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Commercial success

February 9th, 2012

For most, the Super Bowl is about watching two football teams in a riveting game where hopefully the team you’re rooting for wins. But for the people who don’t care about football, or could care less about the Giants and the Patriots, it’s all about the commercials. There are also a select few who want to watch a crazy old woman dance with people dressed up as Egyptians while some guy in a toga bounces on a tight rope, but let’s stay away from that.

While there have been better years in terms of commercials, 2012 was no stinker, and was the first year where virtually all the commercials were on the Internet before they aired.

Car commercials dominated the slots, with Audi, Chevy, Volkswagen, Honda, Acura and Hyundai all having their own 30 seconds or more.

Volkswagen scored the most popular commercial, featuring a fat dog that couldn’t fit out the doggy door to chase cars. The adorable little guy starts his own workout routine until eventually he can fit through the door. Then, the commercial randomly cuts to the bar from “Star Wars” and an alien watching the commercial who says, “That was way better than the Vader kid,” alluding to last year’s Darth Vader ad. Darth Vader proceeds to choke him with the force.

It was all very cute, then confusing and had absolutely nothing to do with cars. It was almost as if Volkswagen didn’t have enough confidence in their four-legged friend, and shoehorned Vader in there at the last minute.

Acura’s “Transactions” had Jerry Seinfeld trying to bribe a man for his spot as the first owner of an Acura NSX. The bribes included an alien and a zip line around Manhattan, among other things. Unfortunately for Jerry, Jay Leno comes and steals the guy away with a jet-pack-flying-squirrel suit.

Another buzzed-about commercial was Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off,” that featured Matthew Broderick returning to his “Ferris Bueller” roots.

After calling in sick to an acting gig, Broderick has adventures around town, including singing in a parade and going on a roller coaster, while almost getting caught by his boss. It was a geniusly made ad that paid terrific homage to the movie. At the end of the commercial Broderick even looks into the camera and says, “You’re still here? Don’t you have anything better to do? Go. Get going. Go.”

TaxACT and Doritos both had amusing commercials as well. TaxACT’s “Free to Pee” ad featured an adorable little boy in a pool and his struggle to find a bathroom, eventually returning to the pool.

Doritos had a few commercials, but its most popular was its “Man’s Best Friend” spot. In this semi-disturbing gem, a man sees what turns out to be his cat’s mangled dead body being buried by a dog. The dog gives him a bag of Doritos with a note saying, “You didn’t see nuthin.” The man happily accepts the bribe.

Plenty of trailers for highly anticipated summer movies aired also. “The Avengers” trailer was completely awesome, as expected, but the trailer that garnered the most excitement was “Battleship,” the new film adaptation of the classic board game.

“I’m most excited for that one,” said junior Ryan Zubal. “I can’t wait to see Rihanna act on the big screen.”

The most talked-about ad had to be Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” ad. Starring Clint Eastwood, the ad was meant to inspire audiences with its American spirit. “This country can’t be knocked out with one punch,” Clint says. “We get right back up again. And when we do, the world’s going to hear the roar of our engines.” The commercial ends with the slogan, “Imported from Detroit.”

All in all it was a solid year in advertisements. All we have to do now is go out and buy a bunch of products we don’t need.