Author: Justin Mckibben
For those of you that don’t know, the Super Bowl is kind of a big deal. I mean at least to some people. Oh, you’ve never heard of it? That’s OK, just come out from under that rock really quick and I’ll just talk to you about my favorite part- the commercials!
Some people actually only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, I would definitely be one of those people. For those who don’t know ad time during the Super Bowl commercial space is a big deal, because the Super Bowl is probably one of the most watched things on TV all year. Super Bowl ad space costs big money, and this year that got up to about 4.5 million dollars for 30 seconds of pure media exposure!
So of course companies were pulling out all the stops in attempts to have that catchy or hilarious beer commercial or car sales-pitch that stuck with people. This year we saw animal shenanigans, inspiring musical montages, and the man himself- Liam Neeson- getting ready for revenge! But beyond that there were 2 that stuck out this year for me, and they both featured the main actors from the celebrated drug drama series Breaking Bad. If you don’t know what the Super Bowl or Breaking Bad are, then I have nothing further to say to you… but read on either way.
- Breaking Bad Pharmacist
This commercial was a great one as far as humor goes, especially for fans of notorious show Breaking Bad and the main antagonist Walter White. The iconic star Bryan Cranston appears from behind a pharmacy counter in full hazmat gear, presumably looting a pharmacy. The commercial was for an insurance, and they knew how to catch some attention.
Walter White takes a break to help a woman with her prescription, standing in for her regular pharmacist who has mysteriously disappeared, probably poisoned or blown-up knowing Heisenberg. Walter ‘meth cook’ White tries to convince the woman he is ‘sorta Greg’ (Greg is apparently her pharmacists) and at one point says,
“We both have a lot of experience with drugs… sorry, pharmaceuticals…”
Then he intimidates the woman into taking a pill bottle that she knows isn’t hers, and stands there looking grim. Pretty funny stuff, but let’s hope a real meth cook doesn’t start passing out pills at Walgreen’s anytime soon.
This commercial was great because it had a surprise of star-power, playing a role that fans of the show miss seeing, and played on the concern of the wrong responsibility like serious medications being left in the wrong hands. Now sure, the angle was played on indirectly to help sell insurance, but when you consider how they made it seem like a scary thing to have a guy like that in charge of medicine, I feel on a subconscious level it pushed that question of who do we trust with the chemicals we put into our bodies.
- All You Can Eat with Aaron Paul
One Breaking Bad reference apparently was not nearly enough for this year’s Super Bowl, because the infamous character Jessie Pinkman, who is Walter Whites sidekick/nemesis in the show played by actor Aaron Paul, made a voice-appearance narrating a Weight Watchers commercial.
Aaron Paul played a dingy drug dealer turned kingpin meth cook on the television series, and in this commercial he stays in character by trying to sell us on the idea of eating food, but you feel like he is trying to sell illicit drugs on the street, at least with the terminology. Beginning with the words “hey, do you wanna get baked” while on screen a match lights and an oven full of pies cook. With other lines like:
“Just have a taste, cooked it up special for you”
“It’s a social thing, just want you to have a good time”
And then tops it all off with,
“You’re in control, you can stop whenever you want… well, sorta…”
This ad in my opinion was excellent! It takes the phrases we would commonly associate with illicit narcotics and uses images of junk food, food ads and people over-eating to make a connection that is powerful. It creates the idea that junk food and fast food are the pushers, and we have slowly become brainwashed and addicted to food and over-indulging, and our ‘dealers’ want us to keep coming back for shots of energy drinks and big bags of chips.
These 2 ads in my opinion were some of the highlights of the night from what I saw… well, that and those amazing last two catches of the actual football game! There were some other commercials that were very funny, others that were all about awareness, but these 2 won the ad game in my opinion because they had the elements of serious star power, strong humor done in good taste, and at the end they both had a message.
Drug and alcohol abuse may be used sometimes to make a point, and sometimes the method may seem humorous, but the reality is drug and alcohol abuse are no joke. Even food addiction is more serious than some people give credit. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135