Adbusters

Ad Industry Fouls Again

The Super Bowl commercials are known for being clever and innovative, but this year's crop appeals to our basest instincts.

The universally tepid response to yesterday’s lineup of Super Bowl ads indicates that we’ve come to expect a certain degree of innovation from advertisers who drop millions to purchase game-time spots (remember  “1984” Apple ad directed by Ridley Scott ?).

But in light of the economic downturn and increasing financial woes, advertisers chose to play it safe this year, foregoing any auteur-driven cultural watersheds for crotch humor and talking babies. Although always absurd, the price of Super Bowl spots is particularly outrageous this year ($3 million for 30 seconds) and advertisers clearly didn’t want to take any chances. So they appealed to our base nature (guy taking a snow globe to the groin, giant fake breasts) and our sentimentality (horsey love story, dog adoptions).

Pepsi even tried to rewrite history by casting what was in fact Richard Nixon's preferred drink as the nectar that unified the counter-culture (with an assist from Bob Dylan who now joins Dennis Hopper in the ranks of anti-establishment icons cum celebrity establishment endorsers). I was curious to see how this gluttonous capitalist ritual would be handled at a time when capitalism is teetering on the brink. After yesterday, I have my answer. Advertisers chose to speak to us like we’re idiots and hoped that we would be so distracted by that poor guy’s crotch, that we’d sit back, crack a Pepsi and keep on buying this shit.

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18 comments on the article “Ad Industry Fouls Again”

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Anonymous

Funny ads are fine as they entertain while the game isn't on. Although I know that cost is a huge barrier, but why doesn't Adbusters, or some other Counter-Culture advocate advertise during the Super Bowl? I understand that this is somewhat against the total movement, but in order to have people expand their thoughts, we need to make sure they know of the alternatives. All it would take would be a combination of funds from a few different agencies (Adbusters, Zeitgeist, etc.) to reach out and give people an option instead of relying on word of mouth. I only heard about this magazine because it was accidently shipped to my mom's work.

Anonymous

Funny ads are fine as they entertain while the game isn't on. Although I know that cost is a huge barrier, but why doesn't Adbusters, or some other Counter-Culture advocate advertise during the Super Bowl? I understand that this is somewhat against the total movement, but in order to have people expand their thoughts, we need to make sure they know of the alternatives. All it would take would be a combination of funds from a few different agencies (Adbusters, Zeitgeist, etc.) to reach out and give people an option instead of relying on word of mouth. I only heard about this magazine because it was accidently shipped to my mom's work.

Anonymous

"All it would take would be a combination of funds..." Um, dude, a grand coalition of 'counter-culture advocates' would not even remotely be able to throw down a million dollars for a Superbowl ad. You sadly have no idea how impoverished the counter-culture generally is.

Anonymous

"All it would take would be a combination of funds..." Um, dude, a grand coalition of 'counter-culture advocates' would not even remotely be able to throw down a million dollars for a Superbowl ad. You sadly have no idea how impoverished the counter-culture generally is.

Anonymous

The super bowl may not be a viable reality but adbusters actually has a long history of attempting to advertise campaigns such as buy nothing day through mainstream media channels. If I understand it right, they've been denied repeatedly.

Anonymous

The super bowl may not be a viable reality but adbusters actually has a long history of attempting to advertise campaigns such as buy nothing day through mainstream media channels. If I understand it right, they've been denied repeatedly.

Gregor us

Ads may be irritating mental pollution but I wonder if they even have any affect on most of us anymore. I personally never feel swayed to buy a product because I've seen it advertised. At least I don't think so....

Gregor us

Ads may be irritating mental pollution but I wonder if they even have any affect on most of us anymore. I personally never feel swayed to buy a product because I've seen it advertised. At least I don't think so....

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