Super Bowl commercials are invariably weird — because weird is memorable! — but one of the strangest was Chrysler’s mournful and depressive ad this year. Buy our new car; it’s built with the same “progressive” know-how that made the city of Detroit what it is today — and if you don’t, noted rap star Eminem will pop a cap in your Cordoba, holmes:
In contrast, the other division of Government Motors at least had some nostalgic fun with one of their ads:
What’s that, Lassie? General Motors has fallen into the gravity well of debt and labor woes? Who can get it out?!
And in-between all the ads, there were more painful moments. Or as Daniel Foster writes at the Corner, “Everything that wasn’t the football game was pretty uniformly awful.”
First we had to get past the dreaded Obama-Bill O’Reilly pre-game interview and Christina Aguilera screwing up the national anthem. Not to mention get through The Black-Eyed Peas’ halftime “entertainment,” which visually seemed curiously stuck in an uber-’80s mash-up of Tron, Max Headroom, and a cameo from Slash of Guns & Roses. (One thing that went wonderfully right was the reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colin Powell, Roger Goodell, and a squad of past and present NFL superstars. As a bonus, it probably made the same journalists inside the New York Times and the Washington Post who got their panties in a twist over Congress reading the Constitution last month squirm once again.)
In contrast, the actual game was certainly compelling football. After getting blown out early, the Steelers dug themselves out and were in the game during much of the second half, right up until the two minute warning. Considering how historically easy it’s been for a Super Bowl to become a lopsided snoozapolooza, that’s pretty much all you can ask.
Though in all honesty, once President Obama announced his preferred team, was the game ever really in doubt?
But seriously, as Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel writes, “Cheeseheads, game’s drama save this spectacle:”
The game started with 400 fans getting forced out of their rickety seats in a ticket disaster, continued with Christina Aguilera butchering the national anthem and finished with the Green Bay Packers batting away a final-minute, fourth-and-desperate Ben Roethlisberger(notes) pass to seal a 31-25 victory.
From calamitous to classic, football saved the day, as it seems to always do in the NFL. For every off-field scandal and personal life soap opera, the game remains the game, in this case the Pittsburgh Steelers and Packers going back and forth, tackle to turnover to create 60 more minutes of gut-check emotion.
Enjoy the happy afterglow for now, because it won’t last. “And to think, we’re a few weeks of news conferences and posturing from a work stoppage that threatens the greatest show on earth,” Wetzel ominously warns.
(Apologies to Frank Zappa for the headline.)
Related: At the Washington Examiner, “Chrysler releases $9m Super Bowl ad while requesting more taxpayer dollars.”
The laughable taxpayer-fueled Chrysler Super Bowl ad says of Detroit, “that’s our story. Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in papers. The one being written by folks who’ve never even been here.”
The folks at Chrysler, and their federal benefactors, would prefer you avert your eyes to the real story of Detroit – of car assembly moving to southern states because of UAW contracts and urban rot presided over by one-party rule for decades. Even if you’ve never been to Detroit, judge for yourself, peruse for a minute this photo essay “Detroit in Ruins” from the UK Guardian to see real pictures of a once grand city reduced to something from the other side of the apocalypse . Or watch this video of urban decay so severe wild game is returning to inner city Detroit. Millions of dollars in taxpayer backed advertising can’t conceal what bad government and labor policies did to a once gleaming monument to American ingenuity. (The photo above is from the advertisement; the man appears to be crossing “Congress” St.)
Meanwhile, James Lileks and Neal Justin, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s TV critic, review the best and worst of the Super Bowl commercials. They split their opinion on the nine million dollar Motor City message mayhem:
And finally, at least for now, Motorola produced a fun parody of Apple’s iconic 1984 ad:
Though given the choices involved — looking equally cast-in-the-mold whether as a hipster doofus or an Apple user who looks like he walked off the set of THX-1138, I feel a bit like Jack Benny being asked, “Your money or your life.”
Which come to think of it, brings us back to the Detroit ad.