Super Bowl: Four ads that appeal to our inner geek

Feb. 04, 2013 | 2:03 p.m.
A scene from the Kia Super Bowl ad "Space Babies." (Kia)

A scene from the Kia Super Bowl ad “Space Babies.” (Kia)

“Star Wars” fans hoping for a sequel to last year’s “Bark Side of the Moon” or 2011’s “Use the Force” were disappointed during this year’s Super Bowl. The Volkswagen spots were hits in previous years, but Sunday’s advertising lineup featured no pint-sized Sith Lords or adorable dogs barking “The Imperial March.”

Game day wasn’t completely void of heroic fare, however, with trailers for “Iron Man 3,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” And at least a few ads tickled our inner geek. Here’s a look at four of them.

1. “The Rock in Morning Run” (Milk): Action hero Dwayne Johnson is on a mission to procure milk for his daughter and her friends, and he won’t let anything stand in his way — not even bank robbers, loose lions and rhinos or an alien invasion. But once his milk-getting mission is accomplished, he tells the girls, “Ladies, gotta go to work,” and punches an alien in the face. Win.

2. “Team” (Hyundai): In a spot that seems like it could be a montage from a film that’s part “The Sandlot” and part “Ocean’s Eleven,” a group of bullies steal a boy’s football and tell him to come back when he has a team. The boy and his mom then round up an ultimate team of super-kids, including weight-lifting twins, a welder, a bear-wrestler, and a boy firefighter rescuing a chubby guy from a burning building. In the TV version, the bully gets the wind knocked out of him by a speeding football, but the extended version (below) poses the question, “Touch or tackle?”

3. “Lifeguard” (Axe): The damsel-in-distress scenario makes us roll our eyes, but this spot has two redeeming factors: a lifeguard who punches a shark, and an astronaut on the beach. Brains win over brawn. Though we doubt the makers of Axe are big sci-fi aficionados, we’re sure plenty of Axe-wearers will be reminded of a recent “Doctor Who” scene that employs similar imagery. The ad ends with the words, “Nothing beats an astronaut.” Cue debate.

4. “Space Babies” (Kia): Kia’s answer to the age-old childhood question “Where do babies come from?” is so cute, it makes us wish it were true. “Well, there’s a planet. It’s called Babylandia,” a creative dad tells his son, as the viewer gets a glimpse of a paradise planet filled with puppies and ducklings and human babies. “When the time is just right, there’s a space launch,” the dad continues. “They wave goodbye, and then they board these big, shiny rocket ships.” Who doesn’t want to see baby penguins, bears, hippos, orca whales and pandas in spacesuits? The ad gets bonus points for showing a baby’s G-force face distortion as he enters the atmosphere.

Which Super Bowl ad was your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark


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