As most semi-conscious Americans know, the Superbowl took place on Sunday, Feb. 5. The passionate New England Patriots and the New York Giants met in a rumpus only comparable to the epic Clash of the Titans. The poor Patriots, led by the steamy Tom Brady, battled hard, but the true victors became obvious in the final seconds of the game, when the Brady bunch failed to complete a pass resulting in a win for the Giants and lots of money for Eli Manning.
Now. I am just going to blatantly state that as an alien to this country, I am not as fanatical about football as the previous paragraph might imply. Actually, those are pretty much the highlights of the entire game that I caught. What I find the most fascinating about the glorious “Superbowl Sunday” are the little tidbits between the game– that’s right, the commercials. There was a good crop of quality commercials this year, ranging from the heartfelt (do YOU think Clint Eastwood was paid for the “it’s halftime, America” commercial?) to the utterly hilarious (a pug in runners: what’s not to laugh at about that?).
One commercial in particular stuck out to me. It began with what seemed to be a destroyed city. Amid the dust and rubble, a newspaper floated dramatically across the screen, displaying for all to understand that the Mayan Apocalypse really did occur. A quiet rumble is heard somewhere buried in all the debris, and out drives a brand spankin’ new Chevy Silverado, in mint condition except for a bit of dust- from the Mayan predicted world-wide explosion, of course. The Chevy owner, a mid 30s “man’s man,” encounters several other male Chevy owners, all who survived the Apocalypse due to their fancy set of wheels. When the main guy asks “Where’s Dave?” he quickly learned that Dave did not make it because he drove a Ford. Oh yeah, all this is to Barry Manilow’s “Looks Like We Made It.”
This commercial was not meant to be insulting, condescending or accusatory. It’s about the Mayan Apocalypse for Christ’s sake. Chevy intended to direct a commercial just poking a little fun at Ford in an entertaining, clever, self-promotional way.
Ford didn’t take it that way. Ford spokesman, Mike Levine, told Yahoo! that the company had a problem with the claims that GM, Chevy’s automaker, made about Ford’s dependability.
“Claims are made in advertising frequently by every auto manufacturer,” Levine said. “This type of ad protest happens from time to time…We’ll always defend our products.”
Ford went on to ask Chevy to pull the ad and NBC not to air it, USA Today reported. NBC did air it however, right in prime-time viewing hours, too.
Chevy stood by their ad. GM global chief marketing officer Joel Ewanick told USA Today, “We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road. The ad is a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse.”
Go cry me a river Ford. It’s a joke. Instead of whining about it, go make a commercial rebutting their claims, don’t “issue an official statement,” –where’s the fun in that? Americans loves a good competition and what’s more American than Chevy and Ford?
A good example of this healthy competition is an ad campaign that Audi recently launched.
The billboard sized ad simply featured the 2012 Audi A4 with the sassy statement “Your move, BMW.”
BMW played back, positioning an even larger billboard immediately across the street. Their ad featured a picture of the new BMW. It boldly and simplistically proclaimed “Checkmate.”
There we go car companies! That’s a bit of an improvement. It’s interesting how the German car companies got this healthy competition thing down, but Americans, who are supposed to be all about sports and playful competition, went crying to Mommy.
Funny how all this playful competition started at the Superbowl, where the true American values of respect, resilience and hard work are supposed to be exhibited at their finest.