"Mean Joe" Greene's Super Bowl Coke ad, the one where the Pittsburgh Steeler hobbles off the field and gets offered a refreshing Coca-Cola by the young fan, was one of the first truly memorable Super Bowl ads and exists forever in the lists of top ads ever.
So why not try to create the magic again?
It's been 22 years and "Mean Joe" is looking a lot older and grayer, but he's back in his football pads for a commercial for Downy Unstopables In-wash Scent Booster. The key difference here is that the kid is no longer a kid. It's not even a little boy; it's Amy Sedaris.
In the new ad, "Mean Joe" is still hobbling, but instead of that refreshing Coca-Cola, he's offered something to make his jersey smell wonderful. Unsurprisingly, he needs a little prompting to accept the gift.
It looks like Matthew Broderick is stepping back into Ferris Bueller's shoes once again for the Super Bowl. That's the way it certainly looks from the 10-second teaser to the ad that appeared online Thursday.
It's not much: Broderick, wearing a white cotton robe, throws back the curtains in a hotel room and says, "How can I handle work on a day like today?"
For fans of John Hughes' 1986 classic, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," that line holds great significance. It's an echo of Broderick's famous line, "How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like today?"
The only other info we get in the ad is a date: 2.5.12, which is, of course, Super Bowl Sunday. (The ad is a spot for Honda and was directed by Todd Phillips, who helmed the "Hangover" movies.)
Can we expect to see Ferris' best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) worrying about his dad's Accord instead of the 1961 Ferrari that's in the movie? Maybe.
It's not the only Super Bowl ad evoking past hit movies. Volkswagen, which had a hit last year with its little Darth Vader ad, will be tapping into the Force once again with dogs barking out the Imperial March.
The imagery in the teaser for Lexus' first big Super Bowl ad seems to be recalling scenes from Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park."
And Audi's new ad, while it doesn't specifically recall any scenes from "Twilight," is definitely tapping into the current vampire craze.
Will these be the best ads of the Super Bowl? We'll know for sure Feb. 5.
Groupon decided Thursday to pull the controversial ads the company debuted during the Super Bowl on Sunday in reaction to the backlash to the spots directed by Christopher Guest.
Andrew Mason, Groupon's chief executive, announced the company's decision in a blog post, noting that the company doesn't want to seek attention by stirring controversy. "We hate that we offended people, and we're very sorry that we did -- it's the last thing we wanted," Mason said. "We've listened to your feedback, and since we don't see the point in continuing to anger people, we're pulling the ads."
The three ads featured Timothy Hutton, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Liz Hurley, each in ads that mocked the pleading ads seeking charitable support for Tibet, the endangered whales and the Brazilian rain forest, respectively.
Initially, Mason respond to the controversy by attempting to explain that, through humor, Groupon would be able to ultimately help groups the company supports. Mason wrote in a blog post on Tuesday:
When we think about commercials that offend us, we think of those that glorify antisocial behavior – like the scores of Super Bowl ads that are built around the crass objectification of women. Unlike those ads, no one walks away from our commercials taking the causes we highlighted less seriously. Not a single person watched our ad and concluded that it’s cool to kill whales. In fact – and this is part of the reason we ran them – they have the opposite effect.
But he's since changed his mind. "[If] an ad requires an explanation," Mason said, "that means it didn't work."
Do you agree with Groupon's decision? Did you find the ads funny or offensive?
Chrysler's ad celebrating Detroit was, by far, one of my favorites for the night.
A question popped into my mind sometime during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday night. Around the time Usher descended from the heavens as a lip-syncing deus ex machina to save us from Fergie’s howling screech, I tried to imagine if anthropologists in the future got their hands on a tape of last night’s game.
Some of us are postmodern and ironic, and are snobs about it. Others embrace the uncomplicated and unsophisticated, and are snobs about it too. The Super Bowl forces the two to come together. Some laugh at the joke, others are laughing at the ones laughing at the joke.
Last night’s commercials aimed both high and low. Many missed the mark or stirred the pot. Reading the Show Tracker comments on the ads, a bevy of them were racist, sexist, too violent, too stupid. But, hey, that’s what makes us buy things.
If the Dalai Lama was watching the Super Bowl, he probably wasn't laughing at Groupon's ad. The spot featured actor Timothy Hutton, speaking in an ultra-serious tone, and making light of the Chinese occupation of Tibet, a situation many find morally contemptuous. "The people of Tibet are in trouble," he said. "Their very culture is in jeopardy ... but they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought at Groupon.com, we're getting $30 of Tibetan food for just $15 at Himalayan Restaurant in Chicago."
Funny? Some people didn't think so. A few minutes after the ad aired, a backlash quickly ignited on Twitter. Watch the clip above and tell us what you think: Was the ad in poor taste?
[Updated at 8:55 a.m.: Groupon responds on its website and offers to match donations to the Tibet Fund: "The gist of the concept is this: When groups of people act together to do something, it’s usually to help a cause. With Groupon, people act together to help themselves by getting great deals. So what if we did a parody of a celebrity-narrated, PSA-style commercial that you think is about some noble cause (such as “Save the Whales”), but then it’s revealed to actually be a passionate call to action to help yourself (as in “Save the Money”)?
“Since we grew out of a collective action and philanthropy site (ThePoint.com) and ended up selling coupons, we loved the idea of poking fun at ourselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause. So we bought the spots, hired mockumentary expert Christopher Guest to direct them, enlisted some celebrity faux-philanthropists, and plopped down three Groupon ads before, during, and after the biggest American football game in the world.
“You can view the already-aired commercials, as well as new ones as we release them, at SaveTheMoney.org. And if you’ve saved enough money for yourself and feel like saving something else, you can donate to mission-driven organizations that are doing great work for the causes featured in our PSA parodies. If you guys pony up, Groupon will contribute matching donations of up to $100,000 for three featured charities -- Rainforest Action Network, buildOn, and the Tibet Fund -- and Groupon credit of up to $100,000 for contributions made to Greenpeace.”]
It's a flurry of colors and animated scenes of the jungle in the ad for the upcoming movie "Rio" shown during the Super Bowl. There's also something else — it's your job to find it, though. If you find it, and then are the lucky one who enters the sweepstakes, you could win a trip to Rio de Janiero for the film's premiere.
The code reveals a special level in the Angry Birds game. At that level, you are able to sign up for the sweepstakes. If you're one of the unlucky ones, you'll have to wait until April 15 to see it with everyone else.
This 2-minute long Chrysler ad during the Super Bowl wasn't so much a promotion for a new model; it was an editorial in defense of a beleaguered Detroit and, perhaps, a withering philosophy of what America is about.
Eminem, a Detroit native, returns for his second spot of the night in what is a magnificent tribute to the city that has been plagued by all the ills that an urban area could possibly face. And it's a message to stay strong.
In a way, it's also more than a message about Detroit. As BMW also showed in an ad featuring the plant making its X3 model, it's honoring a time when America was about making things -- real, hulking tangible pieces of machinery. It stood in contrast to the rest of the ads for things we click on, things made far, far away, things created by people sitting behind a desk (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Chrysler seems to say that Detroit isn't dead, and maybe the spirit of Americans making things isn't dead either.
What can one say about the Super Bowl ad for the Volkswagen Beetle? It's a crafty ad, but it doesn't say much about the car. I imagine that's exactly what Volkswagen was going for with this campaign: It builds up suspense for the new Beetle coming out this fall, and it insinuates that it's as speedy and nimble as an insect darting through the forest. What more could VW want?
Do you agree? How does this ad stack up with other Volkswagen spots?
What can be said about GoDaddy.com's Super Bowl commercial starring Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels? Not much. It's an ad designed to elicit pinwheels for eyes and an ahhh-woooga sound effect. And I imagine it'll be successful at that, driving all sorts of clicks to see what happens next.
Do you care? (Be honest, but keep your responses classy, please.) What do you think about GoDaddy's ads, and do you question whether Patrick and Michaels should have signed that contract to begin with?
Who knew a car could talk, much less recognize a funny double entendre? Cars.com shows in one of its two Super Bowl ads that these cars know how to tell a joke.
I stopped watching Disney/Pixar movies some time around "Finding Nemo" (save for "Toy Story 3," of course), but if the "Cars" movie has the same kind of humor as this commercial, I guess I'll have to add it to my Netflix queue. If not, may I suggest a remake?
What did you think? How does it rank with Cars.com's other ads this year?
Oooff! HomeAway.com's Super Bowl ad bemoaning a hellish hotel experience hit a soft spot, so to speak. Note to conscientious parent: Stay in a cramped hotel, and it could be your child face-planting a glass window.
In the ad, HomeAway.com, a company that finds home rentals for vacations and traveling, features a British-sounding government agent of sorts investigating the horrors of a family trapped in a hotel room. With the accent and the glass-wall room with a family inside, it appears that through their wizardry, they brought the Travelocity gnome to life and merged with it an ad for Windex.
Perhaps, as a follow-up, Windex can come in and clean the window smudged by a baby face.
Any firstborn child in a family can tell you it's no fun being the guinea pig -- and, as Cars.com shows us in one of its two Super Bowl ads in 2011, it's good to have someone test the waters first, especially when buying a car.
It's a funny ad -- it gave me a few chuckles -- although I'm not quite sure how good of a job it does explaining what Cars.com does.
What do you think? How does it stack up with the talking cars in their other ad?