Stupor Bowl XLVII Champion: Goats

There is hope for the future, but the present is largely lost. Colin Kaepernick outplayed the Ravens, but early troubles and late no-calls (referees) and bad calls (coaches) doomed the 49ers hopes at a comeback victory. Much like aging fossil and erstwhile deer antler aficionado Ray Lewis, the tired baby boomers on Madison Avenue failed to deliver even one meaningful contribution to the biggest day in television advertising.

Budweiser earned some sniffles with the life cycle of a Clydesdale with separation anxiety. It’s nice that the horse bonded with the trainer, but the ad doesn’t speak very highly of the living conditions for Clyde as a member of the pulling team. Or for his safety in their care. Unless galloping freely down city streets is a good idea. I can’t be sure.

It’s an ad focused on a compelling story. But pair this story with the latest and greatest “upscale” Budweiser product, “Black Crown” (which follows “Platinum” and “Select” and on and on as inane attempts to take upscale a nasty beer), and A-B has seriously missed the mark on trying to get people to buy their products. Hint: start making regional craft beer. That’s what people drink. Stop trying to make yet another beer with “more taste” that perfectly multicultural rich people in immense houses will exclusively sip while being toasted by a man in an apron. What’s that? Those people don’t exist? Oh, right. No wonder A-B marketshare is tanking. Must be time to buy up some more competition.

The best ad of the evening was from Doritos. Naturally, it came from their crowd-sourced ideas campaign. No major agency = no terrible misogynistic ad campaigns. Audi’s attempt at youth empowerment yielded a sexual assault and a young driver speeding. Classy. (A huge fall from their tow truck driver “QUATTTTTRRROOOOOO!” goodness from last year.) GoDaddy aims for the bottom deliberately, so they don’t even merit a mention. Someday, the fact that women comprise more than half of the adult population will penetrate the brains of Madison Ave. Until then, expect the trash to continue.

So, on to the winner. A single white guy (I’d have used Bjorn Johnson) wanders aimlessly through a neighborhood only to come across a goat for sale. Disregarding the neck brace of the seated single white guy offering the goat for sale, our bearded hero (let’s call him, “Beardy”) sees nothing but good times ahead, and proceeds home with the goat (I’ve named the goat “Nacho”). What to feed the goat? Doritos! Convenient, because Beardy also loves Doritos. Not, it seems, as much as does Nacho, who loudly devours every chip in sight. The empty cupboard elicits a human shriek from Nacho (then another), which, along with Nacho’s understated neck-brace wearing prior owner, combine to deliver the spot to first place this year. Diversity disclaimer: only single white guys would consider a goat pet and a Doritos diet, so it’s OK for the only humans in the ad to be white men (sort-of men). How’d they make it? Here is how.


Absolut Tron Dogs

Brrrp   Brrrp.       Brrrp   Brrrp.


Laaahwrence! Dress for success mate, it’s an Absolut Grapefruit Techno Tron-dog race!


Rally up those Clockwork blokes and the extras from Eyes Wide Shut – you know, the whole Kubrick lot of ’em.

Right on – ‘ou else?

Dunno – oh yeah – get Gaga ‘an her crew up ‘ere too. Make sure she wears that mirror ball bicycle helmet. We’re meeting at the salt flats. Everyone should find the least appropriate vehicle possible, pick a flag and fly it high!

Same spot as last time then?


You know that means-

I knows it too well, mate. Some ‘those Thunderdomers are bound to show. No worries – Wait, wait, wait! How’d I forget. We need those new odd ducks from Hunger Games – but NO TAYLOR SWIFT.

C’mon she’s not so ba…

Really Larry?

Sorry, you’re right.

‘Sides, I’ve got some thumpin’ Swedish House Mafia all lined up. And grapefruit. I’ve got to remember the grapefruit. Oh – tell everyone they best either wear a mask or continuously bite their bottom lips. It’s the salt flats, you know – safety first.

Safety first, right. See you there!

Super Bowl XLVI Ad Preview

With a little over a week to go before the Super Bowl, advertisers are busy ramping up the expectations for what promises to be a slew of violence and/or misogyny-themed (Go-Daddy!, anyone?) commercials. Of course, there are always exceptions. A few of the early sneak-peaks have got me intrigued. Yep, I’m a sucker for this stuff. Why might that be?

I’m now the target demographic.

I’m a thirty-something male. I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s. So, naturally, I must be nostalgic for all things ’80s and ’90s, right? Madonna is the half-time show performer. (Disclosure: Borderline is one of the best songs ever, but she’ll instead be singing Holiday) Ferris Bueller promises to return, selling, well, Hondas. And Star Wars will be represented too, sort of. What more could a guy ask for?!? How about those flying cars they were promising us back in the ’80s. Hondas are great and all, but c’mon!

First up: Save Ferris

Please. Save Ferris. He should have taken Sloane and driven off into the sunset. What’s that? He did? Oh, and they had a few dozen kids? And now he’s driving a Honda. Wait – I drive a Honda! I’m just as cool as Ferris! Everything’s coming up Milhouse!

What if I’m anti-Ferris? I don’t want to drive a Honda. Maybe I went backpacking in Europe in the ’90s and learned about sweet, reliable German cars. OOOoooooohhhh! Cute Doggies!!! AND STAR WARS!!!!!

The dogs are barking the song from Star Wars (Nerds: Yes, I know it’s the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back) that featured prominently in last year’s excellent and enjoyable Gen-X targeted ad. But now, it’s being rendered by a menagerie of ill-mannered barking dogs, and mini-Darth is nowhere to be seen. VW has produced some exceptional ads over the years, so I’ll reserve judgment on this one. However, this ad is evidently just a teaser for the actual Super Bowl ad, so the eventual ad could stink. We shall see. But if you’re impressed by auto-tuned dogs merely barking… you should see this (it’s not an ad):

Whew, that was fun.

And now a quick look back at my favorite Super Bowl Ad of all time.

Executed with a deep commitment to the bit, “Cat Herders” will always remind me that genuinely creative and smart people are still out there trying to sell me something. The ad is a big metaphor for the many elements that go into providing the services rendered by EDS, and to the dedication that their people have to “managing the complexities of the digital economy.” Little details stand out: camaraderie between herdsmen, an allergic sneeze, the use of a pet-hair roller and a ball of yarn being re-wound. It’s flawless, and never fails to lift my spirits when I see another terrible Go-Daddy! ad.

Now, let the Super Bowl Ads begin!

Mute, Every Time

Confession: I rarely watch commercials. Like many semi-technically adept TV viewers, I’ve got a DVR, and prefer to watch a select few shows on my own schedule. This enables me to fast-forward through the ads plugging up 1/3 of the run time so that I can spend less time watching TV and more time playing Penny Can!

But sometimes I’m curious. I’ll play the commercials. I’ll wonder what clever idea some young ad executive has come up with to lull the drooling masses into giddy submission. And I’ll be subjected to this.

This pig got his start in a prior campaign, in which he was named Maxwell.

Ha ha, did you see? How clever! The pig did go “weee, wee, weee” all the way home. Hence, GEICO can really save you… blah blah blah.

But Maxwell is now destined to become another tired retread GEICO character competing with the caveman and the gecko for most annoying GEICO spokes-creature. Here, he’s on a zip line, for no good reason. He defies physics, passing a guy on a parallel zip line while accelerating and decelerating at will. He’s still carrying the pinwheels from the first ad (although they are now blue instead of green – Maxwell is a big pinwheel collector). Apparently pinwheels are the most fun thing anyone at GEICO can come up with to distract everyone from the annoyance of the pig continuing to go “weee, wee, weee” all the way everywhere. GEICO’s ad team doesn’t even know what to do with him, so they use him to promote their new GEICO mobile app.

Maxwell’s insistence on “weee”-ing everywhere actually undercuts the argument made in the initial ad. Clearly, he’s not on his way home, but rather enjoying some solo recreational time. If his “weee”-ing in the initial ad was actually a quotation taken out of context, GEICO may indeed NOT really save you… blah blah blah. But I suppose no mention was made in the nursery rhyme of the little piggy’s verbosity during times not homeward-bound, so it’s impossible to determine if GEICO can really save you…

Clearly, the boss’s mom really liked Maxwell, and word came down from on high that he better make another appearance. Get a hobby, boss’s mom!

Feed the Senses

Meow. (Dude.)

Meow. (‘Sup dude.)

Mew mew mew MEW mew mew! (I just got the GREATEST stuff!)

Mew mew mew MEW mew mew? (You just got the GREATEST stuff?)

Meaouw! (Hex yeah.)

Mew mew-mew mew mew, mew mew. (Don’t bogart that joint, my friend!)

Mreaw, mreaw. Mew mew meaow-reow. (No, no. It’s not catnip.)

Mreaw? (No?)

Mreaw. Mew mew MEW mew mew! Mew din din. (No. This stuff is WAY better! It’s what my idiot person feels the need to call, “din-din.”)

New Friskies. A healthy meal for your cat. Now with LSD.

The actual lyrics: “What if one little pop, could open a world of wonder? So – sensory, so satisfying… the discovery never seems to stop. A journey to delicious and beyond. Exciting your cat, day and night – with endless enchantment… It’s the magic Friskies makes happen – every day, in so many ways. Friskies. Fed the senses.”

Cats on Acid.