The Super Bowl. It comes only once a year, but when it arrives it’s the talk of the country. Like a hurricane coming, we get hyped and ready for its landfall, shut ourselves in a room with a TV for several hours when it does, and even after it’s passed, people talk, talk, talk all about the experience (or in some cases like myself, grab the only lifesaver (a.k.a. the only other show on at the same time that was new–Downton Abbey) in sight and hold on for dear life until the storm passes). Love it or hate it, the Super Bowl is a swirl of two things as big as America itself: football and commercials.
America loves football and companies pumping out commercials love
our money us and the Super Bowl just isn’t the Super Bowl without a good helping of both. While football players get in shape for the big game, companies pull out the stops, struggling to outdo the rest with the most humorous commercial that will stick in the minds of viewers like the cheese from those stuffed crusts will stick in a person’s arteries. But while some managed to pull off a good balance of humor mixed with consumerism, others lacked the creativity and resorted to using that old and slightly moldy ingredient from the back of the pantry: cheap sex and stereotypes. So, after the storm of the Super Bowl had passed and the end credits of Downton Abbey rolled, I booted up the old computer and gathered up the four worst Super Bowl commercials of 2012 (plus my own snazzy titles).
#4: Doritos’ “The Neanderthal”
Ah, the good old trend of making man’s two loves food and sex while giving him the I.Q. of a peacock. The thing about commercials like these is that they manage to insult their apparent target audience (men) while also insulting women. Like some of those rare commercials when Hardee’s takes a break from in-your-face sex and objectifying women, Dortitos gives us a commercial where the man acts like he has a very limited capacity for thinking and can only focus on two things at a time. In this case, food and TV or food and sex. At the same time, Doritos manages to insert a lustful and naked woman in a commercial that has absolutely nothing to do with that; at least companies like Victoria’s Secret have an excuse for the content of their commercials.
#3: Kia’s “Boys Like Cars and Sex, Girls Like Princes on White Horses” (alternative title: “We couldn’t get more stereotypical if we tried”)
Kia went all out with the stereotypes in this lovely little piece. In one commercial they throw several overused and limiting stereotypes around. While the woman dreams of pretty pastures and a beautiful prince on a white horse (I was already gagging at this point), the MAN of this commercial dreams about MANLY things like hot women in skimpy outfits, hot cars, racing, rock music tributes, more hot women, and other MANLY things. Did I mention how manly it was? He even steals his girlfriend/wife back from that prince just to show us how awesome he is. Now if only they could have inserted a man who was sweating profusely. Judging from this commercial, it looks like Kia thinks women don’t buy cars. It’s like they’re living in a twilight zone where the men of the household control all the money, therefore making it impossible for women to buy cars or anything without their husbands permission. …Oh wait. There was a time like that decades ago! Come back to 2012, Kia.
#2: GoDaddy’s “What The Heck Do We Actually Sell?”
Here’s my question about GoDaddy: after watching that commercial, what do you think GoDaddy sells? My impression is they sell blondes and brunettes, but it’s possible they have redheads, too. Seriously, this commercial would be perfect if GoDaddy were a website for a brothel (like Craigslist) or porn, but once again, this is a company that has nothing to do with scantily clad women. In fact, GoDaddy is just an Internet domain registrar. (I had to google that to solve that mystery.) It could be that GoDaddy brings in a lot of hits on their site by making these porn star commercials, but a good portion of those are probably now-ticked off porn-oholics who found out there’s no porn on GoDaddy. Just think of all those nice, porn-addicted costumers you’re selling short, GoDaddy.
#1: Teleflora’s “How To Take All The Romance Out of Valentine’s Day in 30 seconds”
Out of these four very annoying commercials, Teleflora’s takes the cake. Oddly enough, this is the only one that sells anything that could be even remotely related to sex, but it was by far the worst for me. As you probably noticed, each one of these ads seem to direct the ad to men, but this one is also the only commercial where this actually makes sense; Valentine’s Day is coming up so, it makes sense that Teleflora–a company that sells flowers–would be directing this at men. Unfortunately, while this is the one commercial where these elements made sense, it crashed and burned with a horrific boom. Why should a guy buy flowers for his love? It’s not because he loves her, not because he wants to make her happy, but for the pay off. After Teleflora gives everyone a chance to drool over the sexy woman getting dressed for the majority of the ad, we finally hear her speak. What does she say? Speaking in a condescending drawl to spell things out for guys she obviously thinks won’t understand unless she speaks slowly, she says you give a girl something and you get sex back. Wham! Romance just took a sucker punch to the gut from Business! The people behind Teleflora’s ads need to get a new job because if they’re able to suck the love out of Valentine’s Day and flowers and make a day about appreciating the man/woman you love sound like prostitution, they’ve got serious psychological issues.
On a final note, I’d just like to remind all of these companies that women watch football, too. They’re pretty forgetful after all.