Super Bowl Commercials Underwhelm

The 2018 Super Bowl leaves audiences with disappointment apart from an otherwise great game.

Gabe Paredes, Staff Writer

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This year’s Super Bowl gave audiences an exhilarating athletic performance, as the Philadelphia Eagles overcame the mighty New England Patriots. Although the game was as entertaining as ever, the Super Bowl show lacked in an area that has been slowly losing its entertainment value and reputation in the past couple of years, the commercials. Apart from a couple of exceptions, this year’s Super Bowl ads were very underwhelming and unimpressive.

What could’ve taken part in this decline of entertainment from the Super Bowl commercials were the exceeding amount of movie trailers. Most, if not all the commercial breaks, included some kind of promotion for an upcoming movie or film.

Sure, trailers such as the one for the new Avengers: Infinity War, and Solo: A Star Wars Story could’ve excited superhero and Star Wars fans, but left not-so movie fanatics and neutrals begging for new, witty commercials. The new Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom trailer was interesting at first, but the storyline that the ad portrayed for the movie and its similarity the second installment of the original trilogy, Jurassic Park: A Lost World, made audiences lose interest in just a couple of seconds.

This abundance of movie themed ads reminded many, including myself, to the couple minutes of advertisements before a movie in the theaters before the film starts, which is not the most entertaining of experiences.

One of the exceptions to this overall disappointment from the Super Bowl Ads was the commercial for Australia who took the viewers through a short roller coaster as they watched the endorsement. The producers took advantage of the movie trailer majority and started the ad as if it was a movie trailer for a reboot of Crocodile Dundee, but towards the end, left the audience relieved as they noticed it was just a commercial for tourism in Australia.

Apart from movie trailers, and innocent ads for a vacation in Australia, Super Bowl viewers were also hit by a couple of politically driven ads that would’ve made sense last year and the year before, during the final stages of the 2016 Presidential Election. This year they felt misplaced and forced. It wouldn’t be surprising if some of these companies spent a lot of money on a politically themed ad for last year’s super bowl, but couldn’t get it finished in time so they threw it in for this year so the money wouldn’t go to waste. A big example of this is Dodge Ram’s ad, featuring an excerpt from Martin Luther King’s sermon, titled “The Drum Major Instinct,” which which is arguably the most controversial ad. Many were confused that Ram would use Martin Luther King as a way to sell trucks, keeping in mind that African Americans aren’t Ram’s (and truck’s in general) main demographic. Just a couple hours after the ad was released, A parody was uploaded to YouTube with a different portion of the same sermon used in the commercial. In this portion, however, MLK condemns advertisers for trying to persuade customers to buy certain products just to make themselves feel better than the people who don’t have the product. This is ironic because this is exactly what Ram was trying to do. The irony hit its peak when MLK mocks advertisers as he exclaimed, “In order to make your neighbor envious, you must drive this car!” The background montage for the audio was also greeted as “knee jerk nationalism,” and promoting “rugged masculinity”, by the media and made viewers fairly uncomfortable.

Along with the Australia tourism ad, the variety of “It’s a Tide Ad,” commercials could be put in the conversation of the ads that weren’t all that bad in this year’s Super Bowl. Similar to the Australia ad, the Tide commercial’s producers kept the audience guessing by imitating different stereotypical advertisements like a car driving in a mountain with the sunset to promote a car or a beer ad with everyone laughing and having a good time. Each commercial ended with a sweet surprise though as the speaker in each commercial revealed it was just a Tide ad and not the commercial it was imitating.

The 2018 Super Bowl’s commercials left audiences disappointed and underwhelmed with a majority of movie trailers and forced political messages.

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