Super Bowl Ad Round-up- My Top 5

Great game! Ads…well not so much. There were definitely some good ones in there but overall I found the lot pretty uninspiring.

I guess it just goes to prove, once again, that there is no direct relationship between money spent and creativity.

Here are my top 5 picks.

#1 Snickers– I found the use of Betty White and Abe Vigoda to be totally inspired. And what I liked as well was that this gag was not gratuitous. It highlighted the product’s energy benefit.

#2 Google– A beautiful story with the Google service as hero. My only one question mark here is whether it appealed to more casual watchers of the ads. You kind of had to really pay attention to follow the romantic story line. But very simple, elegant and Applesque.

#3 Doritos– “Don’t Touch My Mama”. Long after this one had passed the 8-10 year old boys in the room were still quoting this. My son even said the line to me first thing this morning. While some people might question the violence (slap) and use of a fresh kid, from my perspective it totally connected with the target audience. And again the product was somewhat the hero (at least as worth protecting as the mom!). The Doritos Tim ad was also quite inspired.

#4 Dodge– This ad definitely broke through the sea of completely uninspired car spots last night. The copy-writing was very funny appealing to both men and women in my focus group audience (about 15 friends) and unexpected from Dodge.  Hyundai Sonata on the other hand with it’s “Paint” ad, should have just saved it’s money.

#5– the no pants theme was played out in several ads last night (ex. Docker’s), but this one made me laugh and I thought the insight of needing to move on from a bad work environment was spot on.

Other honorable mentions: KGB (Sumo wrestling) , Denny’s (grand slam), Audi (green police), Kia Sorento (toys), Coca-cola (Simpson’s), Bud Light (the Lost parody).

I did not get the Vizio or GoDaddy ads at all. And E-Trade, I think it’s time to throw the babies out with the bathwater. These felt tired.

I also found the Budweiser Clydesdale’s spot too derivative of what they’ve done in the past. And while I commend Toyota on trying to use this uber platform to make things right with the consumer, they’ve got to re-think their tag-line of “Moving Forward”.  Moving forward even when you want to brake and can’t…you mean.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Which Super Bowl ads did you love and hate?

10 thoughts on “Super Bowl Ad Round-up- My Top 5

  1. I was waiting for weeks for the new ads to come out for Super Bowl Sunday and was a bit disappointed with most actually…but standouts for me were definitely the Google love story, Dodge (“I will be civil to your mother” was too funny) and the Bud Lite book club ad!

  2. The Google ad gets my vote. Any ad that can have that much emotion, effectively deliver the main brand message and still maintain simplicity and elegance always tops my list.

    For sheer laughs, the e-trade baby “milk-aholic” ad rocks!

  3. The clear winner was the Google. Hands down. Distant 2nd was Betty White & Abe Vigoda for Snickers.

    Clearly Budweiser spent a Gazillion dollars with at least 4 ads between Bud & Bud Light. Most were good for a guffaw, or a quick smirk, but too many ads left me feeling bloated, like I had one beer too many. The strip-tease act has also grown wearisome.

    Overall I was left uninspired… glad it was a great game to make up for the ads.

  4. Google was the clear winner last night. Excellent way to promote the product and to connect with the consumer. I do agree that it was a type of commercial that you actually had to pay attention to, which could be a problem when the commercial is re-shown in another environment where people are not watching the commercials.

    I also felt that Doritos scored big with their “don’t touch my mama” ad, as well as their “Tim the Hun” ad. Doritos definitely promoted the importance of their product among their consumers by showing its value not to be shared. The commercials were an excellent and hilarious way to increase the popularity of their brand.

    Snickers and Dodge both had excellent ads. I felt as though I wanted to go buy a Dodge charger myself to cruise the open road and be free. From a PR perspective, Snickers was absolutely on target by promoting their brand message of energy giving you new vigor.

    All in all, it was a great year. However, I was not persuaded to change my beer. Sorry Bud light!

    I also feel that the e trade babies are getting a little stale. The “milkaholic” bit was funny, but the commercials could have been done a little bit better given their previous work. Godaddy, I’m sorry, but I was not impressed. Please, find a new marketing strategy. Need help? I’m available!!

  5. Julie:

    I hate to sound so negative but all I can think of when Super Bowl commercials are the topic of conversation is how much it reminds me of the band playing with gusto as the Titanic was sinking. The industry needs to stop spending on these dinosaurs and invest their money instead in meaningful reasons for consumers to buy their products.

    It’s great if they can entertain people for 30 seconds. But what will it take for them to join the new world? This stuff is dying and they keep patting themselves on the back for producing ever more of it.

  6. @Kimmy@Lee@Gregg@Sam thanks for the comments. Looks like there is consensus on the winners as well as the overall lukewarm nature of most ads.

    @Adam you bring up an interesting point. Maybe the debate should be less about the tv spots and more about why companies are still relying on this medium. No doubt the unique ability to reach so many people and get so much media buzz pre, during, after and around the game has a lot to do with it. But are they just being fat and lazy? Would that tremendous amount of maoney be spent elsewhere? One thing that really disappointed me was the total lack of connection to social media for the spots. Did I miss something? Did any of the advertisers try a two way conversation?

    Would love to hear thoughts on this.

    Thanks all.


  7. Interesting comment about the use/need for Superbowl ads, but speaking from the perspective of someone who watches the game as much for the ads as anything else, it’s the ONE time I actually pay attention to the ads, rather than changing channels, fast-forwarding them on the DVR, etc. So, if you were relying on TV ads to get your message out, this is the venue.

    I loved the Snicker’s ad, the Don’t Touch My Mama ad and the Career Builder ad (agree with Julie about the message of moving on from a bad work environment).

    Thanks for creating the opportunity to discuss, Julie.

  8. After reading the comments above, and surveying tweets from throughout the game, media critics are agreeing on several points. One of which has been a growing trend: brands may succeed at creating “eye-catching” and “memorable” ads… but they fail to really resonate with consumers because the message presented is not actually tied with the brand’s offering.

    Is this trend strengthening as big agencies convince their clients to invest in their technology skills? (etrade baby) Are they forgetting what drives the purchase? Two of the greatest hits this season, the Doritos and Google commercials, were not created by big agencies.

    After today’s piece in the NYT, “Do-It-Yourself Superads” the super bowl commercials are being examined through an entirely different lens. To me, this is the most interesting point. Social media and today’s communication landscape lend to the new “2-way communication” model. Advertising agencies are failing to take advantage of this. (Go Daddy’s, “to be continued” effort is barely notable) Are contests for the public and internal creatives the future of broadcast advertising?

    I love the E-Trade babies. I have watched all the commercials on YouTube, read “behind the scenes” on Esquire, but I have never once logged on to, nor do I really know what they do. Something about diversifying my portfolio? Should be interested to see whose sales increase, E-Trade or Doritos.

    Reality is times are-a-changin’. The super bowl ad slot is an essential way to reach consumers. But in order to get consumers to buy your product, you need more than a couple laughs.

  9. @ann I agree, it’s also one of the few times I watch the ads vs. fast forwarding on Tivo. Great point thanks for commenting.

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