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”

Displaying 11 - 18 of 18

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Anonymous

"Um, dude, a grand coalition of ‘counter-culture advocates’ would not even remotely be able to throw down a million dollars" So why not start fund-raising, $10, $20, $30 dollars a head to start a fund for advertising in the mainstream? I did look into Adbuster commercials and I now know that they are frequently shot down by TV stations. Internet TV is growing. Maybe Hulu.com would consider some Adbuster advertising, although I'm not sure about the cost.

Anonymous

"Um, dude, a grand coalition of ‘counter-culture advocates’ would not even remotely be able to throw down a million dollars" So why not start fund-raising, $10, $20, $30 dollars a head to start a fund for advertising in the mainstream? I did look into Adbuster commercials and I now know that they are frequently shot down by TV stations. Internet TV is growing. Maybe Hulu.com would consider some Adbuster advertising, although I'm not sure about the cost.

Oneironaught

Counter culture advertisements are the antithesis of what the advertising industry stands for. The industry stands for profit and consumerism. Launching Counter-culture Ads is against their business interests, which will never be concerned with fundamental human rights like freedom of speech in the public domain. The public have no control over its visual environment.

Oneironaught

Counter culture advertisements are the antithesis of what the advertising industry stands for. The industry stands for profit and consumerism. Launching Counter-culture Ads is against their business interests, which will never be concerned with fundamental human rights like freedom of speech in the public domain. The public have no control over its visual environment.

The Demarketeer

Once we're at the point of trying to get a soft-core porn commercial full of airbrushed models to advocate, of all things, animal rights, there is no lower you can go. We've lowered to the basest instinct and there is no more "innovation" possible but maybe i'll be proven wrong... maybe ads in 2025 will allow you to interactively blow the heads off of whoever the enemy of the day happens to be in the name of a cola product.

The Demarketeer

Once we're at the point of trying to get a soft-core porn commercial full of airbrushed models to advocate, of all things, animal rights, there is no lower you can go. We've lowered to the basest instinct and there is no more "innovation" possible but maybe i'll be proven wrong... maybe ads in 2025 will allow you to interactively blow the heads off of whoever the enemy of the day happens to be in the name of a cola product.

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