Colin McEnroe Show: Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads 2012

From Camaros to Doritos, there are a lot of ads to talk about!

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Chris Knopf, Steve Wolfberg, Colin McEnroe.
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Colin McEnroe Show: Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads 2012
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Colin McEnroe Show: Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads 2012

Do Super Bowl commercials hold up a mirror to, well, anything? Maybe, by the time you've paid three or four or seven million dollars for the time, plus your production costs, you've entered such a realm of insanity that it would be impossible to connect your final product back to anything going on in the real world.

Today, we'll be analyzing a lot of the ads you saw yesterday. Some of them can only be discussed in terms of whether they worked or not. Did they entertain you? Did they make you want to buy a Chevy or a bag of Doritos?

Others may merit deeper analysis. GE and Chrysler came forward with  commercials about the future of America manufacturing.

Toyota Camry may have slipped in the closest thing to a gay-friendly ad we've ever seen.
And it is, obviously, the duty of very American to know more about LMFAO. 

Leave your comments below, e-mail or Tweet @wnprcolin.




I listened to your show about the super bowl and everyone loved the Clint Eastwood spot.
Did everyone fail to note the irony of that add.
He was promoting the American come back of a car company now majority owned by an ITALIAN COMPANY FIAT.
I love your show and I am usually impressed by your knowledge and insight.
Keep it up.


Colin, I called today, claiming the real harm done in the Chevy truck commercial was the Mayans.
As if the fact that a bunch of individuals (did you notice anyone CARPOOLING in that commercial, huh?) driving gas guzzling (WHY did gas have to go back down below 4/gal?!) heavy trucks had NOTHING to do with the downfall of whatever delicate agreement we have with the planet/universe? Wow, of all the ironies in all those ads, that has to be near the top.


Writing geek's Super Bowl-ad Pet Peeve, 2012 edition: I loved the overall tone and message of the Chrysler/Eastwood "Halftime in America" spot. (It's now apparently pulled off YouTube because the NFL claims a copyright violation. Do they think they own "halftime?")

But after weaving a great football-themed narrative, the ad jumps to a clunky mixed boxing/automotive metaphor ("we can't be knocked down with just one punch... We get right back up, and when we do, they're going to hear the roar of our engines") before restating its "halftime" theme. It's a false note that jars me more with each repeated listen...


some comments on Superbowl ads, 1) the sight of the Budweiser Clydesdales (who have their own Wikipedia entry) brought a tear to my eye, 2) don't forget Madonna's Vogue ad embedded onstage (it detracted from her show in my opinion), and 3) several ads featured the destruction of some US city (can't recall them all now due to the beer last night).


Here's my take:

I found the trends represented in the ad showcase somewhat more compelling than the actual executions. The automotive segment is clearly risen from the grave and the advertisers are attempting to make up for lost time. Not with total success however. Conversely, the financial services category is MIA. Just a few short years ago we would see a shootout between MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Last night we saw Chase offering a payment service that Citi was also advertising in the post game and we saw the E*Trade baby's less clever little brother try and fill his big brother's diaper.

Those advertisers who perfected product integration won the night. I'm sure people are talking about the "yellow camaro" ad and the ad with Seinfeld and Leno", or that one with the cheeta, which car was that for?

The most interesting trend, however, was how social media rained on the advertiser's parade... At the hands of the advertisers themselves!
Viewers watch the SuperBowl ads to be surprised and provoked. Viewing an ad multiple times on YouTube in advance is like telling your children what their big birthday gift will be and then being disappointed when they don't jump with joy when they unwrap it.

I have more opinions on trends and some of the ads if you would like to discuss further.


The Clint Eastwood spot was beautifully rendered. A real TIME OUT America. There's a whole lot of aggressive behavour which manifest itself amongst fans who watch the games. Lots of flag-wavers swilling watching BUD advertisements, it seems overkill. The Chrysler Corporation seemed to give a legitimacy to the American Dream, buoyed my spirits, while honoring the comeback of a desperately 'sick' city, Detroit. I would wonder what Michael Moore thinks of that spot?


I appreciated that in the post-Mayan apocalyptic era, the only edible food on the planet was a Hostess Twinkie. Future archeologists will be dissecting that data for posterity.