Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl Commercial Honorable Mention: Meet Ms. Brown, The Newest M&M

The Big Game is over. The Giants have won. Those of us in the field of television commercials analysis have completed our live blogs and top ten lists. But I'm certainly not infallible, and in the frenzy of Jerry Seinfeld's personal system of Manhattan zip lines and Mr. Quiggly's sneakers, it is possible that I might have overlooked a smart, fun little Super Bowl spot that many of you instantly loved.  So I'm dedicating this post to Jorge and Kelly, for showing me the error of my ways.

It begins with a voice that is rich and familiar. And then you see her- the newest M&M, Ms. Brown. She's got eyebrows exuding personality, stylish high heeled shoes, and glasses that perfectly frame her face.

That's one lovely lady.

But M&M's want you to know that she's more than just a sweet, curvy candy.  This is an M&M with brains, class, and sophistication.  The commercial begins with Ms. Brown relating an anecdote to her equally fabulous set of girlfriends.  We enter mid-anecdote, so we only hear that she's had a conversation in which she's setting the Prime Minister straight.  How cosmopolitan! It's only the giggling fool across the room that interrupts the ladies and sets us up for the comedic punch of the ad.  She's brown, so she must be a naked M&M!

In case you missed it:

I can't say I was impressed by the naked M&M plot, but it's cute. More importantly, M&M has given us a positive female presence in the middle of the Super Bowl.  So, thanks for that.  If it's between Ms. Brown and the ladies, I'm happy to give this commercial top marks!

What really gives Ms. Brown her charm is that voice. It's a lovely, velvety-rich voice that sounds familiar. Yes, that's Vanessa Williams--singer, actor, and all around star. Super Bowl XVLI was packed with cameo-filled commercials, and this M&M's spot didn't deviate from that trend. Ms. Williams is the perfect voice for Ms. Brown, and I'm happy she took on the project.

There are two elements that make this commercial work well.  First, the strong female character.  Second, the idiotic male characters.  In addition to the giggling guy across the bar, Red M&M enters with perfect comedic timing to the line, "Only a fool would think I'd actually show up naked."

Still, I don't think any of these elements make this a memorable Super Bowl commercial.  There's one final piece to the puzzle that has made many of you out there in TVland dub "Just My Shell" one of your favorites from 2012: LMFAO.

Don't get me wrong, I dig the digi-beats of LMFAO.  Especially back when they were set to a pair of dancing hamsters in shiny MC Hammer pants: 


Yes, I downloaded "Party Rock Anthem" after being subjected to it repeatedly via this ad. I predict that one day we will look back on LMFAO as a horrible cancer on the music of the 2010's (pronounced twenty-tens or twenty-teens). LMFAO are ubiquitous. Look! There they are dancing with Madonna! You can't avoid them. You can't escape them. You can't get away. And it's that ridiculous beat and coupled with that last image of Red dancing to "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle" that delivers in this ad.

So that's why you all liked it so much.  I don't disagree, but it's still not in my Top Ten. 

The Ratings
Appeal: B+
Effectiveness: B+
Longevity: B+


For more Super Bowl related news, check out these posts:
Super Bowl XLVI- The Top Ten Best Commercials of 2012
Super Bowl XLVI- The Commercials Live Blog 
Budweiser- King of Super Bowl Commercials
Volkswagen's Fat Dog New Beetle Star Wars Cantina
Volkswagen's Star Wars Dog Choir
Matthew Broderick's Day Off
Matthew Broderick is Back as Ferris Bueller in Honda's New Super Bowl Commercial- Teaser
Pet Peeve: Shazam

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