Super Bowl 2014 commercials preview

I’m not going to do anything other than post this link – which you could have gone out and found yourself simply by googling Super Bowl commercials.

But now I’ve done it for you and you can get an advance look at some of the teasers and some of the commercials that will be coming your way during this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

So just in case you’ll be at a party and will be in the middle of a cheese dip or re-filling your drink cup, here’s a link for you to enjoy.

I’ll reserve judgment until next week and be back with my winners and losers.

Go Broncos!


To Cancun and Back

One week ago today, Chris and I landed in Cancun for five days of sun and fun. Today, it’s nothing more than a memory.

Now that we’re back in sunny St. Lou waiting for the snow to melt, it’s got me thinking what an amazing world we live in and how much we take it for granted.

It was only a 2-1/2 hour flight. Our plane left St. Louis at 6:15 in the morning. By noon, I was strolling on the beach you see pictured here. The weather was ideal. 80 degrees. Sun shining.

I went for a swim in the pool, then took up a lounge chair to soak up some sun. The hotel had people walking around, offering free 5-minute massages, trying to lure you into buying an hour’s worth.

I went for the quickie and promised I’d look into the longer one later on in my stay. Little did I know that Chris had captured my 5-minute back rub with a few photos of Manuel working his magic. Not a pretty sight.

We were there with three other couples from SGM who are good friends, great people and turned out to be ideal vacation-goers.

Saturday night was a great Mexican meal, outside on the deck of a bay-side restaurant. Sunday we played golf at a resort course that featured a $149 green fee/all you can eat and drink special. We figured by the time it was all said and done that the actual green fees might have been around $40.

We saw a few crocodiles, had a lot of laughs, made a few good shots and took a few shots as well. That night, we ventured to downtown Cancun and ate at a traditional Mexican restaurant, complete with mariachi band and a five-foot tall waiter who would deliver margaritas to the table with four of them stacked on his head.

You don’t see that very often in St. Louis.

We were truly in another world. Okay, not another world but definitely another culture.

Though I don’t speak Spanish, it was never a problem because we didn’t venture too far off the beaten path – though we did travel about 40 minutes out to another golf course that seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere.

There’s no need to re-tell the entire trip – it really was without any major mishaps or misadventures and with the way my luck seems to go, that made it a very successful journey.

It just amazes me how you can get on a plane and just a few hours later be so totally removed from your normal, everyday world. When you come back, it’s pretty much same as it ever was.

You’ve got the photos that proved you were there. And the memories.

But before you know it, you’re back to work, back to getting your car’s oil changed and heading to the gym, trying to burn off some of the thousands of calories you loaded into your body over a short period of time.

Vacations are great.

Though you often wish that you could stay longer and enjoy a few more days of paradise, the simple fact remains.

There’s no place like home.

Time to go get my car and on with the day!





I detest the Rogue

Whoever is doing media placement for Nissan should be fired immediately.

I have now seen the Nissan Rogue commercial at least seventy times.

Maybe it’s my viewing habits as my television viewing consists primarily of sports programming and apparently, ESPN cut Nissan a sweetheart of a deal to run a commercial that I disliked the very first time I saw it. And now it seems to run over and over and over and over and over again.

Everything about it bothers me. The sound track is beyond annoying. There’s this uppity looking, I-know-I’m-better-than-you twenty-something female behind the wheel. In the passenger seat is some dweeb twenty-something professional wanna-be who looks nervously at his watch. And for good measure, there’s a smiling idiot in the back seat who’s along for the ride. Only eight words of dialogue are spoken.

“We’re gonna be late,” says Dweeb. The uppity-looking driver smiles an oh-so-perfect smile and floors it through the streets of San Francisco, narrowly missing a cable car and then the car veers off, flys up a ramp and lands on a train.

The train porter looks up, thinking, “this is the eighth jumper we’ve had today,” as the mischievous Rogue speeds along the rooftop of the train, only to disembark into the parking lot of wherever that destination was that they were going to be so late for in the first place.

“Oh, are we early?” says the dominant female who I’m sure will later crush this guys entire persona during their important business meeting. The guy in the back is in on the joke.

“Commute your way with the bold, all new Nissan Rogue,” says the voiceover.

Not in a million years.

I’m not sure if it’s Chiat/Day or TBWA behind this dreadful commercial – but either they got it completely wrong with the media buy or they’re way off base with the creative. Think about it. The commercial runs repeatedly on sports programming – a total male dominated audience and here we have this domineering female who is in complete control of everything – the vehicle, her helpless male passengers, even the yet-to-happen business meeting. Are we supposed to somehow identify with that and yearn to purchase this car?

I don’t think so.

So maybe the commercial has a strong pull with up-and-coming professional young women.

Sorry, but I don’t think they’re watching early-season conference basketball games or Sports Center wrapups.

It’s all wrong.

I’m sure I’m probably not the target audience for this vehicle. I think I’d probably get stuck trying to get in or out of it. So why have I seen it seventy times?

I looked up the definition of Rogue – it’s an unprincipled, deceitful and unreliable person, a scoundrel or rascal.

Great name for a car. The commercial is certainly rogue-like.

Please, Nissan. Run something else. You’re contributing mightily to people’s hatred of advertising.

I hope your car soon goes the way of the Edsel.

Don’t become a mascot for a new sippy drink

Over the past week or so, I was happy to see that DirecTV has resumed their on-going campaign where they deal with the bad things that happen when you have cable TV.

Two recent DirecTV commercials reminded me just how much I enjoy watching these spots. “Fatty Face” was very well done.

I also really liked watching, “Don’t have your dad get punched over a can of soup”.

Grey Advertising out of New York is the agency that created the commercials and I guess the client or focus groups or more likely, sales, led them to pulling the plug on the campaign. Recent efforts on behalf of DirecTV have been over-the-top but for some reason lacking. “Attack of the squirrels” was kind of creepy and not a whole lot of fun. “Motorcycle car” seemed just outright dumb and lacks the charm of the “Don’t” campaign.

So now, the “Don’t” campaign is back and I hope it continues.

It’s not that these commercials have convinced me to give up cable – they haven’t. But they definitely have done the awareness trick. I’m just not convinced DirecTV is any better than cable. Still, if you compared DirecTV commercials to those made promoting Charter, DirecTV would win in a landslide.

I love the voiceover for these commercials, I love the writing, the editing, the timing and the absolute unpredictability of the outcomes.

The formula is rather basic. Eight sentences, each one connected to the other. Each scenario getting slightly worse.

For example: “When you pay too much for cable, other bills suffer. When other bills suffer, you need to get a part-time job as a night watchman. When you’re a night watchman, you get fired from your day job because you can’t stay awake. And when you get fired from your regular job you end up becoming a mascot for a new sippy drink. Don’t become a mascot for a new sippy drink. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV.”

This concept would probably get killed.

Not outrageous enough. Then again, I only gave it about 15 minutes of time. The creative team at Grey has weeks and weeks to develop the next installment.

You know you’ve got a great campaign when people do parodies of it, as well as write and talk about it. It’s become a part of pop culture. Bottom line, though, it has to sell.

Our household still hasn’t bought.

But it’s not because of the advertising.

Keep ’em coming, Grey. These commercials are among the few that I have seen recently that I liked enough that they actually made me want to comment. Old Spice has done it again as well.

It makes me look forward to the Super Bowl.

Not for the game, of course. It’s all about the commercials.

Coming soon to a TV and computer screen near you.