High expectations for commercials were wishful thinking
For years, Super Bowl TV advertisements have been held to very high expectations and have created iconic pop culture moments. Everyone who watches the game from home always knows there are going to be some commercials that are funny, heartwarming and downright strange. The commercials have always been a point of comedy and notability for the rest of the year. Even some iconic internet memes were born from Super Bowl ads. This year for Super Bowl LVI, I also had some high expectations for the commercials, but most of them were disappointing.
This year’s Super Bowl commercials were underwhelming. In the past, we’ve gotten iconic pop culture moments like the Pepsi commercial hosted in a mimic colosseum starring Beyonce, Britney Spears and Pink. That ad alone was and still is an incredibly popular moment and standard raiser for the Super Bowl commercials to follow. This year’s ads weren’t nearly as iconic as the Pepsi commercial and kind of let me down.
Don’t get me wrong, some of them gave me a good chuckle. The Bitcoin commercial of just a QR code floating around the screen like the old DVD players would was genius. I, along with all of my friends, scanned the QR code just to see what it was, which was probably more entertaining than anyone thought. Amazon’s Alexa commercial featuring Colin Jost and Scarlett Johansson was rightfully funny. The joke of the commercial was that the Alexa system can read minds, which fed into the conspiracy theories that the systeme system listens to our conversations. Overall, it made a pretty funny ad. But those are the only ads that are memorable to me which should speak to the lack of effectiveness.
There were some ads that were okay with their audience connections. Pringles’ commercial revolved around their narrow chip cans and how people often get their hands stuck in them. That was one ad that was fine, but I’m sure nobody is going to remember it in a week. On the other hand, the Puppy Monkey Baby commercial for Mountain Dew is still stuck in the minds of everyone, and every year there is social media activity comparing that commercial to every current one. The Puppy Monkey Baby commercial aired in 2016 for 30 seconds and left a permanent imprint on pop culture and Super Bowl ad expectations. This year I had to look up a list of the Super Bowl LVI commercials to remember some of them even happened.
Overall, I think there’s just been a decline in memorable Super Bowl commercials. They don’t really have the same comedic effect or feel-good impact on the audience anymore. It may just be me not seeing the quality in them, but for the most part, the Super Bowl LVI commercials were a let down.
Abby Provencal can be contacted at