Sunday’s game was amazing. A true game of halves, the Ravens and 49ers did not disappoint. As a native San Franciscan I’m disappointed with the result, but the Harbowl lived up to expectations and the Niners had the ball at the end with a chance to score. As for the ads, they weren’t as good as previous years. There were some standouts though.
The Cream of the Crop
1) Audi – “Prom”
Audi and their agency Venables Bell & Partners have dropped some classics during the big game. This one didn’t disappoint. I saw this one before the game on YouTube and thought it told a great story, showed off a sexy car and didn’t rely on babies, animals, old people doing young people stuff or crowd-sourced BS no one remembers a week later. I saw it again on Sunday in a crowded, noisy bar and it still held up.
2) Allstate – “Apple”
Mayhem, played by Dean Winters is one of the best advertising characters ever created. Done by Leo Burnett in Chicago, this Super Bowl ad was as good as Dennis on 30 Rock. The ref strike joke was perfect and proved that some advertising people actually do watch football.
3) Tide – “Miracle Stain”
This is one of the few ads that I didn’t see before the game. As a Niner fan, I didn’t like the ending. But this spot had something for everyone. It’s another ad that held up with no sound and was still great on YouTube the morning after.
4) Hyundai Santa Fe – “Team”
Kids aren’t as cheap of a joke as babies are. Plus, this ad is football themed, funny, well-produced, a clean 30 seconds, holds up with no sound and equally hilarious every time you see it.
The Ones That Needed To Be Heard
5) Samsung – “The Next Big Thing”
The teaser for this spot wasn’t bad, nor great. It was just sorta there. Actually, it really didn’t need to exist at all. But, this ad is hilariously genius. Very well written, casted and acted. I only have it knocked to #4 because it really only works on YouTube at the office and house parties. It doesn’t pass the loud bar test. Still gotta give Samsung credit for making fun of most of the bad ads we’re mentioning later and the actors for poking fun at themselves.
6) Oreo – “Whisper Fight”
I had no idea what this spot was about on Sunday. Watched it with audio clarity on Monday and laughed. The play between quiet whispers and extreme action is great. Oreo also gets bonus points for the best ad posted during the power outage.
Missed the Mark
The Overly American
Nothing against farmers or soldiers, but Jeep’s “America Will Be Home Again” and Ram’s “Farmers” try too hard. Everything that felt authentic with Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” from a few years back feels forced with these two. While well-produced with good intentions, both of these spots should’ve been half as long.
The Fake PR Machines
Mercedes-Benz’s teaser with Kate Upton was called too sexy. VW’s ad (which somehow came before what should’ve been the teaser) was called racist. Seriously?! This is Kate Upton we’re talking about. And VW was way to quick with their focus group and accent consulting stories. Before the Super Bowl I thought both companies planted these stories. Which is sad because they soured the game day spots for me.
VW’s teaser (that somehow everyone saw after the “racist” one) with salty YouTube stars deserves props for bringing in Jimmy Cliff! Likewise, MB deserves credit for casting William Dafoe in their ad. But after seeing these, I’d be surprised if those PR stories were planted.
The Cheap Jokes
Kia – “Space Babies”, everything Doritos, Taco Bell – “Viva Young”, Budweiser’s “Brotherhood”, GoDaddy’s “Perfect Match” and Wonderful Pistachios – “Psy” relied too heavily on babies, animals, borrowed interest from viral video stars and old people doing young stuff. Meh to all.
I think I remember M&M’s having something decent and one of the 58+ NFL Evolution spots being interesting besides the Deion Sanders one and the original timeline one in the campaign. Can’t really member though. Everything else either sucked or isn’t worth linking to. Although, keep in mind this is all coming from a “creative” in the advertising world who has never produced a Super Bowl spot. Someday though. Someday…