Andy: Good morning, PreGamers! You might have noticed, but the Packers won the Super Bowl. I could try to write more on that, but really, it would just be that sentence over and over again. Let’s talk commercials instead. In my opinion, it was a pretty lackluster year, but there were a few that made me smile. And let’s not even get started on the anthem … do we have our first-ever lyric-shaving scandal on our hands?
Andy: As I alluded to just sentences ago, this one’s empty for me. I truly doubt there was a single commercial this year that we will talk about with the same fondness as Terry Tate, office linebacker, or Herding Cats. There was one that had the gusto, but disqualified itself in a YouTube doping scandal.
Jedd: Chevrolet “Tommy” aka Lassie: See, I think the Youtube stunt for the Volkswagen “The Force” makes it disqualified in the Jedd Super Bowl Ad Approval Contest. If VW wants to compete for funniest/heart-warmingest clip on all of the Internet, I think it’s in for a rude awakening. So I pick Chevy. This just in from the world of literary fashion: Anthropomorphism is out; Caninomorphising is in. If you want everyday objects and machines to be long-lasting fictional characters, turn them into dogs. I want a car that is also man’s best friend. This ad was short, snappy, funny and cute. Also, it featured whales, volcanoes and an exasperated father, all keys to advertising success.
Andy: My top three:
• Volkwagen “The Force”: The extended version would have the best commercial of the night (I only saw a 30-second version during the game). But they dropped the ball releasing it on YouTube three days earlier. It was probably a smart move, gaining exposure (15 million views before the game) and saving some money by not paying for a whole minute of ad time. But that commercial could have brought the house down, and it only brought the house … low?
• Chevrolet “Tommy” aka Lassie: I’ve heard enough bad “Timmy fell down a well?” jokes on sitcoms that this made me smile.
• NFL “Super Bowl Party”: While advertising your product knowing that a potentially crippling work stoppage is on the horizon is a bit lame, The Fonz in a foam finger conquers all.
Jedd: My other favorites
• Snickers: I know they played this joke out a lot during the past year, with Betty White and Aretha Franklin. But something about Richard Lewis’ Gazebos line made me laugh this time around, also Roseann Barr getting hit with a log nearly had me on the floor. I watched that on replay repeatedly. My brain is a fickle, hypocritical machine that I can’t explain. Why was watching a woman get hit in the head with a Pepsi Max not funny and watching Roseann go down under a log really funny? I have no idea. But it might have something to do with the sound.
• Bridgestone: Karma: Adorable beavers and plot with a beginning, middle and end. Good job, Bridgestone. Nothing trendy. Nothing flashy (outside of the flash flood narrowly avoided). I have a feeling this was sitting in some ad student’s desk drawer at Parson’s, just waiting for a chance to shine.
• Teleflora: “Help Me Faith”: Again, I’m a hypocrite. Why is GoDaddy.Com misogynistic and unwatchable, and Teleflora’s bust-related comment hilarious? I’m going to say it’s in the nuance, but also in that helpless look Faith Hill had there at the end.
Andy: My bottom three:
• All the Bud Light ads: Not a “WAZAAAAAAP” in the bunch. Lame sauce.
• All the GoDaddy.com ads: These ads are perennially the worst and dumbest, however effective they are at sticking in your brain (Who else are you going to go to for domain registration and Web hosting?). But bringing Joan Rivers into it? That’s LowDaddy (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).
• Skechers “Kim Kardashian”: There’s a sex tape joke to make here. Here’s my best shot: Kim Kardashian, GO AWAY.
Honorable mention: Stella Artois “This is not how anybody drinks beer”, all the Livingsocial/Groupon ads, Chevrolet “Creepy Facebook car” and whatever Chatter.com is, for the almost-Comic-Sans stuff at the end.
Jedd: My bottom three.
• GoDaddy.Com: These ads will never stop because they are arguably the most attention-grabbing and most effective for the reasons Andy so eloquently described. But I got to say, they’re so slimy and cheesy I would have felt cleaner turning on late night CineMax.
• PepsiMax: Love Hurts: Something about this whole ad made me uncomfortable. The stereotype of the mad black girlfriend, women who only date in order to emasculate their boyfriends, borderline domestic violence and it ends with a bystander getting clobbered with a Pepsi can? I’m sorry, what did that have to do with anything? Diet coke, please.
• Tie: “Fast Five” and “Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon”: OK, I’m really not attacking the advertising here, but I feel like I’ve got to spend some column inches/words on how terrible I think these movies are going to be. Why would you do this, Hollywood. Movie companies, was it really worth spending $3 million to give me 30 seconds of a movie I really don’t want to see. The people who are going to see those movies were already going to see them. The rest of us just want to be left alone. If we weren't convinced by "Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift" you're not going to get us by movie #5.
Andy: I don't know how I felt about these:
• Chrysler “Imported from Detroit”: This ad was cool to watch and was a nice pick-me-up for the state of Michigan. But it would never make me buy a car.
• HomeAway “Smush”: A dumb commercial, but I enjoyed “Test baby.”
Jedd: My thumbs middle choices
• I hate to just copy Andy (actually, it makes my job a little easier), but I feel the same way about the Detroit ad. I could feel the emotion in the voiceover and Eminem is an excellent spokesman for Motor City, but I don’t think it’s effective. “I know we used to make terrible cars, but now we’re really ready for the luxury car market,” is never as solid a slogan as “Our cars rock.” It kind of reminded people of how bad they used to be. People want a comeback from athletes and celebrities, not in products they rely on every day.
• Mercedes: Welcome: When I see Diddy in an advertisement I expect genius. His Ciroc ads with Aziz Ansari are hilarious. I loved “Get Him to the Greek”. This ad was a cute concept but still left me feeling underwhelmed. Gotta use use your assets.
• Coca-Cola: Border … or really all of the coke ads: I could tell Coca-Cola was trying, and their high production value, grand scale scenes caught my interest. In the end, after each of their “Open happiness” slogan, I kept feeling like either I didn’t get it or they were trying to hard.
Did we miss any good ones? Which were your favorites? Be sure to let us know.