By Matt Harvey
_____There’s a football game on television this weekend. But the
football is just a mindless diversion. The real battle comes at the
commercial breaks. This Sunday, the sweaty, beast-man
gladiators of Madison Avenue will wage the ultimate blood-sport. They
will pillage our wallets and prey on our dreams and fears with an
orgy of sensory overload, loaded with reality-distorting images and
perverted desires to fuel our collective American pride. And nothing
says “I love America” like the rekindled fire of rampant consumerism.
The ads are the REAL Super Bowl.
_____As a public service, if you found yourself on Sunday
overwhelmed by a beer and bean dip induced coma, we now break
down the high and low lights of the day’s big commercials.
_____A few years ago it seemed like every ad during the Super Bowl
was for some Internet company. Since the dot-com bust, things
haven’t been the same. Have no fear; .COM.COM is here. This
cutting-edge company, is in fact so cutting edge, they don’t even have
something to sell yet. But like all great high tech companies, they’re
not going to wait to develop a business plan, secure investors, or even
have a product. This 30 second spot features hip-hop music, Paris
Hilton, and people doing extreme sports, while listening to hand-held
digital music players. Awesome. I can’t wait to buy whatever they decide
to sell some day.
SCORE: 8 out of 10 illegal file-sharing downloads
_____I can’t imagine why, but the U.S. Army has been struggling to
meet its recent recruitment quotas. Under the gun to deliver results,
the Army is unveiling the newest ad in its series of “An Army of One”
campaign. Some marketing wonks at the Pentagon felt the ads have
been too honest, being that many recent recruits have felt trapped and
abandoned on recent missions, and in fact, feel as if they might
actually be… an army of one. To counter this effect, the new ad
features a really action packed 30-second clip of an old GI Joe cartoon.
RATING: 3 out of 10 Cobra battle cries. “COBRAAAAAA!”
_____From the people who brought you your grandmother’s car, came
a sincere appeal. Third generation spoiled brat and CEO Bill Ford
speaks directly to you, imploring you to stay loyal to the company
that created the Pinto. With stirring patriotic music over pictures of
the last 19 people actually employed at Ford putting the finishing
touches on another giganto-normous SUV; this guy has the balls to tell
you he cares about America. That’s courage AND leadership.
RATING: 1 out of 10 unexplained engine fires.
_____The golden arches have always been in the mix on big game
day, and they’re always ready to swallow a new market. So in a
timely marketing tie-in, the McDonald’s commercial featured kids
meals containing action figures from Brokeback Mountain. Look out
for the one with the kung-fu grip. McDonald’s had considered calling
these Gay Meals, but have instead decided to just go with Really Happy
Meals. “Damn addictive french fries, I wish I knew how to quit you!”
RATING: 16 out of 20 mostly Chicken McNuggets