Not many subways in the United States. So why did Cadillac use one as the setting for 90 seconds to create a dream sequence of a man watching the passage of time and the evolution of an automotive brand?
Yet that's what viewers saw. The subway scene is established in a 1950s mood, along with an Eldorado. As the man is seated in the subway, the time-line action rips along through the windows in a high-speed illusion, created with good computer graphics. As time goes by (slowly, it seemed to me), four new Cadillac models are highlighted. The man leaves the subway in contemporary time as the voice-over intones, "You could have seen it coming."
Why were 90 seconds necessary? Didn't the man know you can get mugged on a subway?
When the Super Bowl started 37 years ago, the name of the game was football. The old-time NFL vs. the upstart AFL. Good games, bad games, exciting games, boring games - but no matter what, it was a football broadcast. Now it's something else, and I'm not sure what to call it. How about NFLtainment?
But whether you like it or not, one of the key office discussions after the Super Bowl has been, "Which commercials did you like best?"
And as the largest category of advertisers in every medium, don't you think automotive companies should be among the best commercials during the event? I do.
Marty Bernstein can be reached at