Advertisers shelled out millions of dollars to promote their products and services during Super Bowl® XLVIII, using everything from adorable puppies to famous celebrities to keep you watching and entertained during the commercial breaks, when you might normally run off to the bathroom or kitchen.
Automakers spent their fair share to grab the attention of car shoppers, with more than a dozen commercials from companies like Ford, Toyota, Honda and Smart promoting eco and family friendly vehicles to Cadillac, Jaguar, Maserati, and even Kia promoting their luxurious and exotic choices.
If you’re a motorcycling enthusiast who enjoys the exhilaration offered by two-wheeled forms of transportation but who doesn’t necessarily want to worry about the effects of gravity and physics that accompany such vehicles, then consider the three-wheeled Can-Am Spyder instead.
I took my first ride on one of these unique vehicles at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach last week, on the same day that Danica Patrick was there for her #FirstTime on a Can-Am Spyder. I am not an experienced motorcyclist -- okay, I admit, I’ve never piloted a motorcycle at all -- so I had a bit of a learning curve. While my first experience might have been a little bumpy as I learned to steer and control the throttle at the same time, I didn’t have to worry about dropping a motorcycle on its side, or learn the physics of counter-steer. While some of the bloggers with previous motorcycle were quickly proficient piloting the Can-Am Spyder around the coned course, let’s just say I’ll need a little more practice before I dare venture out onto public streets.
Starting today (Monday, November 18, 2013), contestants on “The Price is Right” will have the chance to win an exotic dream car each day of the week.
The luxury vehicles include a Porsche 911 Carrera, a Mercedes-Benz SL 550 convertible, a BMW 640i convertible, a Jaguar XK touring convertible, and an Audi R8 V8 Coupe Quattro, for a combined value of more than $500,000. In addition, contestants will have the opportunity to win more than a million dollars in cash and prizes.
One of the many automotive highlights from this week’s SEMA Show is this special-edition Toyota Highlander, modified by Animal Planet’s “Tanked” team to contain a SpongeBob Squarepants-themed aquarium.
Cal Worthington, the quintessential car salesman best
remembered for television commercials starring his “dog” Spot, has passed away
at the age of 92. Worthington died Sunday after
watching football with family at his ranch north of Sacramento.
While I can’t say that he did anything to encourage my
career as an automotive journalist, I can say that Cal Worthington and his “dog” Spot
were frequent guests in our livingroom, as his commercials ran frequently on
local channels when I was growing up in Southern California in the 1970s and
1980s. His “dog” Spot was never a dog;
every commercial featured a different animal, from lions, tigers, and bears (oh
my!) to skunks, octopi, and pigs.
Watching American Idol has
been a family activity around my home for years. Each week, my son Ben and I
would sit on the couch to watch (and sing along with) the weekly competition,
and he often told me “Mom, YOU should try
out for American Idol!” We watched pretty much every season -- including
all the sponsored Ford music videos and commercials -- and always voted for our
Yep, I sure do! Ever get so busy you don't know what day of
the week it is? Yep, I sure do! So here's the weekly American Idol post that
was supposed to go up on Thursday, but didn't actually get onto AskPatty until
today. Mea Culpa!
As part of each episode, the final American Idol finalists
are competing in weekly ‘Missions’ to
complete some sort of fun competition that emphasizes their own personalities –
so, things like singing, philanthropy, fashion, etc. This week's American Idol
mission, "Music Design Mashup" divided the four finalists into two
teams and gave each pair carte blanche to custom design their own 2014 Ford
Toyota has produced a series of videos that will ring true to anyone who, like me, played the ever-popular Game of Life growing up. With humor and dry wit, they compare "real" adult life to the version played out in the board game - and of course, they bring it back to having the right "piece" to play the game. Now, for the uninitiated, in the Game of Life all the player tokens are cars, and they hold not only you but also your little plastic pretend family as you work to make your fortune (or just avoid bankruptcy). The token Toyota recommends for the full-size game? None other than the Prius c. It's their hybrid / electric model and it's turning a lot of heads.
The series of videos has a lot of great information on car buying, they're very helpful if you've never bought a car, or even if you have and are considering shopping again. I'll give you the first video here, but to see the whole series (and I recommend you do so) go to http://www.youtube.com/priusc. The first video's past the jump. Hit it!
So last week I showed you this Kia teaser featuring Adriana Lima waving a flag and expressed my fears that it was going to be one of "those" car commercials, while holding out hope that Kia would surprise me with a twist. Well, there was a twist, but did it make for a good commercial? Here's the complete ad, which does indeed star Adriana Lima, as well as Motley Crue, and a duo of lumberjacks chopping a very large sandwich. Let's take a look.
So - is it a commercial about a scantily clad lady selling a car? Not exactly - Adriana Lima is only in the ad for a second or so - but it is a commercial that plays to gender stereotypes. The wife dreams of being whisked away in a scene from a romance novel, while the husband, overdosed on sleep-sand, has the most stereotypically masculine dream imaginable. But still, it's all presented with a bit of whimsy, and in the end he does steal his wife away from Harlequin-Romance-Man. I'm not a fan of gender stereotypes, but in the end, thanks to its tone and the pure hyperbole of the situation, the ad did make me laugh, and I approved. I was prepared to say "Well played, Kia," in my post today.
And then I went to Kia's official Youtube channel to find the ad.
And I saw this.
That's right, that's an official Kia Motors post. Five full hours of Adriana Lima waving a checkered flag, as in the original teaser, in HD. This undoes any approval I may have had for the original ad, because this is tantamount to Kia saying "Yeah, we made a clever commercial that had some fun with gender stereotypes, but online we'll go all-the-way sexist." This is especially bothersome to me because not only does it go back to the cro-magnon days of bikini babes in car ads, but it also reinforces the skewed notion that internet users are predominantly male. If you think this notion doesn't exist, see recent media stories about new social bookmarking site Pinterest - apparently it's appalling that most of Pinterest's users are female. But - I digress.
Kia, I own one of your cars. And I really like it. And I really don't want to have to stop liking you. I'm not saying put together an ad with a hunky guy waving a flag - one gender stereotype is as bad as the next - but really, were the hamsters so bad?
Welcome back to the working week, Ask Patty Nation. Hopefully you're all not too worse for wear after the Super Bowl weekend. Whether you're in recovery from the weekend or just have a standard case of the Mondays, some Super Bowl commercials may just do the trick to cheer you up this morning.
Viral Video Chart has the stats on the most shared Super Bowl ads online, and there are some familiar faces on the list. VW's Bark Side and Dog Strikes Back are at number 1 and 3, respectively, with 706,564 shares and 149,290 shares. Not too shabby! Audi's Vampire Party also showed well, coming in at number 5 with 70 thousand shares, and many other car ads we featured here are on the list as well. Some car ads that didn't get covered last week (I can't be everywhere, after all) also have been enjoying quite a healthy online life, particular the number 2 video, a wonderful Honda CR-V ad starring Matthew Broderick in a situation that will be very familiar to anyone who has seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you haven't seen it, you HAVE to check it out below, then head over to Viral Video Chart and check out the other ads you may have missed - or give a few another look. It's guaranteed to brighten your Monday blues.