Super Bowl Ads 2013: Which Will Be Huge Letdowns?

Andrew H. Smith@AndrewSmith53Contributor IIIFebruary 1, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 31:  A general view of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome prior to Super Bowl XLVII on January 31, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

For football and non-football fans alike, everyone loves a good Super Bowl commercial.

Fans of the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will have their priorities set on watching the two teams battle to win Super Bowl XLVII, but everyone else will be tuning in to watch some entertaining Super Bowl commercials in addition to the action at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.   

The Super Bowl is America's most-watched sporting event of the year, and it is a golden ticket for many Fortune 500 companies to showcase their best advertisements in front of the nation.  

Of course, there will inevitably be a few outliers who come out with Super Bowl commercials that are also going to fall flat on their face. 

Many companies have already released their ads leading up to the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII, so let's take an early look at a few duds that await us on Sunday night.


Volkswagen "Get Happy" Ad gets a Jamaican Accent.

This ad had potential for about the first five seconds. Office Space is one of my favorite movies, and I could immediately relate to the two co-workers in the elevator discussing how much they hate Mondays.  


Then the commercial took an irritating turn.  


While still in the elevator, we see a third worker speaking in a Jamaican accent for the duration of the commercial.  He moves around the office offering positive reinforcement and words of encouragement to his co-workers. 

Although I liked the upbeat message of the commercial, I thought the entertainment factor and tone of humor were lame.

The dialogue was also annoying and, at times, flat-out stupid.  At one point, our worker proudly proclaims that he is from Minnesota - "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Glad you did your homework on that fact-checking Volkswagen.  

Furthermore, are we really expected to even try and imagine that this guy is from Minnesota? Where are Gordon Bombay and the original Mighty Ducks when you need them?

Personally, I took no offense to this commercial and just thought the attempted humor was lame, but several media critics have taken a much more serious tone. 

Widespread reports from outlets such as the New York Daily News, San Jose Mercury News and Detroit News all indicate that many critics viewed the commercial as racist.  If Volkswagen was looking to stir controversy, then they definitely succeeded in that department.



Kate Upton Washes the New Mercedes-Benz CLA.


Get ready to call the "wambulance" for some families across the country who will be complaining about how their kids sat through this ad on Monday morning.   

Granted, one can easily argue that this commercial is too provocative and inappropriate for a national television audience, but aside from that, I found this commercial to be boring. 

My problem here is the fact that the commercial lasts for a full 90 seconds, and much of it is shot in slow-motion.  After the first 15 seconds have passed, I get the point.  The whole attractive-girl-meets-carwash concept is about as original as saying "the dog ate my homework" to the teacher.

Overall, I found the originality and creativity of the commercial to be lacking at best.  Mercedes-Benz could have just as easily done a commercial where Kate Upton is actually driving the car and advertised some of the unique product features the car has.

Also, at the 18-second mark of the commercial, we read "Kate Upton Washes the New Mercedes CLA in Slow Motion."  Um, wrong on that one Mercedes-Benz.  Instead, three football players wash the car for her while she stands away from them and looks into the camera. 



Hyundai Genesis Big Game "Excited" Ad.

Thank goodness this commercial is only 30 seconds long. 


If the Volkswagen commercial was obnoxious, then I am at a loss for words on where to describe this one.  All I can say here is that I am glad I have a mute button on my remote control and can look away from the television. 

After I watched this commercial for the first time, I felt like I had motion sickness. Again, I understand Hyundai is advertising the speed of this vehicle, but this is not something I want to view during a commercial break.

Honestly, what was the marketing department for Hyundai aiming for here?  OK, the car is really fast and looks cool, I guess that means I should go buy it.  Once again, the creativity and originality is totally lacking.

As much as I like Gus Johnson, I much rather prefer his commentary during March Madness or in a game of Madden as opposed to a NASCAR trial run in the middle of a Super Bowl commercial.