Another Super Bowl is in the books, and with it, another round of expensive Super Bowl commercials. Below, we sort through the winners and losers from this year’s crop.
Winner: Tide, specifically, and David Harbour, in general
These were pretty fun. It felt… right that someone would get all meta about Super Bowl ads in a Super Bowl ad. That’s not to say the degree of difficulty wasn’t pretty high. It was. This could have been real dumb. Instead, thanks to America’s Fun Dad David Harbour, there was just enough winking to remind us how silly this all is without bashing us over the head with a frying pan and all.
This is easily the most opinions I’ve had about Tide. Like, in my entire life, combined. So mission accomplished, I guess.
I don’t think I wanted to like this commercial, but I did, very much. There were, as far as I can tell, four reasons for this:
- I love Danny DeVito
- Danny DeVito is probably the most anthropomorphic-M&M-shaped person alive
- I always think of him as Frank from It’s Always Sunny now and doing so allows me to pretend this was all part of some debaucherous scheme
- It reminded me of the thing in Meet Joe Black where Brad Pitt gets walloped by a car out of nowhere after a long dramatic scene
Loser: Dodge, by a lot, hoo boy
Brands were very woke this year, between multicultural baby lineups and tributes to first responders and such. I have no qualms with that on a macro level, even if a tiny part of me is a tiny bit grossed out by multibillion-dollar conglomerates attempting to monetize, like, tolerance. But whatever. Fine. None of the multicultural babies said “Dilly Dilly.” I can worth with that.
What I cannot work with, however, is this. Repackaging a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech to sell pickup trucks is gross, especially when you look into his feelings on consumerism and this exact kind of thing. Brands, please. I get what you’re trying to do here. I respect that you’re making an effort. But do not do… this. Take a day or two to think about why this was bad and then come in on Wednesday and start hiring people who can sit in the room where these decisions are made and say things like “Hmm. What if we… didn’t, though?”