Super Bowl ad recap: The good, the bad and the “maybes”

Where else can you spend $3.5 million in 30 seconds?  Besides the Super Bowl.

And that doesn’t include production costs for exotic stunts, big celebrities, cool locations and dogs.


My consideration of Super Bowl ads revealed some biases on my part.  I acknowledge the merits of brand building but I feel that “product benefits” should be reasonably front and center and this influences my picks. This may be just sour grapes on my part that I’ve never marketed a brand with the leeway to just build that brand on a standalone basis.   My ad budget always had to accomplish ten things at the same time.

I don’t know all the product categories intimately (i.e. beer) and have not been as tuned into vampires or Ferris Buehler as others.  (I did not know who M.I.A. was, but I do now.)

So, here goes:

The Good:

  1. The Yellow Camaro ad where the college kid’s parents DID not get him the car (getting the little fridge instead).  Conveys the total joy that a sports car represents.  Memorable.
  2. Jerry Seinfeld and the cool Acura sports car that he wants to be the first to own.  Cost a fortune but I think they got the value on the screen.
  3. The MetLife financial planning ad showing that financial planning is for everyone and you don’t need to be a genius.  Charming array of cartoon characters.  Not one pundit I read pointed to this ad so I’m obviously way off base here.
  4. M&Ms….that got people talking.  Good for them.  Top 5 commercial, without any Internet preview, I believe.
  5. “Wego”, the rescue dog, fetching Bud Lites.  Closes with the message, “Help Rescue Dogs”.  Very memorable, very fun.

The Bad:

  1. A few advertisers wasted their money, including Bridgestone with the two sports ads where the balls were made of tire rubber, Dannon’s Oikos (I’ve watched it a number of times and still it puzzles me), and Audi, I think, even though vampires are big.  The Audi commercial was so cool and then it’s about headlights.  I think that’s a mismatch, in my mind.
  2. I won’t deny that sex sells, but I can’t get that situation at all – somewhat the same problem as vampires and headlights.  Domains and sex – I don’t see the link.  (On the other hand, I liked the Teleflora ad which targeted men and told them that things are simple.  Get flowers. Good things could happen.)
  3. The Hyundai ad with the boss having a heart attack.  That’s not funny.  (But I’m disappointed that the Hyundai cheetah ad didn’t get more play with pundits or viewers.  I thought that was funny on target for benefits.)

The Maybes:

  1. Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler ad.  You have to be made of money to air that ad – the ad was 2 minutes long – the math makes me shudder.
    1. Is Chrysler made of money?  It’s controversial and prompted lots of dialogue….but does that sell cars?
    2. TIVO statistics did not find the Chrysler commercial in the Top 10. Here’s where people were on SuperBowl Sunday:  the top five included the two Doritos ads, the royalty Pepsi ad, the VW ad……and the M&Ms ad.
    3. It’s a fun national “holiday”, I’m not sure that “dark & moody” works.  Save it for the Academy Awards.
    4. And I haven’t even touched the whole topic of which political orientation that ad “seemed” to support.
  2. So, of course, I’m not sure about the Chevy Silverado Apocalypse ad.  It was dark.  And these are manly guys who have survived thermonuclear warfare and now are having a Twinkie?  I’m not sure if the co-promotions worked.
  3. David B and his new underwear.  Who looked at the underwear when you could stare at him and his amazing tattoos?   And did anyone think about H&M when they looked at the ad?  Did you realize that the undies represented an innovation in the category?  Did that matter?
  4. Bud Lite Platinum:  I don’t know the beer category but I don’t see how you add the word “Platinum” to “Lite”.  Really?

I enjoyed everyone’s real time comments as I posted on Bright Beacon Partners’ FaceBook page and tweeted at BrightTopics.

Anyone out getting a new car, new undies, or a six pack?

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