The Super Bowl: When commercials are entertainment

Mr. Quigley has become a media sensation. SOURCE SKECHERS
February 6, 2012

The game is over, and now it's time to pick and choose the best commercials. Most people I've talked with said this year's multi-million ads were average at best.

In case you weren't counting, you watched more than 80 commercials – including local ads and NBC promos – selling everything from domain names to tires. Ads sold for an amazing $3.5 million for a 30-second spot.

As can be expected, most ads were for cars and trucks, beer and soda. Between the three, there were nearly 25 ads devoted to the big three.

It was interesting to note that all of the major car manufactures had ads except for Ford, unless I missed one when I went to the refrigerator. Even Fiat, which owns a majority of Chrysler, had one commercial. The longest running ad of about two minutes was narrated by Clint Eastwood for Chrysler, who used a football analogy to talk about America's past and future. Eastwood said it's half time for America, and the second half if about to begin.

Okay, how about the best ads?

In my opinion, the best commercials each had a four-legged star – Mr. Quigley the racing dog for Skechers and Here We Go the Bud Light fetching rescue dog. The best dog commercial featured the dog in training to catch a VW that ended with aliens in the Star Wars bar critiquing the ad, only to be overshadowed by Darth Vader himself.

The Kia ad highlighting a man's ultimate dream, and Jerry Seinfeld trying to get the first ride in the Acura MSX were also among the best commercials. Chevy had its popular Silverado pick-up surviving the 2012 Armageddon complete with Twinkies and raining frogs. Even vampires got into the act with the bright lights of an Audi rubbing out an entire party of blood suckers.

Of the soft drink commercials, I liked the Pepsi Max vs. Coke Zero spot with the Coke guy winning Pepsi Max for life from Regis Philbin. Pepsi also had rock legend Elton John as king.

And of course, sex sells. body painted a hot model, who was actually wearing a bikini, but you had to go to the web site to find that out, and the Pussycat Dolls. Victoria Secret model Adrianna Lima promised all who gave Teleflora flowers on Valentine's Day that they would surely receive. She also appeared in the Kia male fantasy ad. For the ladies, mega-star athlete David Beckham appeared in his underwear.

And what would any television show be without at least one Geico ad. The insurance company slipped two in at the end of the game – one with Richard Simmons and other other with the adrenaline junky pig.

Matthew Broderick taking a day off from acting, one of the most hyped ads, wasn't that impressive, although it was funny. For those who live on another planet, the ad was a throw back to Broderick's role in the 1986 film, “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” It's hard to believe that movie is 26 years old.


  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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