Where were all the wildly inappropriate, funny-for-all-the-wrong-reasons Super Bowl commercials in 2014? Maybe the better question is, who put the nuts of Super Bowl commercials on the chopping block?
Girl power ads
OK, before everyone gets too pissed off here, we're just asking a question based on a casual observation we made after studying the 2014 Super Bowl commercials. In years past, Super Bowl commercials have been about women in bikinis, copious amounts of beer consumption and inappropriate humor. Sure, the theme was misogynistic and possibly offensive to some, but this is football we're talking about. It's a game where testosterone rules the day and running into people headfirst seems like a good idea. Super Bowl commercials from 2014 seem to suggest more women have been invited to enjoy the game, so much so that the scales appear to have tipped in a feminine direction. We offer Exhibit A, which premiered early in the game, as an example of our observation.
Who let the dogs out?
Think we're reaching? Did anyone notice how many ads featured puppies? Budweiser ditched the hot babes and "boys will be boys" theme this year and brought us this instead.
Tim Tebow rescues puppies from a burning building in a T-Mobile ad. Doritos pulled out all the stops and brought us a softer, gentler commercial this year that features kids and a dog.
Perhaps the doggie commercial that most strikes a chord with our emasculation query is the Audi commercial that suggests a couple should breed a Doberman Pinscher with a Chihuahua. The result is a notoriously large, fierce breed metaphorically neutered right before our eyes.
Fundraising and do-gooders
Is it our imagination, or were there an unprecedented number of fundraiser/awareness commercials this year? Again, we're in no way suggesting this is a bad thing or even necessarily emasculating — as good deeds are not gender specific — but the "feel good" aspect of these ads is a departure from what we've come to expect from Super Bowl commercials. U2 and Bank of America partnered to raise money for RED, Cenex ran a "Tanks of thanks" ad and Chevy spent some of its Super Bowl budget on a tribute commercial for cancer survivors.
Supermodels and beer
One of the commercials that generated the most buzz from Super Bowl 2013 was a GoDaddy commercial that featured a supermodel playing tongue darts with a nerd. This year, GoDaddy had someone quit her job on national television. Budweiser's most provocative ad profiled its "re-closable" aluminum bottle (whaaa? Whose beer lasts long enough to reclose?). This year, Budweiser hit a home run with its memorable and touching "A Hero's Welcome" commercial.
So we have to ask. Was the theme of the 2014 Super Bowl commercials merely corporate America's attempt to invite more ladies to the game? (It's a question that's hard to ignore when the most eyebrow-raising commercial during the Super Bowl was David Beckham's H&M ad.) Was everyone doing their best to mimic the success of Dodge's 2013 "Farmer" commercial? Or has the Super Bowl and the commercials that go with it been somewhat emasculated with a warmer, fuzzier feel?