Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Ads Not as High Scoring as Ravens

Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus 
with Jennifer Hudson
Super Bowl XLVII featured a lot of drama on the field (the Ravens' 108 yard return touchdown to start the second half and the 49ers' unsuccessful last-minute attempt to tie the score at the end).

The drama of brothers coaching opposing teams added to the anticipation all week. And emotions ran high as the Sandy Hook Elementary School chorus sang just before the game.

Even the half-hour electrical glitch inside the stadium contributed to the drama of the game's second half and its eventual outcome.

Sadly, the ads were the least impressive part of the event, as so many Monday morning ad quarterbacks say in their critiques (and I agree).
  • New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott writes: "Super Bowl ads speak to a generation. But which one?" He complains that many of the ads played on old, wornout themes. Mother-in-law jokes (Century 21)? How very last century.
  • The ad panel of Kellogg (at Northwestern) ranks Blackberry at the bottom of the ads (due to "weak branding"). Century 21 finished fairly low, as did Lincoln and Calvin Klein, among others.
  • Joann Ostrow of the Denver Post writes: "Most of the spots were forgettable." Her critique concludes: "Too bad, in the rush to cash in on new technologies, too many ads skipped the creativity." 
  • Budweiser's Clydesdale ad
  • Ad Age's Kevin Wheaton comments: "There's not much of that [originality] on display this year." Too right.
So which ads did score high? USA Today's Ad Meter--which counts votes from the public--says it was the sentimental Budweiser Clydesdale ad, nudging out the fun P&G Tide ad featuring the miracle stain. The Kellogg School Super Bowl Advertising Review gave top honors to the Tide ad. Stuart Elliott mentioned the Clydesdales and the Tide ad in positive terms, along with the Stevie Wonder "voo doo" ad for Bud Light, the M&M ads, and the Oreo ad.

In December, I wondered whether the Best Buy, SodaStream, and Gildan ads would stand out. Not really. Oh well, there's always next year.

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