Tom Ross: Super Brees, super ads, super Betty
February 9, 2010
As difficult as it was to get up from the couch Sunday to reheat a plate of nachos during a spectacular Super Bowl between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Dolts, it was even more difficult to turn our backs on the flat panel during the commercial breaks.
I mean, Drew Brees completed 32 passes during the game and almost all of them were dinks and dunks. Ya seen one, ya seen 'em all.
But there was only one opportunity to watch 88-year-old actress Betty White get pancaked into a mud wallow by an amateur linebacker. White, who is America's most lovable, trash-talking, sexy octogenarian, jumped up from the mud puddle and when her rival shouted, "You're playing like Betty White out there," the silver-haired actress retorted (on behalf of the good folks from Snickers), "That's not what your girlfriend says!"
If you think 88-year-olds are incapable of ribald remarks, check out White's acceptance speech at the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her wisecrack about her familiarity with some of the famous faces in the crowd might not get past our family newspaper's censors.
I'm sorry — back to the Super Bowl. How about the Saints' field goal kicker? Isn't he a dependable fellow?
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The real winner of the Super Bowl was Doritos, the company that allowed its customers to choose its final TV commercials for the big game. The ad spot depicting a yellow Labrador retriever removing his anti-barking collar and placing it around the neck of his owner with shocking results was easily my favorite play of the first quarter. Coming in a close second was the dude who faked his own death so he could be shut inside a coffin stuffed with Doritos. When he became overexcited during his own memorial services and tumbled out of the casket, his in-the-know buddy had the presence of mind to leap from the church pews and proclaim, "It's a miracle!"
Here's another miracle. Pepsi, with a proud heritage of highly produced Super Bowl ads (remember Britney Spears as an all-American girl?), declined to part with $3 million for even a single 30-second spot this year. Yet, Doritos is owned by Frito-Lay, and the giant chipmaker's parent is PepsiCo.
What's up with that? Maybe it's because Coke Classic tastes better than Pepsi any day. Or maybe it's because 1 ounce of cool ranch Doritos contains 2 grams of protein and just 8 grams of fat! How about that postgame analysis, Ron Jaworski?
Actually, Pepsi officials insist they shelved their Super Bowl campaigns in favor of a social responsibility campaign. That's a tough claim to make stick when you're in the business of selling sugar water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup.
I think we all can agree on the lamest Super Bowl commercial. It was based on a handful of aging Chicago Bears (and a bunch of extras) trying to recreate their Super Bowl Shuffle performance from 25 years ago. What were the folks at Boost Mobile thinking? What is Boost Mobile? Is it a pre-paid phone service?
All of the sexy come-ons from Godaddy.com should have been left in the last century — they didn't even make sense.
I'm not certain how the brilliant green police ads are going to sell cars for Audi, but they certainly succeeded in skewering contemporary society while making us laugh out loud.
Hey, I'm not a big fan of breakfast at Denny's, but their flock of chickens, panicked by the thought of free Grand Slam breakfasts for everyone in America, were a complete hoot. Tell me you laughed.
For sheer brilliance, you have to hand it to the ad agency that dreamed up the Super Bowl ad for Google. The 60-second commercial (they may have received a volume rate and been charged just $5 million) was called "Parisian Love."
The commercial comprises an extended Google search that follows the course of a presumed nice-guy bachelor we never actually see as he transitions from searching for the best place to study abroad, to looking for a café near the Eiffel Tower, then searching for a chocolate shop, then asking for a translation of the phrase "tu es mignon" (or something close to that), searching for jobs in Paris, booking a flight and ultimately seeking instructions for assembling a baby's crib.
It was charming, and it succeeded in reminding all of us that Google has a great translation service.
I wonder if Betty White is on Google right now searching for a massage therapist, or perhaps a good stuntwoman.
Come to think of it, you really do have more than one opportunity to see Betty White absorb a bone-crushing tackle. You can watch her get splattered over and over again. All of the Super Bowl commercials are posted on YouTube. What are you waiting for? Google it, Romeo.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com