Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In

It’s Time to Play Super Bowl Car Ad Bingo!

Coord invites cities and other curb managers to apply for its Digital Curb Challenge to undertake a free curb management pilot program in 2020. Applications close on Feb. 14. Click here for information.

Super Bowl Sunday means one thing: it's time for the most aggressively stupid car commercials of the year!

The annual car culture climax inspired Transportation Alternatives' Senior Editor Jessie Singer to ask for her Twitter followers' favorite (or least favorite) car ad tropes — and the outpouring inspired the whole TransAlt team to create a Bingo/drinking game that you can play live during the commercial breaks during the epic LIV showdown pitting the Chiefs and the Niners.

Here's a classic.
Here's a classic.
Here's a classic.

"We're making jokes here, but the consequences of car ads are serious," Singer said. "Today, the nation is in a pedestrian safety crisis, with more and more killed by super-horse-powered, high-clearance SUVs and small trucks. The ads that sell those vehicles do more then glance over their danger — danger is a selling point. At the Super Bowl, we're going to see a lot of cars advertised for their ability to drive over anything and conquer any terrain, but the reality is that the only thing most of those cars will drive over is people."

(TransAlt, of course, isn't the first group to be inspired by car culture machismo. If you haven't seen this trope-filled ad for public buses, take a moment.)

Here's the Bingo card:

Courtesy of Transportation Alternatives
Courtesy of Transportation Alternatives
Courtesy of Transportation Alternatives

Scroll to the bottom for a downloadable version, and turn it into a drinking game by taking a shot every time you fill a square (if you really feel like punishing your liver).

But first, let's check out some of the highlights from the amazing thread that started it all. Here's how Jessie kicked it off:

Soon, a roster of all your favorite voices on urbanist Twitter started joining in.

The perennial "so, the rapture happened, and you didn't make the cut...but at least you can Tokyo-drift your SUV through the middle of downtown Cleveland now!" storyline got a deserved shout-out.

As did this bit of science fiction:

The classic "man (and five thousand pounds of metal) vs. wild" narrative got called out, of course:

Seriously, three rows of heated leather seats and a moon roof are not symbols of rugged individualism.

Surrealist family vacations also made the list.

As did these ads, which tells drivers it's OK not to be attentive to their surroundings, because your genius robot car will totally stop you from mowing down another human being! Never mind that the technology is kinda not perfect yet.

The only thing that might be worse is this Australian commercial, which is basically a full minute of near-misses with vehicular manslaughter set to a boppy Kids of 88 song.

Once you're done bleeding out of your eyes from watching those last two, check out these even more upsetting vintage car ads from the archives!

And just in case you missed the memo that you need to drive in order to be a Real Macho Masculine Male, Ford and friends are here to remind you.

And, of course, no list of car commercial cliches wouldn't be complete without...this guy:

Download your very own #CarAdBingo card here.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Wednesday’s Headlines Are in a Good Place

How should we react to public indifference about the danger cars pose to society? Perhaps a sitcom has something to teach us.

July 24, 2024

Opinion: Is Kamala Harris ‘The Climate President We’ve Been Waiting For’?

Kamala Harris fought hard for a better transportation plan in the San Diego region despite big political risks. If elected president, will she do the same for the country?

July 24, 2024

America is Setting Micromobility Records — But That Boom Could Go Bust Without Public Funding

Shared bike and scooter trips soared 20 percent in a single year. So why are so many U.S. systems shutting down — and what will it take to keep the revolution rolling?

July 24, 2024

Get on the bus! Advocates Urge Mayor Johnson to Save Chicago Greyhound Terminal

According to the letter, rehabbing the station would cost less that $40M, a small fraction of the price tag of many other local transportation projects.

July 23, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Running Hard

More political news: Today's top stories delve into Kamala Harris' record on climate change and Republicans' plans for the Trump administration if he returns to power.

July 23, 2024
See all posts