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Not Bowled Over By Ads

By my reckoning, the ads in the Super Bowl were generally less than impressive.

Chevy was not firing on all cylinders, with one ad a strange scene with guys stripping to wash a car, and this year's ad fell flat twice with a spot showing a wet T-Shirt contest in the company's marketing department.

Anheuser-Bush had the best overall crop of spots, with a number of funny bud light spots including my favorite about a wedding presided over by an auctioneer so that the guests can proceed to drink beer, and my second favorite about a dialect lesson for various nationalities on how to ask for a Bud Light in various areas of the country, the South, New York, with the kicker what they should say if asked for their Bu Light: "No speak English."

Best tag line, thoug, was for Combos: "What your mom would feed you if your mom was a man."

My favorite Budweiser ad was one for the company in general, with a dog looking jealously at a dalmatian riding the Bush beer wagon–the underdog, litterally, and analagous to the little Donkey turned Clydesdale of Super Bowls past. When the all-white dog is splattered with mud, he looks like a dalmatian and earns a spot on the wagon and a hug from a model who winds up covered with mud.

My favorite three individual ads, however, were not for Budweiser but for Blockbuster, GM and Sprint Mobile. The first showed a rabbit and a guinea pig dragging and clicking a real mouse; the second showed an automitive robot with performance anxiety, and the third was a dead-on send up of an ED ad for CD, "connectile dysnfunction."

Best joke of the night was from my brother. He and my mom were watching the Prudential ad talking about different uses for stones– massaging, skipping. My mom commented that she had never been able to skip a rock. Without skipping a beat, my brother added: Neither could President Bush.

I thought Prince rocked, though with old stuff. It takes guts to do Hendrix, which he threw in, but pulled off. Purple Rain was appropraite for a game in which the rain poured buckets, or what we used to call a "gullywasher and a frog strangler."

I don't know if anyone knows the answer, but I clocked 7 minutes, 30 seconds of game time without an ad in the Colt's opening drive of the third quarter and I was wondering if that were a record for uninterrupted action.

Justin Timberlake appeared at half-time, bringing back memories of wardrobe malfunctions past, but it was just to plug the upcoming Grammy awards.

By John Eggerton