Slate Staffers Chat With Readers About This Year’s Super Bowl Commercials

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
Feb. 6 2012 7:47 PM

Beckham’s Bod and Clint’s Politics

Slate staffers chat with readers about this year’s Super Bowl commercials.

(Continued from Page 2)

Seth Stevenson: My least favorite thing about the Skechers ad was the last-second, utterly pointless appearance of Mark Cuban. What value could he possibly bring? Is he an appealing figure you want to associate with your brand?

Nora Merhar: You know, I completely forgot about Mark Cuban in my general annoyance at the ad. Though I'm obviously not their target audience. My dog friends all preferred the Bud ad with Weego.

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Roman Strakovsky: Did anyone else find the "Euroness" of the Fiat Abarth commercial refreshing in a sea of Bud Light/Doritos/Coke ads?

John Swansburg: I did some research: Bud Light Platinum has higher alcohol content (and slightly more calories) than pre-alchemy Bud Light.

Seth Stevenson: I saw that. 6%! That's microbrew territory!

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John Swansburg: Seth, what did you think of Twinkies showing up in the Chevy apocalypse ad? a) Hostess is bankrupt and b) doesn't it sort of suggest that Twinkies are so far from being actual food that they just might make it through the end of days?

Seth Stevenson: I'm fascinated by multi-brand ads. Like GE prominently showing people drinking Buds. I think at this point everyone knows that the only items to survive the apocalypse will be Twinkies, cockroaches, the Chevy Silverado, and Joan Rivers.

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Kevin Dohner: The commercials were lousy this year. A few that were kinda’ funny, but it wasn't that much different than a playoff game commercial.

Tonie Lamar-Osborne: My main event was the great game with Eli winning.

Jeffrey Rickett: I liked the boy in the pool who had to go to the bathroom, all can definitely relate. But after some moments later we all forgot who the commercial was for until a bunch of us finally figured it out. But even now I forget the name of the Free Income Tax service.

Sophie Tesch: This one was my favorite.

John Swansburg: A subtle but really funny moment from last night: The Alec Baldwin joke slipped into the Best Buy ad starring all those wireless innovators.

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Amanda Wada: I was wondering about the local commercials. The likes of Central New York's locals would normally be expected during day-time TV, not during the Super Bowl. I thought the average cost was something like $3.5 million—there's no way our local pizzeria coughed up that much dough for the commercials we watched last night. So how'd they do it? Is there some sort of local/bulk discount?

Seth Stevenson: The local pods are definitely not selling for $3.5 million a pop. But I have to imagine they cost more than they would during Wheel of Fortune. Wish I had some hard info for you, might be able to report it out for a future article.

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John Swansburg: Big night for Friday Night Lights fans: Peter Berg directed the ad about NFL safety. Peter Berg is also inexplicably directing the inexplicable Battleship. Which stars Taylor Kitsch, who also stars in John Carter. CEFHCL!

Seth Stevenson: And the Wall Street Journal had Michael B. Jordan commenting on the game and the ads all night.

John Swansburg: When the aliens from Battleship complete their conquest of planet earth and begin to do some anthropology on the people they conquered, they will learn from Super Bowl ads that man's greatest ambition, other than a moon base, was a dog who could fetch a beer.

Seth Stevenson: If only Newt Gingrich had promised beer-fetching dogs, he might have won Florida.

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John Swansburg: What did people think of the VW ad? Was the Star Wars kicker fun, or was it trying too hard to relive last year's glory?

John Swansburg: I also liked another ad out of Detroit, though one with a totally different tone: The Camaro ad. As you noted, Seth, the product was front and center, and I enjoyed the kid's extended celebration.

Seth Stevenson: I liked that the girl accepts his marriage proposal on the basis of him owning a Camaro. I almost think that could happen. If the Camaro had just been through a car wash and was looking super hottt.

John Swansburg:‎ Totally: I mean, we saw that other lady accept a proposal in a Camry. Camry may be reliable, but those new Camaros are seriously badass.

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Seth Stevenson: Any thoughts on the Ferris ad? I felt the truncated version that was aired was not that great, but the extended version that's viewable online was chock full of fun Buellerania for folks like me. (The kind of folks who watched the movie in excess of 100 times when they were 12.)

John Swansburg: I agreed with your assessment that it needed more Ruck. And more Mia Sara!

Seth Stevenson: The world needs more Mia Sara. Remind me to lend you my Time Cop DVD.

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Seth Stevenson: Okay gang, I'm going to duck out—I've scheduled the next 30 mins for crying into my hoodie sleeve about the Patriots loss. Thanks to everyone for chatting!

John Swansburg: And I need to go bury the "confident me" who was hovering behind my head all afternoon yesterday going on about how the Pats had this one sewn up. Bye all!

Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate. He is the author of Grounded: A Down to Earth Journey Around the World.

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.

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