There is a saying that in life we must take the good with the bad. I guess the same goes with things as trivial as television commercials! We already showed you our favorite three car spots from last night’s Super Bowl, now we want to talk about our least favorite. We have put them in a group that we have dubbed “The Whack Three.” Now, before I continue I should let you know that our three worst commercials for this year aren’t the worst car commercials we’ve ever seen. Heck, they weren’t even the worst commercials of the Super Bowl this year. There were more than a few spots which were far worse and/or depressing (we’re looking at you Nationwide Insurance) but, for the Hype Bowl we narrow our focus strictly on car commercials.
Thus, we present the Whack Three (now with comical word play for place positions!)
Turd Place (see what we mean?): “Fable” – Mercedes Benz
One of the worst things a brand can do is build up truck loads of pre-hype for their Super Bowl spot and then fail to meet the expectations they set. The “Fable” spot is a perfect example of this. For nearly a month before the Super Bowl, Mercedes Benz has teased their “big race” between the tortoise and the hare. Even using NFL legend Jerry Rice to aid in pushing this spot. Granted that “The Tortoise and the Hare” is an age old tale and we’ve all heard the story, We were looking forward to this spot anxious to see what kind of twist Mercedes would throw in to the classic tale. SPOILER ALERT: There’s no twist at all! Unless you count the tortoise predictably using a Mercedes AMG GT to win the race. You had a chance to do something really cool and different Mercedes Benz. Instead, you played it safe. As a result things just ended up boring and uninspired. At least Jerry Rice made a decent paycheck.
Blech-ond Place: “The Blue Pill” – Fiat
So, an older gentleman sees himself on the cusp of… well, lets just say “amore'” with an attractive woman. In a bit of bad luck, the man drops his much needed “blue pill” out the window and after a tired Rube Goldberg machine bit the pill falls into the fuel take of a Fiat 500. The Fiat 500 then transforms into the bigger Fiat 500X crossover. The message? Buy a Fiat 500X if you want to drive a drug assisted erection with wheels. No, thank you.
Worst Place: “Make Some Noise” – Lexus
We aren’t really a fan of “abstract” commercials so Lexus was already going into this with the odds stacked against them with us. Unfortunately, things didn’t get any better as the commercial went on. “Make Some Noise” is Lexus’ way to introduce the world to their new NX turbo SUV. The NX actually looks pretty cool and the commercial features an all black cast (the only Super Bowl car commercial to do so). That is where the good ends though. Rather than convey a message, use humor, or action, this commercial is literally just a bunch of people dancing and banging on things to a beat in a dark room lit with some fluorescent light rods. Why is it that a commercial with an all black cast has to have everyone dancing to a tribal beat? So, not only is it slightly offensive, but the way the commercial is lit makes it difficult for viewers to even see the car they are attempting to sell. However, the absolute worst part of this, is that Lexus actually made a pretty good commercial for the RC 350 using nothing but an open asphalt lot, one stunt driver, and a remote control car. Yet, they didn’t lead with that spot and instead this ad got the brunt of the promotion. You’re doing it wrong Lexus! Although I have faith they will learn from this and do a lot better next year.
By the way, the “Meh” award goes to “Newfangled Idea” from BMW. In this spot for the i3 BMW relies on a call back to when famous morning news anchors Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbell first discovered the internet and then creates a parallel to the pair discovering the “Newfangled” wonder of the electric car. Although when you consider the fact that electric cars have been around for years and that Katie already publicly admitted she personally prefers Audi to BMW this commercial kind of falls flat.
There you have it. Our worst picks of 2014 Super Bowl car commercials. We will be the first to admit we are pretty shocked to see the likes of Mercedes Benz and Lexus in this lot as they are usually pretty good or at least on par. But, as the Seahawks showed the world last night, sometimes even the best teams can make a really bad play call…