Maybe I'm looking back on the past with rose-colored glasses. Maybe I'm forgetting all the crappy ads that ran in past years. But didn't we get much better Super Bowl ads in the old days? Iconic ads like the Apple/MacIntosh "1984" ad, Mean Joe Green tossing the kid his jersey in exchange for a Coke, or the ad that launched Pepsi's new look/logo with Cindy Crawford? These were all iconic ads that often launched a company's entire ad campaign for the next year or longer. Even the Budweiser Frogs and the "Wassup!" guys - as annoying as they became - were fantastic ads when they launched.
But this year, as it's been for the last few years, I'm disappointed. A bunch of moderately entertaining ads. Some boring. One or two flashes of brilliance (check out the Career Builder ad for that). Actually you can check out all of the Super Bowl XLIII ads below and be disappointed for yourself.
But to give you something that's even worse than this year's lame crop Super Bowl ads, I've got a few of my favorite all-time local TV ads to share with you...
This Is It Furniture
These are some of the worst commercials ever. And I've loved them ever since I first saw them in college. They've been running these ads in Champaign, Illinois for at least a decade, and it's kinda depressing to have seen this guy drag his kids into the commercials to act as over the top as he does. He always shouts "Downer! Downer! Downer!" and you always get a free onion. Seriously - they have free onions for customers at the store. Don't ask me why.
Eagle Man Insurance
This is a great Chicagoland treasure from 1993. Possibly the worst commercial of all time - not just for the awful acting. Not just for the terrible 80's mall-hair on the girls. Not just for the guy in an eagle costume who looks like he's going to take a dump on the roof of the car. Somehow the sum of the ad is even more horrendous than its hilariously miserable parts.
More Bad Local Ads
If you enjoyed those, be sure to check out this guy's list of the 50 Greatest Local TV Commercials. Some truly great crap.
Europe Has It Right
I'll leave you by changing gears from bad ads to one good one. This commercial would never fly in the states, but it might just be one of the funniest and most effective messages you could come up with for the product.