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Throwback Thursday: Jesus, Jurassic Park, and Tide Pods– Exploring the Ads of Super Bowl LII

By Julianna Perkins

 

Every year, two exceptionally deserving groups of above-average sized men get the opportunity to don tight clothing and light body armour to prove their athletic dominance.

They catch and throw a tiny ball and run about, all whilst simultaneously beating eachother up.

Thousands of spectators pay money to sit close to these two groups of men in a special enclosure so as to better view their hulking grace. Millions of others sit at home, feasting, staring greedily at the screen as the well-endowed men plow their towering bodies into one another for sport.

But the only thing people like more than intense, brain-destroying violence is equally brain-destroying consumerism. So, without further ado, let’s talk about those Super Bowl ads!

 

Tide (x4)

Firstly, these ad spots cost, like, $17.5 million USD total, if we’re going by this estimate. Tide balled out. Tide said “Well, people are already eating our detergent, so let’s give these filthy plebeians what they want.” Did it work? Yes. Tide has transcended the laundry detergent market to become, dare I say, a hip and trendy brand. We know that because they hired hip and trendy dad-bod-rockin David Harbour to be their spokesman. (Side note: if we’re all being honest with ourselves, Hopper was the best character in Stranger Things. I also didn’t really like the show. Don’t @ me.)

Tide played the game well though because man, do people love these ads. They even reinvented the Super Bowl ad format by messing with the fabric of the advertising universe and breaking the fourth wall. I did, however, question the use of the Exceptionally Long Horse™. I imagine its face looks like this.

RAM Trucks

What do heavy-hauling pickup trucks and an inspirational Black historical figure have in common? Literally nothing! Ya done goofed, RAM, unless the whole point was to cause controversy because there’s no such thing as bad publicity. This ad leaves me with, dare I say, a few potentially genius marketing pitches of my own. Picture this: Jesus is standing on the Mount, giving his iconic sermon. Acidophilus is trudging up the jagged mountainside behind a large crowd, barefoot, struggling. Suddenly, he turns to the camera… and delivers the world’s best plug for hiking boots. Brilliant, right? Wait til you hear about my next collab idea - Gandhi and Lenscrafters, that’s all I have to say.

Doritos/Mountain Dew

 

My initial thought was “Is this Game of Thrones?” followed immediately by “Is this another Tide ad?” Overall, however, a quality plug. Because what goes better together than crunchy, cheesy heart disease and the sweet nectar of diabetes? Morgan Freeman and Missy Elliott, that’s what. Apart from the fact that at 23 seconds Peter Dinklage literally almost gets flamed, a small part of me wishes the Voice of God himself was allowed to rap, because that would have been sick.

Wendy’s

Nothing spells capitalism like two brands that sell burger-shaped Tubby Custard trying to prove that one of them sells better burger-shaped Tubby Custard. This ad generally just felt aggressive, especially the whole one-word-at-a-time thing. If I want to die early I will do so any way I damn please, okay Wendy’s?

Jeep

I am ashamed to say that whenever Jurassic Park comes up, my very first thought is always this video. Jeff Goldblum is a dad, let’s be real. Apart from that, I don’t have much to say on this ad except yes, good.

 

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