2.04.2008

Advertising: Charlie Brown floats, other ads sink

Well, the Super Bowl is over; dreams of eternal undefeated glory crushed, unlikely dumped-on has-beens celebrated (Petty or Manning, you decide!), and of course shiny newfangled things pressed on the public. For those who are like me (gay? non-athletic?) the Super Bowl is good for one thing and one thing only. . . commercials!

This year, the abundance of energy drink ads must have had some adverse effect on the non-football parts of the evening. Most ads seemed like they were hopped up on speed-- or maybe the ├╝ber sexist, violent, tastelessly offensive offspring of a George Saunders short story.

Many people have already posted their best-of, worst-of lists, including Slate's Seth Stevenson. It's very funny, especially told from his perspective (a Patriots fan begrudgingly fast forwarding through the painful game). In it, he notes this Coke ad (posted above) as the clear winner of the night and I couldn't agree more. After much wincing and swearing off brand loyalty, one of my friends remarked incredulously, "That wasn't so bad. . ."

It was actually enjoyable. Let me elaborate: While other ads, obsessed with establishing a new customer base, went all out, Coke was the only company that came across confident in their consumers. They delivered an aesthetically pleasing spectacular, without horrible dialogue to boot! The nostalgic elements, a blimpy Stewie from Family Guy, Underdog (the Giants!) and Charlie Brown, were not nauseating like other ads that involved Richard Simmons or Night At the Roxbury references. And the back-and-forth battle for the flying bottle of Coke was clever in adding relevance to the viewing occasion. You stay classy, Coke!

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