07th Feb2017

The Relevant Super Bowl Commercials

by Michael Chandler

Like most people, I spent my Sunday evening at a Super Bowl party.  Gorging myself on wings and cocktail shrimp, and half-watching the game.  I also managed to half-watch the commercials, and since this is an automotive enthusiast site, we’re gonna take a look at the eight automotive commercials that aired.  Let’s start with Audi.

Audi

It’s called “Daughter”.  The daughter is in a soapbox derby, and she’s the only girl in the field.  The voice-over is the father asking himself what he is going to tell his daughter about her value, because she (and the rest of us) live in a world where women, on average, make less than men.  It’s not selling a car, although they show an S5 sedan at the end.  It’s promoting them being committed to equal pay for equal work, which is a very noble thing.  As a car ad, it’s not that great.  Considering that they showed off a sedan version of one of their coupes, which means that they’ll be making sedan versions of their coupes, which makes me irrationally angry.  As a PR piece, it was ok.

Buick

Buick is still trying to convince people that they’re not building transportation for the elderly.  An admirable goal, but Buick is always gonna have that stigma.  The ad is funny: Cam Newton destroys pee-wee football players, and Miranda Kerr shows up.  I still think Buicks are sleds for the elderly, and this ad doesn’t really change that.

FCA

They came out with two 1 minute spots, and a 30 second spot for the Alfa Romeo Giulia.  One is about returning to greatness, Riding On The Backs of Dragons, another is about predictability, Dear Predictable, and the last one is all of the cliches you could want when talking about an Alfa, Mozzafiato.  It’s pretty hard to make the Giulia look bad, and it’s a trick to make the Quadrifoglio sound bad.  Thankfully the car looks and sounds amazing in the spots, and I want one even more now.  The spots show off the car really well, and hopefully this means we’ll see more of them running around in the wild.

Ford

Like Audi, Ford didn’t show off any particular vehicle.  This was them showing off how they’ll help you (or whoever) get around in the future.  Bike sharing, Transit vans on call, vehicles that can hard park themselves.  The future is looking bright for the Blue Oval!  Or whatever.  All I know is that they’ll be pounding out F-Series trucks until the sun expands and engulfs our little, blue marble.  Did anyone else relate to some of those bad luck scenarios in the first half of that commercial?  A few of those hit too close to home for me…

Honda

The Honda ad, which was slinging the new CRV, was inspiring and creepy.  Using technology, they animated various celebrities’ year book photos.  That was the creepy part.  The inspiring part was what the celebrities were saying.  And I’m not sure the CRV, while a decent little crossover, is not the most aspirational vehicle they could be pitching…  Meh, it still works.

Kia

Melissa McCarthy, a treasure, keeps trying to defend nature.  And nature absolutely wrecks here.  Up to this point, this is the ad that is the most cohesive.  It’s pitching the Niro (pronounced Nee-ro), which is apparently the most fuel efficient crossover.  It fits with Mrs. McCarthy trying to be an eco-warrior, although hopefully it doesn’t fail like she did.  The Niro looks pretty good, and I’m curious to see what the interior looks like.

Lexus

Lexus showed off the LC500, a damn fine looking vehicle.  There was something about emotion in there, but all I remember is hearing the glorious engine noise.  And the dancing, but mostly the engine noise.  Again, damn fine looking vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz knows that your dad and his golf buddies are probably going to buy the new AMG GT Roadster, so they got Peter Fonda to reprise his role from Easy Rider for their ad.  They also know that you’ll be watching this along side them, so the tapped the Coen brothers to direct it.  It’s not a bad ad, has some humor, and Peter Fonda is still pretty bad ass.  And odds are that if you were on board for the AMG GT, then you’re on board for an al fresco version.  

And that’s the lot of them.  Let us know which was your favorite, which you hated (I’ve got an idea where some of you will go with this), and if you’ve made it this far you deserve a treat.  So, here’s the Logan ad:

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