The annual National Football League Super Bowl has a world-wide television audience of millions of people. Over the years, its commercials have been highly anticipated. Some have been memorable, most are just silly or worse. A 60 second commercial during the broadcast of this year’s Super Bowl (on February 2) will cost about $10 million dollars. Ten. Million. Dollars. That’s a lot of money, no matter who’s paying it.
In recent years, some companies have been leaking their Super Bowl commercial a few days before the big game, to heighten anticipation. Already I have seen a great commercial, one that made me smile and laugh out loud. I’ve watched it a dozen times and I’m not done with it. It’s a commercial for the new Hyundai Sonata, with its “smart park” feature. Although in the ad, which is shot in New England with actors who feature a distinctive Boston accent, it’s called, “Smaht pahk.”
The ad is clever, and uses a number of celebrity actors, including Rachel Dratch (who graduated from Lexington High School where my daughters also graduated; she was the graduation speaker for our youngest daughter’s’ graduation ceremony), Chris Evans, and John Krasinski. And beloved former Red Sox slugger, David “Big Papi” Ortiz. It really brings back memories of our three decades living in Boston, when I was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
I have to say, this ad really tickles my funny bone. I know people who talk like this. People really do talk like this. They really do! And the ad is so full of inside Boston/New England lingo and references (like “Wicked car, is that new?”). And unlike so many Super Bowl ads, this ad actually features the product—not a foregone conclusion when ad makers often try to be so clever that the viewer has difficulty remembering what actually was being pitched in the ad. Have a look.
There’s also a great article on boston.com that gives more inside information about the ad and its actors. Click here to read it.
And if you want more, here’s a terrific short video of Rachel Dratch giving David Ortiz a dialect lesson so he can say his lines with the Boston accent. It’s hilarious. No, Ortiz, who is from the Dominican Republic, does NOT have a hard Boston accent. But he tried. Check out this sort video of Dratch as Ortiz’s dialect coach.
As I’ve written about earlier on The Last Trombone, I will be attending Super Bowl LIV in Miami this weekend with my son-in-law, Chad, courtesy of the Chicago Bears. So I won’t get to see the Super Bowl commercials as they air during the game (no complaints!). But I’ll be watching the game again on TV when I get home, and I hope the commercials are better than they were last year (my wife and I thought that most of them were really terrible—many others agreed). But I have to say, I’d be very surprised if there’s a better ad this year than “Smaht pahk” for the Hyundai Sonata. Well done Hyundai!