People Have Mixed Feelings About Pringles' Super Bowl Commercial

A lot has been made about the Super Bowl this year, particularly since all the brands we'd come to associate with the big game are conspicuous through their absence – we're looking at you, Budweiser and Pepsi (via CNET). As a result, we'd like to think that the bar for making a really strong, memorable Super Bowl ad might be lower, and we'd be easier to wow. Turns out we were wrong about that.

Pringles could well have raised the bar for the flattest chip ad of the game with a bizarre spot featuring astronauts adrift at sea, mission control, and what could have been a fishing trawler or a sea-going, space-rocket-rescue-vessel in a theme Comic Book called "Space Return." The 30-second ad shows two astronauts in a capsule right after splashdown who fail to catch the attention of their support crew because those on call at mission control and onboard the ship are busy creating Pringles stacks with the flavored chips they have on hand (via YouTube). 

Pringles received mixed reviews for their space-themed ad

Adweek posted an image featuring the two baffled astronauts, with the comment: "PRINGLES: Ah, yes. The distracted-because-of-some-kind-of-thing-happening premise. Usually an easy one to pull off, but this one was as flat as a Pringles chip" (via Twitter). One social media user tweeted: "@Pringles puts out a Super Bowl ad I don't get and all it makes me think of is @LastWeekTonight." A second Twitter user thought Pringles might have been showing a lack of awareness: "Watching that @Pringles stacks #Superbowl ad... They're just NOW thinking that's a thing.... like that's been a thing since there've been drunk college kids at 4am."

In a previous interview, Pringles marketing director Gareth Maguire explained the ad concept, saying, "With literally thousands of different Flavor Stacks to experiment with, you can easily get distracted from other responsibilities" (via Comic Book). But more than a few wanted to know why the iconic potato chip brand had to go to space, and why it didn't just take advantage of having a receiver that shared its name – Kansas City Chief Byron Pringle. Simply put: "Why wasn't the player NAMED PRINGLE in the Pringles ad?!" (via Twitter).