Super Bowl XLVI Ads Pander to Geeks

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For most Super Bowl XLVI was all about the game. For others it’s about the overhyped ads, beer, and the chicken wings. For me, it’s all about the ads.

This year’s ads were a special treat for geeks: Best Buy highlighted the innovators of mobile phone technology; Samsung took another swing at Apple fanboys; Ferris Bueller was resurrected in the lamest way possible; childhood cartoon favorites shilled life insurance; I learned that without a Chevy Silverado, I will die in the Mayan apocalypse; and tried to regain public favor with a smattering of Weird Science-esque "hot babes" after the virulent backlash it got for publicly supporting the SOPA.

Best Buy's Innovators of Smartphone Tech

Best Buy didn't pay top dollar for retired sitcom stars, but instead gave the innovators of smartphone technology their 30 seconds in the spotlight. The ad featured the creators of the camera phone, text-to-speech communication, Instagram, Shazaam, and Words with Friends (which I think should be instead filed under "crimes against humanity"), among others.

It's a sweet spot that doesn't reek of consumerism until the very end when a (supposed) Best Buy employee says, "And we created a better way to buy a smartphone. Any phone. Any carrier. And all of their plans with lots of unbiased advice."

It'd be more accurate if she said "with tons and tons of in-store pestering." I can only hope the blue-shirted Best Buy minions don’t follow the Radio Shack lead and start asking me as I walk by the cellphone aisle “Are you happy with your current wireless provider?”

But this is advertising, after all -- we can't expect total honesty.

Another Samsung Anti-Apple Ad

The marketing team at Samsung has found its niche: attacking Apple fanboy culture. In its ad for the 5.3-inch kinda-tablet, kinda-smartphone Galaxy Note, Samsung brought one-hit wonders The Darkness back from the dead and re-explored the stereotypes of stuck-up iPhone owners and how the iPhone is technologically behind the times.

How did Samsung do this? With a stylus. Yes, a stylus -- the little plastic sticks prone to getting lost and cost a bundle to replace. Didn’t the stylus die out with the Palm Treo? But I guess I'm behind the times, too, seeing as how I own an iPhone and my favorite commercial was the one where a cheetah got its bloody vengeance:

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