Some Super Bowl ads just can’t wait for the big game.
For the past couple of weeks YouTube has been displaying tease’s for some of today’s big ads, and in some cases the ad in its entirety.
Why? Well, in some cases — looking at you Volkswagen — an ad can stir controversy, which is its own kind of buzz (remember the cliché about there being no such thing as bad publicity). In others it’s probably a mere matter of the more the merrier; what advertiser doesn’t want his commercial seen as much as possible?
So here’s a quick look at some of the more noteworthy ads that are just a kick-off away from making the jump from web to TV:
“Get Happy” — Volkswagen apparently decided to go for the heretofore generally ignored racist demographic, which makes sense because most racists like to drive tiny cars. In this ad a white businessman from Minnesota speaks with a heavy Jamaican accent and is relentlessly (obnoxiously, mindlessly) upbeat. We find out why when he takes two co-workers for a ride in his VW bug — they end up speaking with Jamaican accents too! Drive a VW and you’ll be as daffy-happy as a Jamaican! Memorably repugnant.
“Soul” — A lot of people have gotten worked up about the Kate Upton Mercedes car wash ad, but it’s actually kind of dull compared to this nifty narrative. A guy is sitting watching a Mercedes billboard being put up when the Devil (Willem Dafoe) appears, offering him the chance to sell his soul for the car. The guy imagines all the great things that will happen when he gets his Mercedes — he meets Upton, dances with Usher, women chase him — but then discovers he can actually afford the car. No need for Satan. All done to the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.”
“Viva Young” — This one’s a bit obvious but it’s still fun. A bunch of old folks sneak out of a retirement home and party hard and heavy all over town before ending up at Taco Bell.
“Motorola” — Remember sex? It still sells. Megan Fox decides to send out a photo of herself in the bathtub over her phone. Sudden chaos breaks out — sparks fly, a guy falls off a ladder, faces are slapped. Tightly edited, pretty funny.
“Topless” — Sex again. A scorpion crawls up the back of a beautiful woman laying on a beach and snips off her bikini top just as a Fiat convertible drives by.
“Wish Granted” — Kaley Cuoco shines in this Toyota ad as a genie come to grant a family’s wishes. Suddenly the daughter is leading an army to war and the Rav4 is flying through outer space. Well-written and paced, and wise enough to lean on Cuoco’s timing instead of just the effects.
“Your Big Idea” — Go Daddy presents procrastinators around the world not getting around to acting on their big ideas. Proudly crass at the end.
“Chase” — A guy on a camel, a band of cowboys, some Mad Max motorcycle types and a bus filled with chorus girls all spot a giant Coke bottle off in the desert and race to it. Guaranteed to distract some people from other ads (or the game) because you get to vote on who wins the race.
“Prom” — A young fellow going stag to the prom is suddenly empowered when Dad gives him the keys to his Audi. Nicely made, fits a lot in 60 seconds without rushing.
“Epic Playdate” — A family has an adventurous day in their Hyundai while The Flaming Lips accompany them and sing a new song. Two problems: The day doesn’t seem that epic (especially when compared to the “Wish Granted” day) and do all that many people know or care about The Flaming Lips?
“The Clydesdales: Brotherhood” — And then there’s the awww factor. Anheuser Busch again trots out its famous horses, this time following a young Clydesdale who bonds with his trainer and then reunites with him in dramatic fashion. What horses have to do with beer will forever remain a mystery, but this is an effective tearjerker and sure to be an audience favorite. And it too has an interactive component, with a contest to name the young horse.