For years, I’ve written about the Super Bowl ads because they get so much attention. Since so many of them have been violent, ageist, and sexist, I think it’s something that consumers need to know about.
However, this year, before I evaluate the ads, I need to comment on the NFL’s attempts to smooth over its botch response to black athletes kneeling when the national anthem is played to protest police brutality and racism.
Dr. Bernice A. King, the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, came out on the field before Super Bowl LIII for the coin toss. Two civil rights leaders, Ambassador Andrew Young and U.S. Representative John Lewis, joined by her.
Before the game began, the NFL also played a stadium video that showed images of King and other civil rights leaders, along with images of NFL players doing charity work.
On television, CBS showed a public service announcement featuring Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league executives visiting the Ebenezer Baptist Church and other places associated with Martin Luther King Jr.
This was just terrible. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling in 2016, isn’t able to get a job now. He’s being blackballed by all the NFL teams and has filed a lawsuit over it.
When other players followed Kaepernick’s lead, the NFL responded by announcing that teams would be fined if their players continued to “take a knee” on the field or they could stay in the locker room without a penalty. President Trump called kneeling a “disgrace” and said the players should be fired and that it was a “deportable” offense.
The NFL handled it badly. It should have let any players kneel who choose to or skipped playing the national anthem.
Now for an evaluation of the Super Bowl ads.
The Super Bowl ads for products were less violent this year. In the past, we’ve had Betty White being slammed to the ground over a candy bar and a person slapped in the face because a sandwich was good.
On the other hand, with dozens of ads for violent movies and TV shows plus the violence of the game of football itself, it made the Super Bowl experience one dominated by violent images.
Serena Williams encourages girls to use their power.
The Chargers' Anthony Lynn, who nearly died after a hit-and-run accident, thanks to the first responders who saved his life.
The Washington Post
The Post’s “Democracy Dies in the Darkness” ad featured journalists who were killed or missing due to their work, with Jamal Khasoggi, who was brutally murdered, featured at the end of the ad.
In “Wind Never Felt Better,” a dog rides on top of a wagon pulled by Clydesdale horses to a wind turbine farm to show that Budweiser now brews its beer by wind power, while “Blowin’ in the Wind” plays in the background.
“The Great Unknowns – What If?” talks about what if instead of spending lots of money for celebrities for the Super Bowl ads, the money went to people who needed help.
“We All Win” shows how kids with disabilities can play video games better with an adaptive controller.
In “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here,” people talk about how they owe their lives to first responders.
In “Toni,” they said a girl was too small to play football, but she succeeded like Toyota’s RAV4.
It’s all about Carrie Bradshaw’s plunging neckline as she and Jeff Bridges choose Stella Artois instead of their regular drinks.
Scantily clad dancers help a rapper try to sell this system for keeping track of your expenses.
“The Pure Experience” uses a woman wearing a white blouse that just covers her breasts to convince us that the organic beer is pure and tasty.
NFL – 100 Years
Instead of having speeches to celebrate the NFL anniversary or something clever, the NFL football greats, dressed in tuxedos, get the golden football off a cake and start throwing it around the room, upsetting tables, pushing each other around, knocking over waiters, knocking over the cake, throwing chairs around, and jumping on and over tables. It's just more unnecessary violence shown.
Steve Carrell’s going on and on about Pepsi being more than O.K. is tiresome.
On a dark and stormy night, a monster breaks in and the woman uses the term “killer skin,” which is inappropriate because kids are dying in shootings and there’s too much violence in society, to describe her complexion.
Mr. Peanut, in a vehicle shaped like a peanut, crashes through traffic and charges into a house to replace a snack in a bag with planters peanuts.
A man, choking on a cashew, "goes to his grandfather’s home in a field and gets in the seat of an Audi," only to wake up as the Heimlich maneuver is performed on him.
Bon & Viv
Two mermaids tout their new fruit-flavored, bubbly alcoholic drinks, which are being developed specifically to get women who don’t like beer to drink more alcohol since consumption of alcohol is declining.
“Food Porn” shows a man addicted to food videos, with the purpose of the ad to get people to eat Devour frozen foods.
Chance the Rapper and the Backstreet Boys try to convince people through rapping and dancing, that Doritos, which are now hot, is a great thing.
An elevator operator has floors labeled with bad things, but the car shopper says they have shopper assurance so they get to go up instead of down to the bad floors such as Root Canal and Middle Seat.
Michael Bublé makes a fuss about Bubly products, saying they should be pronounced Bublé.
Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut” shows Alexa making a lot of mistakes, including turning the power grid on and off, which doesn’t inspire confidence in Amazon products.
Avocadoes From Mexico
In a dog show for which avocadoes are the prize, dogs turn into people for a moment, then turn back into dogs.
“The Close Talker,” says the user of the new Colgate can get right up next to people, although the people he marches with right in their faces don’t like it.
In “Robots,” the robots excel at everything, but the robot who looks through a window at people drinking beer bows his head and sighs because he can’t enjoy the good taste of beer.
In the “Sad Device,” two guys stack three different flavors and ask the device how many combinations of Pringles there are. The device answers, but complains that she can never eat them.
In “Mike ‘The Mic’ Milligan, we see how he works hard, in a slapstick way, to get the sounds of football.
In the “Best of Both Worlds,” robots give fanciful ideas, including a mermaid and a flying horse, on how to sell Sprint plans, but the announcer tells us the plain good deal is the best.
In “Chunky Style Milk? That’s Not Right,” we’re told expensive cell phone service isn’t right like chunk milk isn’t right, while people are enjoying drinking the chunky milk.
A 30-second ad during the Super Bowl cost about $5 million in 2019, according to Bloomberg News.