Pin It
Favorite

Comeback Time 

What the Super Bowl ads said about the state of our country.

click to enlarge art16181.jpg

As a cultural reflection of our times, there’s not much better than the annual phenomenon we call the Super Bowl Ads. There was the year of the sock puppet website ad — who could have guessed that bubble would burst? There was the year the dad/husband/boyfriend/man-child was the butt of every joke — our authority figures were failing us, and they needed to be punished.

Is this the year America’s comeback starts? The ad for Chrysler made me feel that way. A beast of a car glides through the streets of some industrial town … wait, that’s Eminem driving — must be Detroit. “This is the Motor City,” he growls defiantly, “and this is what we do.”

Emotional ad — almost made me forget the BMW ad about how clean diesel is part of a less gas-dependent future.

The Chrysler ad said what a lot of America wanted to hear Sunday — and said it better than all of FOX’s in-game, pre-fab patriotism. Hey, world, we’re back, and our muscle cars — impractical as they may be — are still cool.

But some ads had me feeling we were slipping back to the failed past. Maybe it was the parade of failed celebrities. Really, Go Daddy, you’re going with Joan Rivers? And Roseanne Barr, Snickers? You, of all beloved brands, who had such a brilliant ad last year with Betty White?

Worst of all was Groupon, a supposedly hip brand that foisted mediocre ’80s semi-icon Timothy Hutton on us. The ad was just plain weird, as Hutton talks about Tibet’s tragic troubles, then makes light of them. Next he’s telling you to aspire to pay less for a dinner out than your local restaurant owner can afford to make it for. Did our recent decades of expecting something for nothing and only caring about ourselves not teach us anything?

Maybe we need to go back further, to the Wild West days, as the best ad of the Super Bowl did.

Man in black at the bar in a dusty Western town — a classic bit of American mythology. Trouble’s comin’. He wants to wet his whistle, but there’s no beer … until the Budweiser Clydesdales deliver him a tall, cold one. What’s next? Gunplay? Fistfights?

Nope: “Blue jean baby… L.A. lady…” The tall, dark stranger leads the townsfolk in a rousing chorus of “Tiny Dancer.” Genius.

It’s that moment of teetering on the brink of something really bad — we’ve all been feeling stuck there these past couple years. Message: Keep the beer/good times/economy/jobs flowing, and life can be one big, awesome sing-along.

  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Hiring Among Friends
  • Hiring Among Friends

    What's wrong with this picture? Todd Mielke wants the top job in Spokane County and his colleagues get to decide
    • May 20, 2015
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?
  • Walking to Where, Exactly?

    Publisher's Note
    • May 20, 2015
  • Too Early to Tell
  • Too Early to Tell

    What's your opinion of Emily Farris? Hint: You probably shouldn't have one yet
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
The Battle of Deep Creek

The Battle of Deep Creek @ Medical Lake

Through May 25

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

Most Commented On

  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • On a Roll

    Just-announced reforms do little to safeguard Spokane against the danger of oil trains
    • May 6, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


Publisher's Note


marijuana


education


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation