Monday, February 8, 2010

2010 Super Bowl Commercials, Not So Super

Super Bowl commercials, the “show within the show”. Advertisers spend millions just for the air time then throw in millions more to produce what they hope will be the magical ad that boosts their sales enough to justify the expense.  The whole process has turned into an advertising extravaganza that is part of what makes the Super Bowl one of the worlds most widely viewed spectacles.

Unfortunately this years offering of what was supposed to be the best of the best was, with a few exceptions, were less than stellar.

Either predictable or only marginally humorous Coke and Budweiser’s selection of ads where certainly not up to par with their past offerings. Doritos had the best overall selection of any of the major sponsors with ads that included a new use for a dogs electric shock collar, a tough guy kid and a chip covered Samurai.

Some of the smaller sponsors that produced good ads included Hyundai’s “Brett Favre in the Future”, Snickers flag football spot featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda, KGB’s “How do you say surrender to a sumo”, Career’s “Casual Friday” and Tru TV’s “Ground Hog Day” piece.

On the down side of the coin were some real dud’s including Go Daddy’s usual selection of pointless “lets wait for the girl to rip open her shirt” ads (shame on you Danica for even participating), Boost Mobiles attempt to revive the Chicago Bears hey day (give it up guys, just enjoy your retirement), Dockers “No Pants” nature walk and it’s a toss up for worst of the night between Dove’s “now that you’re a man, get in touch with your feminine side” something or other and Dodge’s “here are all the things you put up with from your woman so deserve to drive one of our cars”. Critics of Sports Illustrated latest cover should have a ball with that one.

But hey, this is just our opinion. Join the discussion and leave a comment with yours!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Do You Think Of Governor Granholm's Leadership In Lansing?

Now that she has delivered her final State of the State address it’s just a matter of time until Jennifer Granholm’s governorship becomes a memory. While only time will tell how her performance as the states top executive will rank in the annuls of Michigan history we want to know what you think of her administration now before your thoughts get lost in the blur of interviews, polls, television commercials and articles that are sure to start flying as the race to find her successor begins.

No matter where you live in the state, whether you’re democrat, republican or independent there are very few people who can honestly say that they are better off today than when Governor Granholm took office in 2003. While she was fast to blame the policies of Washington for the fall of the states auto industry and our economic woes and now almost as fast to credit any recovery to President Obama’s administration at some point her actions are surely responsible for Michigan’s current situation.

The question is, to what level do the people of the State of Michigan hold her accountable for the events that transpired during her time as governor?  Please share with us what you think of the governor’s performance over the last seven years and how you think Michigan history will remember her.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Are U.S. Automakers Missing Out on a Great Market?






Checking the final results of this past weekends Sno-Drift road rally in Atlanta, Michigan one is sure to notice the glaring absence of an American made vehicle in the top twenty some finishers of the national event. Road rallies like the Sno-Drift are distance races that use street legal automobiles, mainly four or all wheel drive models, on little used backcountry roads and trials.

The highest finishing American vehicle (24th) was a 2002 Ford. Ford also put forth an effort to field a competitive car with top rank driver Ken Block at the helm, but it broke down and had to withdraw from competition. Of the more than 50 participants in the two regional events and one national rally less than 15% were U.S. manufacturer models.

The lack of a wider selection of late model American entries in this and similar events or on dealer lots seems to indicate that U.S. car manufacturers still don’t see the small four-wheel drive market as one that is worth going after. Given that a large part of the global economy is in areas where snow and back road driving are normal conditions it would seem that developing a basic, economical, reliable four-wheel drive vehicle would be a wise thing to do. This lesson seems particularly lost on Chrysler who could use a good sales boost and whose “outside the box” mini van was such a great success when it was introduced.

Given the loss of auto industry jobs and idle infrastructure here in Michigan do you think it would be a good time for one of the big three, or someone new, to be developing such a vehicle? Not just a scaled down version of their larger models but something new that features function and performance over form.

If it were comparable to the similar offerings by Subaru, Toyota, or Volkswagen would you consider buying it based on the fact that its American made?