Student Voice


May 20, 2024


Light Drizzle


Super Bowl commercials fail to connect with national audience

February 12, 2010

Another Super Bowl has come and passed. The emotions were running high as it was a classic battle of arguably one of the best quarterback’s of all-time in Peyton Manning, and the Cinderella story of the New Orleans Saints who represented a city and a state that was making a strong comeback from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. But in the end, the Saints were victorious through the arm of Drew Brees and the gutsy play calling of Coach Sean Payton.

But every year one of the highlights, besides the big game, is the millions if not billions of dollars put into commercial advertising as the Super Bowl draws the largest television audience of any night. This year was no different as there were a few that stand out in my mind, and there are some that made me wonder why you would ever spend money on an ad like that.

There was a wide variety, representing topics from pants (like the Dockers free pants give a way) the automobiles (the Volkswagen Slug-bug punch) the snacking essentials such as Snickers with Betty White and the controversial Focus on the Family story featuring Florida’s Tim Tebow, which was indeed a great commercial that featured family values.

This ad was deemed controversial as it had pro-life intentions. But after actually viewing the commercial, there was no reason to be angry at CBS or the Tebow’s, but should instead be seen as a triumph of the strong bonds of family. Yet, there were still some commercials that weren’t so serious, such as the continued joke to make fun of Brett Favre’s “waffl ing” when Hyundai shows him accepting the MVP award in 2020 at age 50.

Overall, I thought that Doritos stole the show. My favorite was the Doritos commercial that featured the little boy who told his momma’s boyfriend, “Don’t touch my momma, don’t touch my Doritos.” But Doritos didn’t stop there. I was also impressed with the funeral Doritos, as the solemn friends recollect their friends dying wish to have a “casket full of Doritos.” But then of course there’s a miracle when he “comes back to life” after eating Doritos and watching football in his casket, all in an attempt to miss work for his love of Doritos and football. Others may have liked the Doritos one submitted by kids from Minnesota, which showed two men who stole Doritos from the Doritos Samurai’s locker at the gym, only to be “assassinated” by taking a Dorito to the neck.

After Doritos, Denny’s had fearful chickens worried about the free Grand Slam day (sorry, they did that on February 9th), the “milkalholic” babies on E-Trade, and environmentally friendly houses made out of Bud Light. There were the usual Super Bowl participants such as Coke and McDonalds, and the dull and repetitive ads of upcoming CBS shows (although the one with Oprah, Leno and Letterman was pretty good). But to be honest, I was a little disappointed in the quality and humor to be found in the commercials that usually receive so much more hype, especially at the pricey dollar sign.

Another Super Bowl has come and passed and let us celebrate the triumph of a team and a city that has rebuilt to become stronger than ever.

Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.