It's tough pulling out the most ridiculous, insane commercial from the line-up of Super Bowl excess and manipulation (the Bud ad where a dog and a horse become pals is certainly high up there), but I feel confident when I say that the above ad for Maserati takes the cake. The commercial uses Quvenzhané Wallis - the young star of the wonderful Beasts of the Southern Wild - to sell the Maserati Ghibli, a car whose starting price is $65,000. And it uses her in an ad that apes Beasts of the Southern Wild, a motion picture about people so destitute they live in garbage shacks in an area of the bayou about to be totally wiped out by a hurricane.
You know, people who will never see $65,000 total in their lifetimes.
Just to make the ad the most ridiculous, it was directed by David Gordon Green, whose textured and decent depictions of the Southern poor in films like George Washington and Undertow have made him a respected filmmaker. Yeah, he's had some missteps in recent years, but apparently he's back with Joe, the new Nic Cage movie.
I don't find the ad offensive so much as hilarious; Maserati thinks that the Ghibli is their more affordable car, obviously, and they somehow think the very, very blue collar people in this commercial will ever be able to afford one. Tying their conspicuous consumerist vision to a movie about the poorest people in this country only makes them seem more hilariously out of touch and dumb - it's a real 'let them eat cake' kind of thing.
Here's hoping Green and Wallis put their Maserati money to good use.