Kansas City in the Super Bowl
The Chiefs may have done their best Trent Green impression in the playoffs by getting knocked out in the first round, but Kansas City was still surprisingly well-represented in Super Bowl XLI — by business interests. Overland Park-based Sprint and Olathe-based Garmin ponied up an estimated $2.6 million each for 30-second commercials. Watch and judge for yourself if they were worth the money.
Garmin Man vs. Maposaurus
Synopsis: A driver wrestles with a map in his car to figure out directions. The map morphs into a skyscraper-sized monster that’s an obvious Godzilla spoof. The driver then uses his Garmin digital mapping device to transform himself into an oversized, Spandex-clad superhero to battle his map-beast.
Critics say: The New York Times called it a “clash between a monster and a superhero reminiscent of a horror movie.” The paper speculated that it could be a commentary about the psychic toll of the Iraq war. Meanwhile Slate.com called it the “funniest ad of the night … with a straightforward sales message: A GPS in your car means no more fumbling with unwieldy maps.”
Our take: We get it — Garmin simplifies driving and stuff. But Garmin’s hero looked a lot like a wimpy Power Ranger. Things got confusing on a Freudian level when the Power Ranger fired a destructive beam from a crotch-centered GPS device.
Sprint: Connectile Dysfunction
Synopsis: Spoofing the gamut of pharmaceutical commercials for erectile-dysfunction drugs, a businessman laments that his “connectile dysfunction” – or CD — makes him unable to perform like other working guys on the go because of his inadequate broadband. When a coy woman slips him some Sprint hardware, he seems able to close the deal.
Critics say: The Times calls the parody “dead-on, down to the hushed-voice announcer promising that Sprint Mobile Broadband would help those who ‘can’t take care of business the way others do.’” Unfortunately, it was forgettable enough that Slate didn’t even review it.
Our take: Dick jokes are funny. We wonder how soon the catchphrase will make it into a sexual harassment suit at the company. Talk about a joke with a potential payoff. One thing, though: Why don’t our Sprint phones work this well?