Monday, February 02, 2009

T.V. On The T.V.

I picked up the 3D glasses the other day, for the Super Bowl commercials. Did anyone else do this? What did people think?

I was pretty disappointed with the Monsters vs. Aliens (I wanted to write Monsters v. Aliens... far to much legal background) ad. It hardly seemed 3D at all. The Sobe ad though! That was awesome. And the preview for Chuck too.

Tonight we watched the episode of Chuck, using our 3D glasses of course. I really enjoyed it. (I've been a fan of the show for a while now. It's a bit forced, and kind of obvious and redundant, but still humorous enough to be enjoyable, and the characters are likable. And they always have a great soundtrack.) The 3D stuff worked really well for most of it. Not every single scene was ideal, but there were parts that really popped out. I think they should do more shows that way. I'd definitely invest in a more permanent pair of 3D glasses.
So who saw the "MacGruber" Pepsi ad during the Super Bowl? Pretty solid. And the appearance by (Minnesotan) Richard Dean Anderson was quality. Those sketches are pretty fun on SNL, since they're quick and a bit silly but always manage to weave in some other gag.

Turns out this MacGruber ad was actually completely bought and paid for by Pepsi. There were three ads made, all of which originally ran during the commercial breaks on Saturday night's SNL. Just like when MacGruber is part of the show, they developed the concept making it more and more outrageous in every subsequent appearance.

The first one just showed him enjoying Pepsi, as an obvious product placement, and not fixing the bomb.

The second one, which was the Super Bowl ad, had a lot more obvious Pepsi references.

The third one... Well, just go watch it. I laughed.

Turns out Pepsi hired SNL to write these ads for them, and paid the SNL writers and actors totally separately from their SNL gig. Then they bought ad time from NBC to show these commercials.

I think this is a good thing. In an environment where people are more able to avoid ads you have to be clever about how you promote your product. This isn't pure product placement, since these were separate commercials, and not part of SNL. Instead they're more like celebrity endorsements taken to a new level. Instead of some actor telling me to drink Pepsi, they've got some recognizable sketch telling me to drink Pepsi. I applaud the result.

Also, I prefer Pepsi to Coke, so that helps (but Cherry Coke to all other pops...).
Speaking of SNL, this past week's was one of the funniest I've seen in a while. The quality has definitely improved, and this week there were plenty of really funny sketches (The Gun, Governor Patterson on Weekend Update, Laser Cats 4), and only really two bad sketches (Bernie Madoff and the Cosmetics Sales Clerk). Even the mediocre ones were pretty solid, and didn't run on too long like they used to.

Yeah, SNL has regained form. If I'm home on a Saturday night, there are certainly worse things I could be doing

The decisions underwritten by the cash in his hand


Mike said...

I loved the Pepsuber ad. I think I was the only one at my Super Bowl mini-party that got the reference, but I was laughing my ass off. Since I don't drink soda anymore, my erstwhile preference for Coke has no bearing on my enjoyment of the commercial.

I tend to Tivo SNL, and watch it if I have time before it gets deleted. I haven't gotten to this week's yet, but I had to watch two weeks ago when Fleet Foxes was on, and I'll have to watch this next week when TV on the Radio is on. Based on your critique, sounds like I have to watch this past week's episode too.

Matthew B. Novak said...

At very least the three sketches I mentioned as good, and the MacGruber ads (or just follow the links on those).

Quinn said...

Interesting that you claim Richard Dean Anderson as Minnesotan, as the residents of Yakima, WA claim him as one of their own as well. I taught with a Chemistry teacher who always had a big poster of him on the wall in the back of the class.

Good ad, by the way. I liked it, too.

Matthew B. Novak said...

"Richard Dean Anderson (born January 23, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an American television actor best known for playing the title character in the TV series MacGyver and Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1. He lives in Malibu, California, with his family."

So Malibu and MN can claim him. I don't know that there'd really be a big fight over the guy, but... like 5, Yakima is right out (Points if you get the reference).

Jeff said...

For the first three quarters, the game sucked, so I didn't really pay attention to the ads. I was too wrapped up in the game during the fourth quarter to care. So no, didn't really notice the ads.

Though I did notice that Chuck had a scene with a hot scantily-clad babe crawling toward the viewer in 3D. I hope that was as awesome as it seemed like it would be.

It's only a matter of time before someone makes a 3D porno...

Jeff said...

Matt - was that thing he was disarming the Holy Hand Grenade?

Matthew B. Novak said...

Points to Jeff.

Also, yes, the first 3 quarters were really boring.

And the hot babe (that'd be Yvonne Strahovski, who plays the character Sara) crawling towards you in 3D was certainly awesome, though, honestly, when I watch T.V. I want to slip off the bonds of my life and into an alternate world; that scene was just far too much like my typical day.

Mike said...

After that last statement, Mike has officially decided he wants Matt's life.

BTW, got around to watching SNL last night. "The Gun" sketch was absolutely priceless.

AGJ said...

Pretty good adds featuring Richard Dean Anderson (has anyone mentioned that he is from Minnesota?). Funny play on the original series (featuring MN native, Richard Dean Anderson).

Although Pepsi may not be my favorite cola and is not from MN, Richard Dean Anderson is. That makes it all worth while.

Besides, Richard Dean Anderson is from Minnesota!

So is Prince!
And Lonnie Anderson!
And Louie Anderson!
And Soul Asylum!
And The 'Mats
And Jesse "the Body/Mind" Ventura!
And "Sex & Candy" Marcy Playground!
And Richard Dean Anderson!
And Al Franken

... er, omit that last reference. Shame on you that voted for him.