Matthew Broderick’s/Ferris Bueller’s Day Off In A Honda CR-V

A lot of Super Bowl commercials are being released early online this year. It also looks like car companies will be heavily represented in the advertising, a cautiously good sign that consumers might be more willing to take on big-ticket purchases. One of those spots that has already been a viral hit is for the Honda CR-V. It features a now middle-aged Matthew Broderick reprising his breakout Ferris Bueller role. Only that it’s Matthew Broderick skipping out on a day of filming. Here’s the extended version.

It’s an entertaining spot and a nice tribute to a classic movie. People love ’80s nostalgia (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out in June 1986, when I was 2 months old…) The commercial is a centerpiece to the Honda CR-V Leap List campaign, of which I found the first two released spots to be fairly stupid. The only question: will having these spots up before the Super Bowl reduce their buzz impact during the big game? Oh, and this is an article from Adweek about how the ad came to be.

Blake Griffin Both Endorses And Jumps Over Kia Optimas

Last year, Blake Griffin won the All-Star Slam Dunk Contest as a rookie (he also won Rookie of the Year). His signature dunk involved jumping over a Kia Optima. So he seemed like a natural spokesman for the Kia Optima. Here are some of Blake’s commercials. He’s really got the deadpan humor down.

Super Bowl Retrospecticus: Google’s “Parisian Love”

The Super Bowl is one of the few televised events that cuts across demographic boundaries. Unlike other sporting events whose television ratings largely depend on star/market power, the Super Bowl always gets a huge audience regardless of the teams involved. So it’s not a surprise that it’s the biggest (and most expensive) night of the year for advertising. With that in mind, I introduce the Super Bowl Retrospecticus, where I discuss notable commercials of Super Bowls past. I’m limiting this only to ads I actually remember.

Google was long known as a company who did not advertise. In 2010, they aired their first national commercial, “Parisian Love”, during Super Bowl XLIV.

“Parisian Love” was actually created months before the Super Bowl as part of Google’s “Search Stories”. These involved the intriguing, yet extremely simple concept that people search for things of current relevance to them, and when put together in linear fashion, the search terms tell a story. In the case of “Parisian Love”, it was the tale of a romance starting in Paris. The unseen guy is charming…he misspells Louvre, wants to find out about truffles and Truffaut, and searches for advice to cope with a long-distance relationship. Soft and inviting music plays throughout. We discover that the couple ends up getting married and the final search “how to assemble a crib” puts a heartwarming end to the story (with a baby’s giggle). Elegant, romantic, and beautiful, it was a hit which ranked #4 in ADBOWL 2010.

The success of “Parisian Love” led to Google stepping up its advertising. And Google has done a great job. There was a similarly heartwarming Search Story called “Graduation”. Last year’s “Dear Sophie” was a huge online hit for Google Chrome. The Muppets did a Google+ commercial, and who doesn’t love the Muppets? And I just saw the seriously inspiring “Make It Happen” spot. This is just a small sampling of Google’s awesome commercials/videos, and I’m looking forward to what they’ll have for the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning and Jerome Bettis Flip For Papa John’s

The Super Bowl matchup has been decided. In a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants will face the New England Patriots. That was a particularly fun time. I went to college in the Boston area but I’ve never liked the Patriots, so it was fun to see the then undefeated Pats get upset by the plucky Giants. All the Sam Adams in Boston was watered down by tears that night.

Papa John’s has an funny new commercial featuring Peyton Manning (“hey, a man’s gotta work”), retired running back Jerome Bettis, and twitchy Papa John’s founder John Schnatter. It’s a parody of the infamous 1998 Thanksgiving game.

This could be a nice giveaway of a pizza and Pepsi Max, IF they follow through. These types of things have a way of backfiring. At least they’re limiting it to Papa Rewards members. But man, I feel for those poor Papa John’s workers. That must suck for them. I really hope people tip if it happens. Papa John’s has also done something like similar in the past.

Well, now it’s about time to settle in for the State of the Union. Every year, a small part of me hopes the Prez just gets up and says “The State of the Union sucks and you’re all screwed” before walking away. And also be on the lookout for my “Super Bowl Retrospecticus” starting tomorrow. It’s For Real

I just saw this commercial during NFL pregame and was waiting for the punchline. But it’s for real. The song is pretty catchy (and also terrible).

State Farm Takes A Journey

We’ve already seen ’80s nostalgia from State Farm. This one also builds on their accessibility. The song at the end, of course, is “Any Way You Want It” by Journey.

Super Bowl Preview: Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side”

The Super Bowl is only 2 weeks away. I’m going to be profiling some popular commercials of Super Bowls past. But first, a look ahead. Volkswagen hit it big with last year’s “The Force”, which has become the most shared Super Bowl spot of all time. It combined two things people love: cute kids and Star Wars. Now, Volkswagen has a teaser for this year’s commercial. It combines more things people love: dogs and Star Wars. Here it is.

2/2 update: Here’s the extended version of the gameday commercial.

What’s That Song? Part XIX

I haven’t done one of these in a long time…December 6th was the last. So here’s another.

Artist: Ryan Tedder, Song: “I’ve Gotta Be Me” (Original by Sammy Davis, Jr.)

A rather confounding commercial for Dr. Pepper. Interesting, but full of contradictions. The full version of the song actually isn’t on YouTube, but based on the commercial and preview version, it sounds incredibly corny. Ryan Tedder is also the lead singer of OneRepublic.

Artist: Crown Loyal, Song: “You Can’t Stop Me”

Kinda tired of the Geico Gecko, but this one where he crosses the Brooklyn Bridge is entertaining. The Crown Loyal song is pretty good too.

Artist: Wang Chung, Song: “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”

The song is so ’80s and ridiculous. The commercial is also ridiculous (and called “Joylicious”).

Rerun: Forever Lazy Beats The Crap Outta The Snuggie

I’ve been lazy updating the blog this week. No particular reason, just lazy. So in that spirit, I’m reruning my post about Forever Lazy, a pretty lazy post in its own right. I’ll be back in full force tomorrow.

At first, you might think Forever Lazy is just a Snuggie ripoff.  The commercials even look the same. But wait…Forever Lazy has zippered hatches “for great escapes when doodie calls”. Revolutionary!

The Audi That Just Can’t Be Towed

This is a great commercial. The cinematography is exceptional, copy is well-written, acting is solid, and I love the folksy music playing. Some more info from a helpful YouTube comment: it was shot over 2 days in Willow, Alaska and the frustrated tow truck driver is played by Dave Florek, who was also the crusty Coach Smiley on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (!!!) The ad is called “Ahab” and it’s an allusion to Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick. I’ll be honest…the first few times I saw it, I didn’t even realize the Moby Dick connection. I’ve heard Moby Dick is actually very boring. I’m thinking the literary connection will be lost on a lot of people. It seems like Audi is trying to market to fans of programs like Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. I find this a little odd since Audi has a very strong reputation as a yuppy brand, and these types of shows attract a decidedly non-yuppy audience. But Audi can try. Regardless, it’s an excellent Audi quattro advertisement, and one we might be seeing at the Clio Awards.

“Ahab” is the centerpiece of a larger campaign. Here’s some of the shorter spots.

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