As I’m sure you were, following the Super Bowl, I was bombarded with blogs and write-ups reviewing the commercials, claiming winners and losers. Rather than waste my time doing that, I chose to spend my time celebrating the Steelers win and defending their win to bitter Browns fans.
However, that doesn’t mean I am going to pass on an opportunity to critique the $3M spots. I should spend some time criticizing the fact that companies paid $3M a spot while 600,000 jobs were cut in January, but that will be another time.
I’m not going to list my best and worst; I’ll leave that to a guest blogger in a minute. Instead, I’d like to discuss what I think is the death of the ‘great Super Bowl commercial.’ It seems that era is over. I think with the popularity of YouTube, Hulu, etc., there’s no way to create a ‘big’ spot anymore. With social media a fixture in key demographics, concessions have to be made in ads to generate pre-game and post-game excitement. In a way, it’s forcing companies to market a campaign instead of advertising it – you know, the way things should be done.
However, with that approach comes a decreased focus on the ad itself, resulting in weaker ads that don’t have as much staying power. Combine that with the fact that the smart companies are putting more money into social media programs, because they can maximize their budgets, and you’re left with a weaker line-up starring Go Daddy and network shows rather than Apple, McDonalds and Coke. So maybe it’s not that the ads were bad as much as it is the bar has been lowered.
That being said, I loved the Dorritos Crystal Ball, Cash 4 Gold (why didn’t MC Hammer talk about this on Twitter though?) and Monster commercials, in that order. I absolutely couldn’t stand Budweiser (enough with the horses) and Careerbuilder (I wanted to poke my eye out by the end of that commercial).
So, I mentioned that we had a guest blogger today. You ever have one of those friends who you thought belonged in film, print, etc. — just a larger stage? Well, I do. One of my oldest and best friends, actually. This guy can break down anything you want to know about; and I’ve heard him do it all. From best movies to best and worst presidents; here, Jeff Hoffman breaks down the commercials as only he can:
Bad # 5 – G (Gatorade) for weeks we’ve had lame ass “Thats G” commericals. Now we get the big one and I know they’re going for motivational figures but the high school kid who hit 6 threepointers while no one guraded him in a blowout? It was more the ongoing annoyance of “That’s G”
Good # 5 – Monster.com with the moose head in the bosses office and the ass in the room behind. Not hilarious, just kind of clever because you know you’ve wondered where the body went when you’ve seen a head on the wall.
Bad # 4 – The tire commercial in space. Yes it was nice to hear a little House of Pain with Jump Around, but then the rover got car jacked which was just dumb.
Good # 4 – Careerbuilder.com. This was the repetitive spot with the lady screaming in the car. It was funny in the sense that Family Guy is funny because they take something stupid and just keep it going and going. Coming back to the lady like 6 times made it funny.
Bad # 3 – Coke One, Troy Polamalu playing the role of Mean Joe Green. The first is a classic, this one was kind of lame. I think it was the annoying Coke One guys coming in and Troy ripping off the white collar shirt that made it dumb.
Good # 3 – NFL Story. I liked the Saints DB sitting with his dad and his dad making fun of him for being lousy at serving slushies or whatever he served at games.
Bad # 2 – The MacGyver spot. When the best part of a commerical is the fact you ahve Richard Dean Anderson in it you’ve made a lousy spot. The only thing that hinted MacGyver at all was the bad wigs. Maybe if the guy could’ve used the can to diffuse the bomb or something, but really this spot was stupid.
Good # 2 – Hulu.com. The spot with Alec Baldwin was great with Baldwin confirming that Hollywood wants to rot your brain. This easily would’ve been #1 had they not added the little alien blurb at the end. The spot was great without it.
Good # 1 – There really wasn’t anything great, but I kind of liked the Bob Dylan/Will I Am spot comparing generations. I’m a bit of a nostalgic guy anyways so this spot was the most interesting.
Bad # 1 – I really want to go Anheuser Busch altogether here. I hated the Bud Light spots with the skiing and Conan’s spot stunk. But it was Budweiser that really drove me to the point of bitching at the TV during the commercial. I hate the clydesdales. They were kind of funny with the Zebra replay spot years ago, but now they are just annoying. The immigrant one was stupid and historically I’ll bet the people would’ve eaten that damn horse on the boat. The one that drove me crazy was the lovey dovey spot with the damn circus horse! What the hell, I don’t know a single woman who drinks Budweiser and yet we seem to be marketing to fair girls? Maybe its my love of the product that makes the Budweiser spots so damn annoying.