In the grand old tradition of premiering trailers and commercials tailor-made for the Super Bowl prior to the Super Bowl, Volkswagen and the G.I. Joe sequel have provided more fodder for our hungry eyes. The annual footballing event is consistently the most watched U.S. television program of the year, and companies spend ludicrous amounts of money to advertise their products when they have that large of a captive audience. Because these advertisers fork out so much fresh cash, they tend to go all-in with their marketing budgets to make the most memorable commercial of the night. That’s made the game itself moot to a lot of viewers who now just watch for the commercials themselves. Even if nobody remembers what your product is and everybody just wants to talk about how adorable/evil your talking babies were.
But you know all that, and you knew all that minus the onslaught of mixed metaphors. What you might not know is why companies would leak their full-length ads online prior to the actual event, thus allowing a large portion of their prospected viewership to see them in lieu of watching the game. The Super Bowl. The thing they spent so much money on to ensure they reached the largest possible audience. I don’t know the answer to that, either, other than maybe they’re getting people like me who probably won’t be watching but enjoying a Sunday evening on the deserted streets of America. That would certainly increase the number of reached eyeballs for the commercials themselves, but in this age of week long Internet memes they could also bore people before the big day.
That’s why, as ridiculous as teasers for trailers are, the 10-second clips promoting the ad makes much more sense than releasing the ad early. But, hey, we’re talking about them. Well, not yet. Let’s do that…
First we have G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which continues its mission to look more radass and less fucking stupid than its predecessor. We even get our first best look at Cobra Commander, who will not be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt this go-round, if that blows your pipe bombs up. Also, Bruce Willis:
Next there’s Volkswagen, who continues its love affair with George Lucas’ whored-out creations from last year, specifically with Darth Vader. This one is mostly about a dog, you have to stay to the end for the Dark Lord of the Sith:
It’s a fine ad, but it suffers heavily from not being this:
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He now suddenly wonders if offering the entire issue online for free may be hindering its sales?