Commentary: Steering Millions of Dollars of "Scripts"

"Steer the Script," you say?

That was the Lincoln Motor Company's chance to become clever during the Super Bowl XLVII broadcast on Sunday. It backfired – that is, if you read all of the Tweets about on the same platform Lincoln's advertising and social media agencies crowd sourced their material.

Twitter became a great instantaneous form of entertainment when it came to the so-called Brand Bowl. For those of us who cared less about the Baltimore Ravens victory over the San Francisco 49ers inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, we had plenty of choices to do. Being an automotive writer – it was the advertising.

Obviously, the fodder on Twitter was ripe with commentary ranging from praise by some forms for the work of others to downright snark and vile. I was part of the Greek chorus of tweeters turning more into a combination of some singular version of Statler and Waldorf from "The Muppet Show" to some diva gossip boy on some cable channel or blog.

I offer up my observations via Twitter of the multi-million dollar spends that we endured through in this game within the game…

The VW ad – yes, controversy over the Caucasian who sounds Jamaican. Lest we forget that the country's PMs were once Caucasian. #bumclot

I was referring to every Prime Minister of Jamaica through Michael Manley. Though I made a further point about the Minnesota-bred character that stirred up the controversy…

A suggestion for #VW – next time, make the Caucasian from Madison, Wis. That's more realistic… #JustSaying

If you live in Mad-town or have visited there throughout the years, you might agree with me. That is, on a per capita basis. Though I-and-I wanna know.

While Volkswagen's piece was considered racist, the Audi "Prom" piece drew a different kind of reaction.

The @Audi ad was great, too! Of course, I would love it if I had an Audi at my prom…in 1982!

Yes, but did I miss the point? Or, at least, did I miss the controversy? My colleague Will Maley from Cheers & Gears pointed out something about my Prom past. I retorted…

ROFL!!! A blue leftover tux from 1980 in a '82 4000S thankyouverymuch! @Audi

OK, very funny…but, Twitter was mixed on the ad. It was well done by the agency for Audi, but the word "rape" came up on several tweets. Was it right for the geeky guy that drove his parent’s Audi to the prom to take the most popular girl in the room? What message did that send to everyone watching Super Bowl XLVII? You decide…

Toyota brought out their "I Wish" commercial with some starlet I have no clue about, their 2013 RAV4 and Skee-Lo's song of the same name. It brought something out of another brand…

Hey @Toyota, loving the song in your game day spot. This ‘64 #Impala will make you a baller. #wishgranted

That was Chevrolet's reaction to Toyota’s advert. It was mild compared some other tweets that will not appear on this posting. Sadly, I thought the Toyota spot was a bit weak, compared to the strong, no voice-over spot for the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

The snarkiness did not stop with automotive ads. One ad in particular drew some "interest" amongst the peanut gallery…

I have not seen the GoDaddy ad. But, you know, I could write that one better…

Oh, could I? A synopsis, there is a supermodel and a chubby nerd sitting next to each other. To demonstrate the point – they kiss. The point gleaned from the ad is that GoDaddy is a sexy way to get your website going using their service. Or, is it?

The reaction on Twitter to this ad was negative. "Ick" and "gross" came up a lot. I consider that people are not comfortable with large guys kissing hot women. However…

The GoDaddy ad – Walter needs a haircut, better glasses and nicer clothes. Bar needs to be a daddy bear. #JustSaying

The homosexual, Bear-identified single guy in me would rather like to change a few things. Though, if my suggestions were to be followed through, it would (a) play on Logo and (b) a parody would end up on X-Tube. I could always get a chubby chaser to take the supermodel's place…there are a few who would not pause a second to jump on that scenario. Otherwise, I could replace the supermodel with a drag queen. One of RuPaul's Drag Racers would work for a little Kiki on GoDaddy's behalf.

Of course, we had some winners amongst the ads. Hyundai came out with a series of ads for their vehicles. One, in particular, drew the highest praise…

Saw the "full" version of the @Hyundai Sonata Turbo ad – well done, funny!

To demonstrate the Turbo's passing power, Hyundai threw a whole bunch of "hazards" in the way of a red Sonata. Then, they showed what happened if they did not make that passing move. Drove behind a truck full of fireworks? You will know better next time…

While the humor was won over, I was looking for the emotional tug. Leave it to Chrysler Group LLC to provide it for us.

The emotional tug just came – thank you @Jeep and @Oprah

They did it with their Jeep ad promoting their support for Operation S.A.F.E. Return – as voiced by Oprah Winfrey. Oh, wait, there is more…

One reason for my reaction to the @Jeep ad – the end of DADT. With my people serving openly and proudly, this program will help us greatly!

I went political there for the moment. Until President Barack Obama signed the end of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy aimed at indoctrinating LGBT Armed Forces personnel into a life in the closet under the nation’s service, I would have not been fully supportive of anything that would exclude people from their return home. Now, I felt compelled to give my full support for this program and Jeep's efforts for transitioning combat returning troops to domestic life once and for all.

Chrysler was not done for the evening. There was one more ad…

The @RamTrucks ad speaks to our rural communities – in [Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin]. Paul Harvey was a great choice for this spot #BrandBowl

Ram went to rural America and made a point about their support for the Future Farmers of America. Though Ford countered with a barrage of tweets affirming their support for the same organization since 1948, the point was not who supports what and how. It is about the cynical view of how Chrysler delivered their message for the second Super Bowl in a row.

Yes, I get it. There is skepticism in the way @Chrysler sells "America" for the past couple of years on SuperBowl Sunday. However…in order for our country to come together, set aside our differences in a peaceful manner, these messages are necessary.

If one message came out of the "Farmer" ad for Ram, it is this…

The @RamTrucks ad affirms – even through a single faith, but a diverse group of farmers – that being a nation is necessary now.

The tweets alone formed this conclusion. There was too much division in this country, even after the last Presidential election. As much as we thought this was resolved, it still persists. Last night, Twitter was a microcosm of the division that still persists – even amongst my followers and the people I follow. Mainly it was mild and borderline sensitive, but very prevalent based on the commentary on prior commercials leading to the Ram one.

Then again, the game itself had its moments – the blackout included.

You see, Lincoln, this is how you "steer the script." You take what was said on Twitter and create a story based on the reactions of many. Still, you do not string this together in a advert that would make Salvador Dali shake his head in disbelief.

So much for this Super Bowl…

Photo by Randy Stern

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