It’s Time to Play Super Bowl Car Ad Bingo!
So many SUVs driving up mountainsides.
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.
“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:
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:
Making a thing. Send me your favorite (least favorite?) car commercial tropes.
So many deer.
— Jessie Singer (@jessiesingernyc) January 24, 2020
Soon, a roster of all your favorite voices on urbanist Twitter started joining in.
happy anniversary, honey! I spent $45k on a depreciating asset without telling you!
— Momifornia (@Momifornia1) January 24, 2020
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.
Flying down empty urban streets
— Nolan Gray (@mnolangray) January 25, 2020
As did this bit of science fiction:
Toddler strapped into child seat and absolutely delighted to be there
— Rushmoor Cycle Forum (@RushmoorCycleF) January 25, 2020
The classic “man (and five thousand pounds of metal) vs. wild” narrative got called out, of course:
Huge SUVs driving into pristine, previously undisturbed wilderness to go ice fishing alone
— Anthony Serna (@anthony_serna6) January 24, 2020
Seriously, three rows of heated leather seats and a moon roof are not symbols of rugged individualism.
Big Truck Drives Across Pristine Mountain Stream
— Dana Hull ???? (@danahull) January 24, 2020
Surrealist family vacations also made the list.
You park on the beach (as usual) and your family/ friends exit simultaneously to remove water sports gear from the trunk/rear. There are no other pieces of luggage in the car because everyone is going to wear wetsuits all weekend, and now we can see how spacious the trunk is.
— Patrick McDonough (@citybeautiful21) January 25, 2020
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.
Lately all of the ads where the cars high tech saves the inattentive driver from running over a pedestrian. https://t.co/kshwqJ68u1
— Safe Sidewalks DC (@SafeSidewalksDC) January 24, 2020
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.
It’s hard to beat this ad. Driver intimidates cyclist causing him to crash, then evades police.https://t.co/WUK3Rp0EhI
— Richard Powell (@Militant_Poncho) January 26, 2020
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!
Going even lower on this theme: The single most sexist car ad I've ever seen (to the point that for a while I assumed it was fake) pic.twitter.com/TGiXDYyttl
— jamie bakum (@jbakum) January 25, 2020
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.
<deep manly voice, at a harbour with fishermen in background, sky is grey>
FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
— Beyond the Automobile (@MattPinder1) January 25, 2020
And, of course, no list of car commercial cliches wouldn’t be complete without…this guy:
— Trent (@trent_hauck) January 25, 2020
Download your very own #CarAdBingo card here.