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Super Bowl Ads Reflect Hollywood (It's Not Good)

Super Bowl Ads Reflect Hollywood (It's Not Good)


Taylor Swift isn't the only reason non-football fans watched Super Bowl LVIII.

Millions of people endured the big game for the chance to watch the commercials. Does this seem counterintuitive in an age where most people pay big bucks to bypass ads altogether?

These ads are different. Big stars. Bigger budgets. Splashing effects. Nostalgia on steroids. Yet what we saw on Sunday reflects Hollywood in striking ways.

These overproduced ads threw everything possible at the audience and so few of them stuck.

This is not a new problem. We've seen it over the last decade. The bigger the advertising buys, the bigger the canvases at stake.

You can't choose smart or funny. It has to be big, bold and revolutionary. Companies spend millions to get a 30-second commercial, and doing it with a small-scale idea doesn't make sense on paper.

So they go all out.

This often leaves the public unsure of the nature of the products in question. This matters less when it's a place asserting the brand of a giant like Coke or Budweiser. Everyone knows the products at stake. It's about creating the biggest buzz.

Other advertisements fail to leave an impression. And most of it, unfortunately, is just visual noise.

It's not for lack of stars.

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Aniston, Post Malone, Usher, Beyoncé and more filled the ads Sunday night. Sports heroes also made their presence known, with Peyton Manning, Dan Marino and other greats coming for nostalgia.

And most ads came and went without a trace.

The exceptions:

Christopher Walken reflected on his curious line readings in a deadly spot for BMW.

Arnold Schwarzenegger spoofed his thick Austrian accent for State Farm, proving himself to be a good sport. Advertising has not gone in a hundred different directions.

It's nice to produce a TV spot with just one joke. You only have 30 seconds. It is impossible to push the gag too far. Recruiting Danny DeVito to appear in the State Farm commercial for an unspoken homage to the “Twins” proved to be the perfect touch.

It also reminds us that the former Mr. Olympia remains a funny actor with good material.

Google Pixel avoided big splashes and celebrities in a winning clip promoting its phone technology. A visually impaired man is able to capture his life in crystal-clear detail in advertising, a point hammered home by a series of candid snaps and selfies.

Simple is often better.

Meanwhile, actor Michael Cera's comedic spot for CeraVe skincare products seemed like a clever idea that required several more rewrites to find the funny side.

Reese also nailed the moment by introducing a new caramel-covered peanut butter cup. No stars. No massive effects. Just rich humor serving the brand's loyalists.

Actress Jenna Ortega barely keeps track of her Doritos spot. The clip, which promotes the company's Dinamita line, features two older Hispanic women who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the chip.

It's loud and crude, and the laughter isn't enough to mask the flop sweat. And why pay Ortega a pretty penny when the publicity focuses on everyone but her?

Hollywood faces a similar problem too often.

The industry is opening its wallet and/or purse to finance some of the biggest films possible. Huge effects. Star-studded plots. Sequels that double, or triple, compared to what preceded them.

The results are often disappointing. Remember “The Flash?” » “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny? ” Wonders ? ” “Haunted house?”

Next comes an import like “Godzilla Minus One” and puts them to shame…for less than $15 million.

At least Super Bowl VXIII lived up to the hype.




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