Advertisements are used to help consumers make choices, and it’s a testament to their effectiveness that this Trojan man really wants an iPad Pepsi Kia right now. One of the biggest showcases for advertisements is the Super Bowl, where companies spend millions of dollars, just to get a spot that millions will see. This list is comprised of the worst of these ads, ads that missed their mark so badly that sales will probably decrease.
I would do a list of the best ones, but it would probably just be a video of Beyonce’s half-time performance over and over again. Oh, Beyonce, you magnificent Aphrodite.
Kia’s Space Babies
Explaining to a child where babies come from is extremely important. How well you do it can be the reason that your child is a functional, sexually healthy adult right now, or is wearing a necklace made of your ears. Kia knew that it’s a hilarious process, and decided to show the serious side of it. There are more punch lines in a pamphlet for checking for cancerous lumps then there were in this script. It’s such a failure of a commercial that it fits more as a deleted scene in Here Comes The Boom than it does playing during a football game.
It doesn’t just fail in a subtle way. It fails in the grandest manner possible, because you can tell that actual, human money was spent on this. The father invents this long story about an island for babies and rockets and parachuting infants, which does less to satisfy the child’s want to know his origin story and more to affirm his previous notion that his dad was a goddamn lunatic.
The whole “meaning” of the commercial comes when the father finishes the story, and the kid calls him out on his fantastical bullshit. The father, nervous, tells his car to play “The Wheels On The Bus.” Within seconds, a young boy’s natural thirst for understanding has been squashed by a family’s cult-like singing of a nursery rhyme, which all seems less like a car commercial and more like an allegory for Scientology.
I won’t pretend to know demographics very well. I’ve gotten my grandmother a set of the Die Hard films for Christmas every year, without so much as a single “Thank you” in return. If you asked me how to appeal to men, ages 18-35, I’d simply hand you a copy of Under Siege and hope for the best. It is with this lack of knowledge of what certain people like that probably contributes most to me not knowing why a beer company would spend their millions of dollars on a fish singing a cover song to a bottle.
It isn’t that funny, but then again, I didn’t like pandas in astronaut outfits, so maybe my sense of humor is legally dead. You could maybe call it original, but with its randomness, I could yell “Sandwich basement!” and consider myself equally inspired. And it doesn’t even do a good job of showing off the product. Oh, a fish sang to it in the shadows? Well, wizard dishwasher, I want a beer!
Psy and Pistachios
Right now, the only people who haven’t heard “Gangnam Style” lack TV, internet and radio access, and since we’d have to invent time travel in order to find the specific group that would be excited by this commercial, we’re all stuck with an ad with as much cultural relevance as campaigning for Eisenhower’s third term.
Psy does all the moves that made his video famous, this time surrounded by people in Pistachio costumes. They add “Crackin’” to the words of the original, in an effort to trick your senses into thinking that it’s a sort of different song from the one that you absolutely hate now. At the very end, a narrator says “Psy does it, and we all go nuts,” which comes off as the most embittered statement an ad man can produce. “Okay, you rejected that pitch too? How about we just get that Asian Rapper from YouTube? I have a great grandfather who died in World War II that is looking for something fresh and new.”
I’m starting to think that I’m not the prime demographic for anything. The dad in the Kia baby commercial terrified me, I hate fish, and every time I hear “Gangnam Style,” I have to reattach the fleshy thing that used to look like my brain. Thus, I don’t know what I’m supposed to get out of this. A dude is trying to quietly leave a girl’s apartment, but remembers that she’s wearing his shirt. Now, I know what you’re thinking. A guy trying to sneak a shirt off an unconscious woman? This must be a GoDaddy commercial. But it isn’t. He stops momentarily to let a cat stare at him disapprovingly before resuming his great attempt at making me not understand what I’m watching.
GoDaddy Nerd Kiss
GoDaddy is known for having hot girls promote its services. And I took the same biology class that the producers at GoDaddy took, that told us that a woman’s broken nails burst into flame whenever they touch keyboards. So, rather than risk the chance of what could be considered arsony in more liberal states, GoDaddy decided to show us that it had two sides, a sexy side and a smart side. The sexy side is made up of a hot blonde model and the smart side is made up of pinkish neck fat. To combine them, they make out, which was also taught to GoDaddy and I during our biology class: when two elements combine, one must be beautiful and the other must be preparing a boner.
When they do make out, they kiss wetly, because GoDaddy has seen the same 80’s comedies that we have, where the nerd finally kisses the secondary blond character and turns her mouth into the last few bites of a ramen bowl. Then they look at the camera, and both genders, utterly demoralized, attempt to fix each other sandwiches while refusing to ask for directions.