Wednesday, February 4, 2009

GoDaddy's Over-the-Top Superbowl Ad, and Other Offenses

"The 4 Worst Super Bowl Ads by Quarter"
Wired (February 2, 2009)

"Did You Watch the Super Bowl With Your Kids? Do You Regret Letting Them See the Ads?

"It was a great game. The Steelers looked strong all through the game, until they made some sad personal fouls that gave the Cardinals some big opportunities. The Cards were scrappy, and fought tooth and nail to the end. The last four minutes will go down in sports history. 'But,' to quote Mr. Nielsen, 'that's not important right now.'

"Since the iconic Apple ad in 1984, the Super Bowl has been known as a showcase for what you might call blockbuster ads. The quality and humor of the ads probably hit their peak during the original dot-com boom in the late '90s. Every year, people say things have gone downhill..."

That "...probably hit their peak during the original dot-com boom in the late '90s...." made me wonder if I was reading a an example of 'back in my day' nostalgia.

So, I checked the author's pick of top (or bottom) four:

" - Extended Danica Patrick Shower Super Bowl XLIII Commercial 2009"
reggiep08v2, YouTube (February 1, 2009)
video (1:48)

Okay: this ad is mildly disgusting. To me, anyway. The author's "..since sex sells, everyone looking to create a website must be a puerile teenager...." is a pretty good summation of what the commercial's message seems to be. I won't stop using GoDaddy's services (they're the best mix of service, reliability, and price I've found), but this ad doesn't make me feel good about doing so.

"Talking flowers commercial - superbowl 43 XLIII 2009 -"
cowchester, YouTube (February 1, 2009)
video (0:31)

Does the box of flowers really oppress the woman with a "sexist, demeaning diatribe?" Well, men have been consigned to sensitivity training for less: "Oh, no, look at the mug on you! Dianne, you're a trainwreck! That's why he only sent a box of flowers. Go home to your romance novels and your fat, smelly cat!" and "No one wants to see you naked!" You'll notice that the ad is anti-cat, too.

" Official Super Bowl Commercial 2009"
CareerBuilder, YouTube (February 1, 2009)
video (1:02)

The koala (with a British accent, spectacles, and a mug of coffee) getting punched was a bit much. I notice that this ad is anti-woman, too, by the hypersensitive standards of my 'good old days.' Apparently women spend all their time screaming and pounding a steering wheel. The idea! We also learn that overweight, middle-aged white guys spend all their time crying: but that's okay, except for the overweight part. Mustn't be guilty of weightism (a variety of lookism - I'm not making that up). Then there was the guy in his underwear, picking his toes.

Seriously? This might have been an effective commercial, if the agency had bothered to repeat the company's name as often as the gags.

"The FULL! 2009 Superbowl Commercial Ad for Go! ENHANCEMENT! EXTENDED! - HILARIOUS!"
DonutDawgz, YouTube
video (3:02)

I almost agree with the author on this one: "Again, is the winner (loser), with their courtroom bit with women unzipping their tops. Entirely inappropriate for our younger kids, and embarrassing to watch." One point: Unzipping their tops, no; opening their tops, yes. I know: "unzipping" sounds cooler, maybe, but it's simply not accurate.

This ad is 'racist,' too, by some very-sensitive points of view. One of they young women has a rather broad Hispanic accent (sorry if that's the wrong term right now), and said "I no speak English so good, sir."

From a technical point of view, this is a fairly well-done ad. "Enhanced" is emphasized by repetition, and ties in with the Web enhancements GoDaddy is marketing.

The ad is also, in my considered opinion, over the top. I watched it three times, and I'm quite certain of that.

Hot Babes in the Shower; Sexist Flowers; a Screaming, Hysterical Woman; and Courtroom Drama Brimming With Excitement

Whiff of 'ah, for the Golden Age of the nineties' aside, I think the author has a point.

Advertising agencies will be hard-pressed to bring surpass this carnival of tackiness in next year's Superbowl. What's scary is the thought that they may succeed.

Parting Thoughts

If companies can't demand refunds for awful advertising, this year's Superbowl exhibition might put the idea over the top. (Maybe I watched that courtroom thing too much.)

And, no: I didn't watch the Superbowl. And commercials like those are part of the reason this family is a bit careful about what we watch.

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