Super Ad Sunday (And A Football Game)
As has been true for the past few years, the football was more interesting than the commercials during this year's Super Bowl. Nevertheless, I, like many, sat down eager to watch both the game and the ads.
Who Dat? Geaux Saints!
From what I've seen online, reaction was very mixed to most ads. Though I think there were some clear trends in opinion.
1. Ads that are relevant to the event might be worth $2.75 million.
Spots for NFL.com and Vizio internet-enabled televisions during a football game broadcast on TV and followed on the internet seemed to garner the most interest in actually using the products advertised.
2. People appreciate sweetness and humor.
3. Sex really does sell.
For all the complaints about the tired repetitive use of the promise of seeing Danica Patrick's boobies, for many people who use Go Daddy as a domain registrar they don't care, don't know, figure their good deeds outweigh the offensive ads, price trumps outrage or boobies + cheap domains = yay! Go Daddy wouldn't continue to spend millions each year if the ads weren't effective.
Network Solutions domain transfer offer is genius counter programming, however. Even though it seems to respond to the head scratching Boost Mobile Superbowl Shuffle ad, it works for those who want to leave Go Daddy in protest of their commercials.
4. Advertisers don't like women and find hitting people hilarious.
Although I saw women singing the praises of each individual ad (with the possible exception of Go Daddy), the general consensus seemed to be that misogyny was a bit too rampant this year. Men were told to buy cars in exchange for putting up with the crap women give them, take off their skirts and pick tires over their wives just to name a few messages.
And then there were the numerous spots this year that involved people punching someone. Several times it was kids hitting adults which seems to mean it's OK but I saw lots of tweets about the message it was sending about a culture of permissible violence. Although this is during football. And I have to sheepishly admit that the Doritos "House Rules" spot involving the objectification of women and a kid hitting a grownup plus the bonus evil of promoting junk food to kids made me and my 12-year-old nephew laugh the hardest. Handing in my feminist card now.
5. Did I just see that?
Yes, Denny's doesn't know the difference between a rooster and a hen. No, I don't know either why a surreal acid trip of stupid human tricks is supposed to make me want to eat nuts and popcorn. No, I'm not a furry but I liked that Kia ad for some inside baseball reasons. Yes, I know I'm the only one.
1. Michelob Ultra
Not the most exciting of ads but on point. Linking the low-carb, low-calorie beer that targets the athletic crowd with the aspirational fat-free Lance Armstrong works. They have a good chance of hitting their target market with the Super Bowl audience and can use it long after the game to reinforce their message.
Like a good chunk of the population I watched the game on my TV and simultaneously surfed the web. A TV that has built in internet access and apps? Color me intrigued and a potential customer.
3. Kia Sorrento
While I was chair dancing to The Heavy, the message was getting lost in the LOLing and cringing over the giant sock monkey and vaguely sex toy-ish children's character. But, if they keep running this I think eventually folks will notice that they are advertising the same feature as Lexus did during the game - a simplified push button start. Now, I have no idea what that means but I do know that Kia offers the same features at a fraction of the price of Lexus. Sold.
Yes. I now know that I can have my heart warmed, its strings tugged and stay connected to professional football year-round at NFL.com. Clear. Direct. Effective.
Baby longhorn cow grows up to be BFF with a Clydesdale. Personally I didn't love this one nor will it get me to drink Bud but I bet it will win the various best super bowl ad competitions. For that alone it's a winner.
Too many to choose from but Bridgestone reminded me to buy Michelin. And the much talked about Tim Tebow for Focus on the Family spot ended up being too subtle to preach to anybody but the converted and caused everyone else to scratch their head when he inexplicably tackled his mother.
Which ads were your favorites? Which ones did you think were epic fails?
Bill Carter at Media Decoder: How the Letterman-Oprah-Leno Super Bowl Ad Came Together
Miguel Helft at Bits: Is Google Running a Super Bowl Ad?
Bob Garfield at AdAge: WWJD? He'd Skip Most of This Year's Super Bowl Ads
Time Magazine TV critic James Poniewozik: @poniewozik
Conundrum: CBS won't run gay-dating ad; runs tons of ads that say men can't stand to be around women. #brandbowl