Monday, February 6, 2012

Which of the Super Bowl ads do you remember?

While 2012’s Super Bowl will go down in history as a nail-biter that could have resulted in a different winner in the last few seconds of the game, the ads garnered more publicity pre-game and during the game than ever before and can now be called the Brand Bowl.

According to Mashable, at the end of Sunday’s game between the Giants and the Patriots, Twitter reported that there were 12,233 tweets per second – which became a new record for the #2 spot on the “most tweets per second” list. According to the NFL, 61 million Americans viewed this year's Super Bowl. Out of those 61 million Americans, 40% of them watched the game but weren’t football fans, and 25% were women.

But enough about the game, how about those ads? As a brand marketing professional, I can remember a large number of the ads, but then, I may have been more interested in the ads than the game (since no California teams were playing). Read about my faves and flops, and then a guest chimes in.

My favorites have always been the Coca-Cola polar bear ads and the Budweiser Clydesdales ads, and this year, those ads did not disappoint. But what others stood out? I liked the Hyundai “Cheetah” ad because the cheetah did not want to race the car. Check out the “Behind the Scenes” video on YouTube to see how the ad was made. I also enjoyed the Chevrolet “Happy Grad” ad – very amusing and definitely made me laugh. And I was entertained by Pepsi’s “King’s Court” ad featuring Elton John – the theme was universal because everyone wants “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

Everyone was waiting for Volkswagen’s follow-up to last year’s Darth Vader ad. Since that ad was my favorite last year, I hoped VW created something special. But there was no “Wow” factor in the “The Dog Strikes Back.” Sure, I liked the exercising dog and the “ad within an ad” featuring the Star Wars bar scene, but maybe, VW should have taken a year off?

There were some ads that fell flat for me. I didn’t like Bud Light’s “Platinum” ads – they lacked energy and as a result, didn’t seem to have a message. The Hulu ads were boring. The Chevy Silverado “Apocalypse” ad was too dark – the theme that Chevy trucks are the most long-lasting could have been achieved in a better way. Audi’s “So Long Vampires” lacked creativity and didn’t focus on why an Audi vehicle may be the best in its class. The Jerry Seinfeld/Jay Leno ad for Acura and the Doritos ads were bland. Finally, last year’s Go Daddy ad featuring Joan Rivers was funny, and unfortunately, that same humor was missing from many ads this year.

The one brand that was noticeably absent was Apple. There could have been a montage of Apple products in memory of Steve Jobs, and that would have been a fitting final farewell – especially based on the impact of Apple’s “1984” Super Bowl commercial. No one who saw it that year will ever forget it.

Now, please welcome Julia Carcamo to my blog. We watched the ads from miles apart and wanted to collaborate on a “She Said, She Said” post. Julia is the Vice President of Brand Marketing for Isle of Capri Casinos, one of the most seasoned companies in the regional gaming entertainment industry, operating 15 casinos in the United States. Julia is part of the team responsible for the strategic planning behind the reintroduction of the iconic Lady Luck brand as well as the repositioning and creation of other Isle brands. Follow Julia on Twitter and on her Blog. Without further ado, here's Julia...

I have to say that the Super Bowl this year was a bit of a flip for me. The game was great until the very end, but the commercials were less than satisfying for me. I think I miss the creativity of beer commercials and I honestly don’t know how that happened because I’m not looking for another round of WASSUP! However, I do think there were a few spots that stood out in the plethora of B and C-rated work.

“M&Ms: Just My Shell” – Kudos to them for continuously creating these characters we love to watch (and eat). This one literally made me laugh out loud. It was so unexpected and so much fun.

“Budweiser: Return of the King and Eternal Optimism” – This is just classic Budweiser advertising. It tugs at your sense of patriotism and reminds you that Budweiser is always there at the intersection of life and celebration. Plus, in my book, anytime you throw in the Clydesdales, I think you have a winner.

“Skechers: Mr. Quigley” – Who in their right mind didn’t laugh as this French bulldog crossed the finish line in style? Throw in a little contract negotiation with Mark Cuban, and you’ve got the unexpected humor that only great commercials can deliver.

“Chrysler: It’s Halftime in America” – I’ll admit I wasn’t blown away by last year’s anthem to Detroit, but this year, my story is different. It was another tug at the patriotic heartstrings, but with the punch of the all-American tough guy, Clint Eastwood. Everything was so well programmed – the copy, the timing, the reveal. I think this one will go down in my book as one of the smartest ads I’ve ever seen.

“Honda: Matthew’s Day Off” – How could I make a list of top spots without Ferris Bueller? I just loved this spot (but I don’t think I’m going to buy a CRV anytime soon). It felt very true to the original inspiration and for that, they deserve a top spot on my list.

I would like to thank my brand marketing colleague, Julia Carcamo, for sharing her perspective about this year’s Brand Bowl – I enjoyed her insights and hope my readers did also. 

The countdown for next year’s Super Bowl and Brand Bowl begins today, but if you didn’t see all of this year’s ads or want to watch them again, here’s the link for all of them:

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