business news in context, analysis with attitude

Nice piece over on that goes beyond a simple rating of the commercials that aired on Super Bowl XXXVIII and examines how most of the ads "had very little connection to what consumers need and want in the real world."

Included in the analysis:

    For example, one of the commercials generally perceived to be among the funniest was the Pepsi ad called "Diner." Directed by Spike Lee, the commercial showed how a waitress reawakens a customer's belief in love with a Pepsi and a sandwich. It was funny but did anyone else notice that the waitress was more than a little overweight which would seem to run in opposition to PepsiCo's commitment to creating healthier lines of products?

    The same goes for PepsiCo's ad for Lay's potato chips, which showed an elderly couple racing (slowly) for a bag of chips; the old guy gets there first by knocking down the elderly woman with his cane, but she gets the last laugh because she's holding his false teeth. Again, funny but what about an ad that speaks to the company's new direction and terrific execution to focus more on nutritious snack foods? Without overselling the benefits of a healthier line of chips, PepsiCo could have done something really interesting that addressed the obesity issue in a compelling and entertaining way.

    The Sierra Mist commercials seemed uninspired -- especially the one that had the Scotsman standing over a grate with frigid air blowing up his kilt. Now, even though we got the reference to the Marilyn Monroe-Tom Ewell film "The Seven-Year Itch," we found it a little disconcerting when the commercial showed a little boy looking up the guy's kilt and saying to his father, "That's just wrong." It was wrong - but mostly because in an environment where child abuse is on the front pages and accusations are flying about how Michael Jackson behaves with young boys, this ad was tasteless and untimely.

    In fact, toilet/crotch humor seemed to be the theme of the game's commercial segments. There was the dog who bites a man's crotch in order to get his owner a Bud Light, and the quarterback who gets distracted because there's a piece of Charmin toilet paper hanging out the back of his center's pants that feels so good he can't call the play.

You can read the piece in its entirety at:
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