Super Bowl Commercial: Ad Shows How Effective Shock Value Can Be

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIFebruary 4, 2013

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 6:  Danica Patrick speaks to the press before the 2013 Bowl on January 6, 2013 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Michael Chang/Getty Images

While spectators constantly try to judge which company had the best Super Bowl ad, the people making the commercials only care which spot was the most memorable. This year, that distinction goes to 

The domain name site has always had ads that are laced with sexual innuendo. Danica Patrick and Jillian Michaels have been the company’s spokeswomen for a reason.

But this year’s Super Bowl ad went over the top and trampled all over the line between good and bad taste. 

The concept itself was not crude, and nothing about the idea of having supermodel Bar Rafaeli kiss a pale and pudgy I.T. guy is wrong. But the execution of the ad was certainly crass.

The kiss itself lasted for 10 seconds, when the television version of the ad was only 30 seconds long. The camera angle started with a close-up, then progressed into an extreme close-up of the two lovebirds.

And the only word to describe the amplified smacks throughout the lip-locking is “ew.”

Despite’s lack of discretion with this commercial, there is one way in which this ad certainly succeeded. You will remember it.

With very little dialogue, a concept that in itself is not original, the only way for this commercial to stand out on merit was for Patrick’s acting skills to save the day. Needless to say, that did not happen. 

There was nothing about the writing or acting to make this commercial in any way exceptional, but it will still be one of the most talked about ads of this year’s Super Bowl, and it will continue to dominate conversations on this topic.

The only reason for this is shock value. The close-ups and the sounds effects ensured that the ad would coax a reaction out of every single person who watched it. 

This commercial was not creative or well executed, and ultimately, it was mildly disgusting. But it was still extremely effective.