Minute-Long Movies

Staff Ed

After being treated to a women’s basketball win, the excitement of a celebrity visiting our city and the  fun that comes with weekend relaxation, we all settled in to watch the 2015 Super Bowl.

With feats of athleticism, wings of chicken, musical performances and the pleasantness of spending time with friends and family, the Super Bowl provides an opportunity for just about everyone to enjoy themselves. But there’s one aspect of the evening that can outshine portions of the game, and those are the commercials.

From the clever spots for local companies, to the annual favorites produced by multinational corporations, the ads on Super Bowl Sunday always provide conversation material for weeks after the game itself. In fact, it’s almost become a norm for each watch party to have at least one person attending only to see the commercials.

We’ve seen them go from monosyllabic frogs croaking out “Budweiser” in 1995 to minute-long sagas (sometimes bordering on absurdism) crammed with more special effects than many of the popular films of the year.

It might be strange to describe something so overtly … well, commercial, as a form of artistic expression, but the first rule of art is that it’s subjective.  And, with so much talent utilized in this year’s offerings, we feel that many of the commercials this year qualify.

While we enjoyed seeing Danny Trejo portray Marcia Brady and Gilbert Gottfried try to eat a goldfish with chopsticks, we were surprised to see some ads that didn’t seem concerned about pedaling their actual products.

McDonald’s and Always both tried ads that seemed to carry a positive message in lieu of a sales pitch, and we preferred those thoughtful ads to the in-your-face style of advertising that has dominated the field for as long as we can remember.

While we don’t understand certain quirks with this year’s ads, like some companies releasing teasers for their Super Bowl commercials (a meta-issue that we won’t delve into here), we can put up with them if it means that we see ads that try to make us think and promote positive change in the world.