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Sunday, July 14, 2024


Games People Play 2/8/2006

By Rick Racela

 Unfortunately, the evening’s advertising did not get much better.  Here are one person’s favorites from a disappointing array of spots.
 ABC’s self promotions were prevalent and if you paid what they paid for the rights to televise the big game, you wouldn’t blame them.  The popular “Desperate Housewives” was promoted with a variety of celebrities offering opinions about their favorite characters.
 Hugh Hefner, appearing in his customary silk robe with three beautiful women, chimed in twice.  In one spot, Hefner says desperate housewife Edie is his favorite, causing the three women surrounding the Playboy magnate to frown.   Don’t know how many takes that required, but it looked impromptu and well done.
 Later, Hefner appears with his three female companions in another “Housewives” promo. This time he says, “That Edie has to settle down and stop fooling around.”
 Honda used some creativity in its spot for the Ridgeline and the image of a beautiful woman which is often found on truck mud guards dangling behind the back of macho wheels. 
 The shapely female’s image comes alive in this spot as she jumps off of the mudguard and checks out the Ridgeline.  When she opens the front passenger door, waiting for her in the driver’s seat is another mudguard icon, the animated Yosemite Sam of Bugs Bunny fame.
The tag line is “For those who have spent their entire lives around trucks.” A neat idea.
Fed Ex scored as well.  Prehistoric creatures befuddle a caveman’s attempt to deliver a stick.  His boss wants the package sent and doesn’t care that Fed Ex “hasn’t been invented yet.”
 Diet Pepsi used one of its cans in a film with actor Jackie Chan.  The agent for the can insists on a “stunt double” for the action scenes.  Chan agrees. 
 Just as Diet Pepsi is about to be stomped by the villain, a can of Diet Coke is inserted as the stunt double.  Cute.
 Sharpie’s click dispensing marker spot was a winner with its use of a man in a pirate mascot costume, complete with a hook instead of a left hand.  The pirate has trouble removing the cap to sign autographs and even gets the lid stuck in his nose.  Seeing the cap in the pirate’s nose, children seeking his autograph let out a collective “ew”
 Ameriquest Mortgage ran some interesting spots under the theme “don’t judge too quickly.”  As a woman prepares to leave her window airplane seat to use the restroom, sudden turbulence strikes the aircraft.  The cabin lights go on to find her sitting in a male passenger’s lap with her clothes disheveled. 
 Among many beer commercials, two caught my attention. 
 Budweiser did a nice job with fans in a packed stadium holding placards above their heads.  A sky view shows that the choreographed puzzle reveals a bottle of Bud being poured into a glass.  Well done.
 What would a Super Bowl telecast be without the horses playing football?  This year, a “streaker,” in the form of a goat, runs onto the field prancing around and showing itself off.  Cute.
 Sprint created an amusing spot.  One guy tests the theory that his buddy has a “song for everything” saved on his phone.  Finally, he asks his friend about a song for a burning couch, as the furniture begins flaming in the background.
 The music turns into a Benny Hill theme as a scantily clad woman in a police officer’s outfit begins chasing a short bald man around the room.  It was very reminiscent of the late, classic British comedian’s skits.
 Nationwide Insurance gets an honorable mention for its “Life comes at you fast” theme.  Famed heartthrob Fabio is shown guiding a gondola with an attractive female passenger.  Suddenly, his long, dark hair and strong look transform into a weakened elderly man with gray hair.
 Toyota was disappointingly dumb with its truck ad.  The vehicle is parked on the beach at low tide as, slowly, the waves begin rushing in.  The truck is tossed into rocks, flipped over and essentially destroyed.
Later, as the tide recedes, a surfer emerges, climbs in and drives off.   Dumb.
The night’s most disgusting ad was for Hummer.   A Godzilla figure and a large robot apparently get together as male and female.  The monster is then shown pregnant and later gives birth to the H3.  Gross.
 In a separate category that I’ll call creative and informative, fledgling Mobile ESPN and NFL Network did nice work on their respective ads.
 Overall, a weak series of commercials on Super Bowl Sunday.

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