The Super Bowl was what it was. The pre-game started fours hours before the actual game, Billy Joel sang the anthem, jets flew over, the Bears came out fast, Prince did “Purple Rain”, the Colts galloped back and the trophies were handed out. All in all, a very long day of football and football-related activities, all punctuated by ads and ad tie-ins as far as the eye could see. I can’t hit ‘em all, but I’ll quickly go through some of the ads that made me look twice.

Right off the bat, the ad that struck me the fastest and then dropped me the hardest was the GM robot ad. It started off so cool. A bright yellow robot from the GM assembly line is putting cars together and drops a single bolt. Bam! He’s fired on the spot. Now despondent and out of work we follow him as he leaves the plant, finds other jobs (as a sign waver, a drive-thru speaker holder, etc.) yet still pining after the GM cars he used to build. Everything was going along okay until he shows up on a bridge and then commits suicide (robicide?) by throwing himself off. Suddenly, he wakes up and realizes it was all a dream. I’m guessing we’re supposed to get that at GM even the robots obsess about quality. Me? I went from intrigued, to saddened, to shocked and then to just confused. Is GM seriously letting me walk away believing its robots are having nightmares about how well they do their work? It says a lot about life on the assembly line and it does not seem that good to me.

Bud Light had quite a few during the broadcast but the one that stood out for me was the one titled “Rock, Paper Scissors.” Two guys at a backyard party grab for the last Bud Light, and then decide to “rock, paper, scissors” to decide who gets the beer. They throw down one, two three and then guy on the right chucks a rock smack into the face of the other guy, who threw paper. Totally violent, totally funny and completely reinforces that age old notion that some folks inexplicably have when it comes to playing rock-paper-scissors. “Good old rock, nothing beats rock.” Paper certainly didn’t do the trick this time.

Sierra Mist ran a bizarre ad featuring a guy with a beard-comb over. You almost have to see it to believe it, but basically the guy is bald, grew his beard long and combed it over the top of his head for hair. He is fired, due of course to his lack of good judgment in doing such a thing. He protests by standing up and explaining his actual good judgment in drinking Sierra Mist. Ultimately it’s a no-go when his “daisy duke” cut-offs and roller skates get noticed by his office superior. Kind of creepy but more funny, and it did not turn me off Sierra Mist at all. The humour worked.

There was also a great Dodge truck ad using giant versions of the Rock ’em, Sock ‘em robots. It wasn’t new this year but any excuse to revisit a favourite toy is a good one. It hit me right where Dodge wanted. Good spot.

Now my personal Super Bowl Home Run Favourite (get it, home run, Super Bowl?) is for Emerald Mixed Nuts and starring, of all people Robert Goulet. I had never heard of Emerald Mixed Nuts before but after this ad I can’t get them out of my head. A voice over intones that “around 3pm each day, when your blood sugar is low, some say Robert Goulet appears and messes with your stuff.” We then see Robert Goulet slide down a velvet rope and begin stepping and twirling through the offices, shredding papers, eating phone messages, taping up sleeping workers and effecting all-out chaos. And it’s really Robert Goulet! We are told that just a small handful of Emerald Nuts will keep us awake and alert, successfully sending Robert Goulet away. It was totally ridiculous, completely original and absolutely memorable. I loved it. Go to and see it for yourself. It really did everything a good ad should do. played what amounted to a somewhat lame ad but it didn’t really matter. For them the whole deal is the ads that they submit to the television network over the months leading up to the game. They know in advance that these ads will all be refused due to overly-suggestive content but they do it religiously just to get the publicity that comes with having to continually re-submit new ads right up until game time. Of course the last ad always makes it through, and subsequently tells you where to go and watch the ads that were too hot for TV. Pretty tricky but this schtick is kind of getting old don’t you think?

Honda had a stunningly beautiful ad. It was done stark white, and shot in the Utah salt flats with their entire automobile line-up slaloming through classic old-style gas pumps. Visually it was amazing. I loved watching it, but I could not tell you one single thing about their cars. Loved the ad, but I can’t remember any product details at all.

Chevy had run a contest where fans could enter and create an ad for the Super Bowl. Well, that ad debuted and it was for the new HHR. The creator had a sharp looking HHR drive into a city with four girls inside of it and then come to a stop at a light. Quite quickly, men from all walks of life begin to stroke it, and gyrate next to it and then take all their clothes off and writhe around it in a sort of Mardi Gras/Pride Parade fashion. I really don’t know what they were going for but the tag line was “guys can’t keep their hands off it.” Okay, that’s fine but I can assure you that most of the male audience watching that ad will never, ever buy that car if they think there is even a remote chance of a similar thing happening to them. I’m betting that a lot of women feel the same way too. Really, the ad was just sort of uncomfortable all the way around.

And now for my “What the -?” moment of the game I present Snickers.

Snickers have two mechanics in a shop. They’re leaning over an engine, working under the hood of the car with their heads fairly close together when one guy rips open a Snickers bar, tosses aside the wrapper and then sticks the bar into his mouth and begins to chomp it cigar style. The other guy looks up and drives his mouth forward, biting the other end of the bar and eating greedily at the same bar as the music goes all “Brokeback Mountain.” The two lustily chew away until their lips meet, at which point they stop, leap up and then rip out a chest hair to show they are still “manly.” I do not know for the life of me what Snickers was shooting for here. My image of Snickers as a candy bar is totally unhinged. Are they targeting macho guys? Are they trying to offend people who are gay? Are they trying to be funny? Will someone get fired over this ad even being made? I’d say possibly. Why they would want me to remember two men making out, by accident or not, every time I see their chocolate bar is beyond me. Truly, the strangest ad of the game.

Check back next week and I’ll finish off my Super Bowl stand-outs.

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