Super Bowl 2012 commercials: Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial gets mixed reviews

February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI is behind us, yet discussion of the second Eli Manning win over Brady and the Patriots has taken a back seat for some to the commercials that aired during the game, even though many aired a full week before the game. As Hank Stuever reported:

Media revolutionaries picked an excellent year to actively discourage Americans from watching the year’s highest-rated telecast on stupid, old, outdated televisions. Had you not occupied yourself with at least two other devices, you might have drifted off during Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night on NBC. Live or not, the night felt somehow like a rerun.

The game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants stayed close (ending with the Giants winning, 21-17) and became technically exciting in its final few minutes but, curiously, it also seemed to crawl along.

The commercials blazed no new creative territory and even verged on dud gags and filed-down ideas. Like hot wings lacking spice, Go Daddy experienced an impotence brought on by its own puerility, while the E-trade baby ran out of things to say. A little boy urinated in a swimming pool to get you interested in software to do your taxes. A head popped out of a man’s shoulder to get you to visit a car sales Web site. Ferris Bueller came back, played by the doughy and appropriately aged Matthew Broderick — but it turned out all he had to show was this year’s Honda.

Part of that is everybody’s mutual fault: We opened all the presents early. All but a few of the mythically expensive Super Bowl ads had been available to view days ago, online. They were socially shared last week, judged to pieces and thus old news.

Chrsyler’s Super Bowl ad reprised a similar theme as their ad in 2011, but turned to Clint Eastwood instead of Eminem. As Sarah Anne Hughes explained:

A year after Chrysler enlisted Eminemto pay tribute to Detroit for its Super Bowl spot, the company went with a decidedly different spokesperson to sell their cars and message of recovery: Clint Eastwood.

In “It’s Halftime in America,” a seeming nod to President Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America”ad, the “Dirty Harry” star gives what felt like a pep talk to Detroit and the United States over images of the Michigan city, assembly lines, average looking Americans and, yes, some Chrysler vehicles.

“It’s halftime. Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half,” Eastwood begins. “It’s halftime in America, too. People are out of work and they’re hurting. And they’re all wondering what they’re gonna do to make a comeback.

“We find a way through tough times, and if we can’t find a way then we’ll make one. All that matters now is what’s ahead, how do we come from behind, how do we come together, and how do we win. Detroit’s showing us it can be done.”

One new face which appeared in Pepsi’s commercial opposite Elton John, Melanie Amaro, gave a modern take on Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’. As Jen Chaney reported:

In it, Elton John plays the role of a crown-wearing, wine-sipping royal attempting to pass judgment on “X-Factor” winner Melanie Amaro’s vocal abilities. (Wait, is he trying to get a gig as a judge now, or is that job still supposedly going to Beyonce? Or is this just his attempt to steal Super Bowl attention from his arch-nemesis Madonna?)

Anyway, Armaro proceeds to belt the heck out of a well-known tune by the Queen of Soul and teaches John — who has apparently time-traveled back to 1977 and borrowed a pair of Gene Simmons’s boots — a little something about “Respect.”

Oh, and than Flavor Flav shows up at the end. So, in summary, it’s kind of like this Pepsi commercial featuring Michael Jackson and a young Alfonso Ribeiro. Except, you know, not quite that awesome.

More from The Washington Post

Madonna, Kelly Clarkson, Cee Lo, M.I.A: Who was the best Super Bowl performer?

The five most culturally significant post-Super Bowl TV shows

Gisele Bundchen blames Tom Brady’s wide receivers for Patriots’ loss

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