Today is the Super Bowl, which means that a third of the country will gather around the tee-vee and watch the Walla Walla Flapdoodles take on the Bozeman Meat Piles in what is shaping up to be one of the last Super Bowls in existence. It's also that magic day on which advertisers will pony up roughly $5 million for each 30 seconds' worth of air time, so companies have an incentive to make you remember their commercials by any means necessary.
The following are ads people remember, but not necessarily for the intended reasons ...
6Noxzema Creams All Over Joe Namath
Legendary Jets quarterback Joe Namath didn't make the playoffs in 1972, leading his injury-plagued team to a .500 record. But Broadway Joe wasn't going to let a little thing like "wins" keep him out of the Super Bowl. He still had his endorsements, including one with Noxzema, who was peddling a new anti-irritation shaving cream in a now-famous Super Bowl commercial.
It opens with a probably hammered Namath, who utters the line "I'm so excited, I'm gonna get creamed!" with all the pomp and circumstance of the first stoner to discover puns. Enter the eye candy, played by a then-unknown Farrah Fawcett:
An Angel gets its paycheck.
Farrah lathers up Joe's face while singing the commercial's jingle. Joe, clearly smitten with the woman applying shaving cream to his face, can only stand there and smile like an overweight golden retriever getting his belly rubbed.
Joe then picks up a razor and goes to work, even though his face appears to already be clean-shaven. Finally, comes one of the most retroactively cringe-inducing slogans ever:
"Warning: Flush thoroughly if you get some in your eye."
We would like to chalk this up to it being a more innocent time, but the look in Namath's eyes is anything but. Joe utters his closing line, "You've got a great pair of ... hands" and Farrah, we shit you not, swoons:
The '70s were a classier time, you see.
One has to wonder how many takes were needed before Joe named the right body part.
5An Ad Randomly Promises That Christopher Reeve Will Walk Again
It can be kind of cool when movies and commercials take old footage and show us what might have been, like in Forrest Gump or those DirecTV commercials. Nuveen Investments decided to do the opposite of that. We start with an orchestral soundtrack playing over people all around a city watching a speech given by an unspecified white guy whom we'll call Norm:
All hail Norm.
We can't hear what he's saying, but it's apparently important enough that a physical therapist stops what she's doing to listen in:
Then we see someone rise from a chair and walk over to Norm. It's a butler!
It's a best man!
It's ... no. It can't be.
It's Christopher Reeve, arguably the most famous quadriplegic in the world, walking. While one obviously wants to give hope to those who have been paralyzed, using a well-known person creates a certain set of problems -- most notable of which is that you have to make that shit true in the very near future. This is especially difficult when your business is an investment firm, which, despite claims to the contrary, has nothing to do with medical research.
And it's not even like Nuveen specialized in the bio-med industry; their main area of focus was municipal bonds. Christopher Reeve tragically died a few years later, while Nuveen would go on to screw its investors.