No Lamborghini ads, but they showed up in 2 other commercials!
The best part of most Super Bowls is the 1) COMMERCIALS! 2) halftime show, and 3) the game. Super Bowl 52, or LII for the traditionalists out there, probably managed to end up with the game as the best part. As far as the halftime show goes, it depends on your age more than anything, so I'll just leave it at that whether or not you think Justin Timberlake is the greatest thing since wireless microphones or sliced bread. Although, as a certified band geek, I will point out that the University of Minnesota marching band was a great addition to his show, even if only for part of one song. 

Here's all the ads: YouTube

That brings us to the topic for this NMS car blog: The car and truck ads that ran during the game. Maybe there were some during the 12 hour pre-game show, or the 10 hour post-game show, but since I didn't catch any of that thanks to the traffic between Philadelphia and New York (as well as having to work the next day), I'm only going to give you the NMS run-down and grades for the car/truck and even a few non-car commercials that might have had a car related theme. 

Here we go, in order, from the kick-off:
Ad: Toyota 
This commercial was talking about the odds of becoming an Olympic athlete, and in case you missed the other hundred ads on NBC during the game, the Olympics start this Friday on NBC! Overall, this was Toyota inspiring us with an inspiring message about overcoming adversity and competing in the Olympics. No info on any cars, but a positive message from Toyota. 
Grade: B

Ad: Ram trucks
A bunch of Vikings are using their Ram truck to tow their Viking ship, they go to sea to get to the Super Bowl, but apparently find out the Minnesota Vikings aren't in the big game this year, so they turn around. At least that's what I think happened in the ad's "story" line. Either way, I thought it was funny, because, you know, it had a big truck and a bunch of Vikings and stuff. 
Grade: A

Ad: Jeep
I didn't write many notes on this one and right off the top of my head I don't remember. Straightforward, it was an ad for Jeeps, something about "the road." Like all the other ads you can find them on line and watch them all you want and find the deep hidden meaning in some of them. Me, I remember it was for Jeep and that's it. Jeeps sell like pizzas, because pizzas sell way faster than hotcakes, and that keeps the FIAT Chrysler Automobile company very happy!
Grade: D

Ad: Weathertech
OK, again, this wasn't a car ad, but Weathertech makes a lot of goodies for your your car, like floor mats and rear cargo mats. Their big advertising slant is that they are built in America, and that's what we got out of this ad, with video of a big old factory being built, cranes lifting walls, concrete being poured, real "built in America" stuff, which is true, because I've seen their big facility near Joliet IL. 
Grade: A-, clear message, car related, GO AMERICA!

Ad: ???
With 7:24 left in the 2nd quarter, there was supposed to be a TV timeout after a score, but instead, all I saw on my TV was blackness and no audio for about 30-60 seconds. Then the game came back on, with good old Al and Chris talking to fill space for another minute or two, no action on the field, and then finally there was a kick-off as the game resumed. I haven't seen any other info, but it sure looked like a huge multi million dollar glitch of "dead air time" on network TV during probably the biggest "show" of the year. If so, a huge failure by NBC.
Grade: NBC gets an F if that's what happened

Ad: Ram trucks
This commercial brought us the audio of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech from 50 years ago. It was a great speech and a very positive motivational message.
Grade: A

Ad: Toyota
Some religious leaders from different religions are getting together in their Toyota vehicle to go somewhere, and end up going to a football game, sitting with some other religious clergy and nuns, with the message that we're all one team. This one had some funny bits in it, not quite rolling on the floor funny, but we get the point. Now that I think of it, I don't think any of the several Toyota ads were targeting any one vehicle, so I'm sure the Toyota folks have done their market analysis and research and determined that they just need to get their name into the Super Bowl and it probably helps all their vehicles. Shoot, they did sponsor the entire halftime show, so I hope they get their moneys worth. 
Grade: B

Ad: Mercedes AMG
AMG is the high performance (read: and more expensive) line of Mercedes Benz vehicles, and in this ad we see one of their cool cars sitting at a traffic light. Then a bunch of other cars and race cars pull up next to the AMG, everyone's revving their engines, the light goes green and clearly the AMG is the fastest. The punch line was something about "blah blah with an AMG and what do you get?"...."You get out of the way!" I thought that was pretty funny, and as soon as I win the lottery I'll consider buying an AMG. Oh, did I mention they're real expensive?
Grade: A

Ad: Lexus
Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not an expert on the models that Lexus sells, so I'll just say this was a Lexus ad. The good news is that this ad featured a Lexus driving around, with an appearance by the next big star of a Marvel comics movie, the Black Panther. This movie could turn out to be a big blockbuster, so that makes this ad very cool. I'd like to give the Black Panther an A- or so, but since I still don't like the typical Lexus grille design...
Grade: B+

Ad: Kia
Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler appears as himself, hops into a Kia at a racetrack to race some other old looking guy who just happens to be Formula 1 world champ and Indy 500 winner racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi! Tyler shifts into reverse and goes backwards around the track. Somehow when he steps out of the car he's surround by groupies and fans probably from the 70s or 80s, and he's magically gone back in time and looks a lot younger. Not sure how they did this with makeup or digitally, but it was kind of creepy! There is a longer version of this commercial on line, so maybe I'll check that out. It was OK that they used the Aerosmith hit "Dream On" in this ad, but, overall, it just didn't POP out and work super effectively. I'm leaning toward rating this as average, but, heck, the F1 and Indycar fan in me has to bump it up to a B+ for having Fittipaldi in it!
Grade: B+

Ad: Jeep Wrangler
Jeff Goldblume is back in a vehicle being chased by a T-Rex just like in Jurassic Park!  He repeats the famous line "must go faster!" Then Goldblume is driving the Jeep, the dinosaur is getting closer, closer, CLOSER! Then by evading the man-eater, the Jeff maneuvers the Wrangler behind the T-Rex and finally we have the Jeep chasing the dino! CRAZY! OK, not bad, complete with famous references and a famous actor. Go buy a Jeep if you want!
Grade: B+

Ad: Toyota
Another inspirational feel-good message, this one was saying "start your impossible" or something similar. About this time I hit inspiring message fatigue, so, nothing against Toyota, but I was hoping to see some cool cars, or something funny with cars. 
Grade: B

Ad: Monster headphones?
I think that's what the ad was for, so I'm mentioning this because at some point in this story of a kid making his own headphones, he's suddenly riding in a Lamborghini. Apparently the world needs another brand of fancy expensive headphones, this time with a tie-in to other premium brands like Lambo. This one also featured some famous musicians, because I thought I spotted Aerosmith guitarist what-his-name, and maybe some singers that young people would know. I guess. Whatever. 
Grade: B just for the Lamborghini

Ad: Amazon Alexa
Not a car ad, so I'm only mentioning this because I "think" what happened was that we got this ad where Alexa wasn't working and they showed a short version of the commercial, and then immediately showed a longer version of the SAME commercial. Was NBC making up for the glitch in the 2nd quarter? Was this a genius marketing move to basically run the same ad twice in a row? Beats me! It's really pretty funny where the Alexa voice doesn't work, so we get these other famous people filling in and giving funny answers to simple questions. OK, maybe they're all famous, because I didn't recognize all of them, but again, I have to admit I don't know all the younger singers and actors out there, see what happens when you get older!
Grade: A for funny

Ad: Hyundai
This was a serious story that showed people going to the Superbowl, and some of them were pulled out of the security metal-detector line because they had Hyundai car keys. Turns out, they were just being told "thanks" because for every Hyundai sold, the company donated money to charity. A good happy message!
Grade: B

Ad: Jeep
While the narrator is talking about other commercials being overly dramatic, as in full blown manifestos about whatever, we see a Jeep driving up a small river, up a hillside, and basically being way off-road. After watching the Wrangler conquer some tough terrain, the narration concludes with the line "There's your manifesto." Simple, your basic off-roading, no drama. 
Grade: A

There you have it, not really a lot of car ads, nothing from Ford and Chevy. No stand out A+ material this year, but these were the A's: 

Ram: Vikings
Weathertech: America
Ram: MLK speech
Mercedes AMG: Cool car
Alexa: Funny but no cars
Jeep: Manifesto

Besides the car ads, I'd have to say that the other ads were better, with stuff like the Amazon Alexa, the Doritos/Mountain Dew, and the NFL "Dirty Dancing" commercials being way funnier and better than all the car ads. Oh, and the Tide ads! Overall, kudos to Ram for two top rated commercials, one funny and one serious, but for the Superbowl LII Car Commercial Champ I'm going to have to go with the AMG ad because it focused on the car and talked about performance. Maybe next year there will be another Superbowl with commercials!

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