The Best and the Worst Super Bowl Commercials


We'd like to be able to say there was a standout winner amongst the ads in this year's Super Bowl but we really can't There were several we liked, though, and several we hated. We, like many others, enjoyed Volkswagen's The Force commercial in which a small boy dressed like Darth Vadar attempts to use the force on objects around the home including his father's Passat. Of course, the boy can't make His Force do anything. That is until Dad, unbeknownest to the boy, flips the remote leading to boy to think The Force has finally worked.

We liked the Motorola Xoom commercial which riffed of Apple's 1984. The ad did a nice job poking fun at Apple's minions and their cult-like following. In a way, the little love spark between the man and the women in the ad was more like Motorola's attempt at saying "can't we all just get along" rather than their intentioned notion the Xoom will separate you from the pack. Either way, the commercial was engaging and was a nice attempt to set the Xoom apart from the iPad.

We liked Coke's Border Crossing commercial in which two border crossing guards from opposing countries come together to enjoy a Coke together. It was nicely in line with the brand's notion Coke brings happiness to a situation.

We're a sap for this sort of thing but we don't think we're wrong when we say Chrysler's commercial with Eminem was a beautiful attempt at getting Americans to look inward again and to see Detroit as a place that can create innovation. As many have said, the execution could have gone wrong in many different ways but it stayed on an even keel and delivered a warm feeling without going over the top with too much bravado.

With its Reply All, Bridgestone tapped into something we've all experience at one time or another; the unintentional sending on a private email to a large group of people. This approach made it very easy for almost anyone to identify with the plight of the person in this ad who mistakenly sent the email and the great lengths he went to in order to stop it from reaching an unintended audience. This ad, itself, was hilarious. But it's unlikely the need fro great tires is even remotely on the mind of a person who just missent an email. The brand's second spot, Carma, sent a heartwarming, if not very weird, message

Bud Light's Hack job spot drew a smirk but that's about it. On the other hand, employing Man's Best Friend to host a Bud Light-fueled party better exemplifies the mindset of the mundane beer drinker who only cares about where the next party is. While that sounds like a slam on the brand, it's not. After all, it makes perfect sense given that the target audience for Bud Light is less refined and fine with drinking carbonated water that looks like beer.

CarMax struck the right chord with a kind of humor that actually drove home the salient points of the brand; that it makes the car buying experience fun and hassle-free.

Honorable mention: HomeAway for its highly produced James Bond shtick and that baby tossed against the glass.

In terms of what we disliked, there was quite a bit of silliness and idiocy. While many polls placed the Doritos Pug spot in which the dog crashes through the door at the top of their polls, the problem with that spot is that you saw the joke coming inside of the first second making the next 25 seconds the most boring 25 seconds of the entire broadcast. Perhaps of any broadcast.

While GoDaddy is usually tossed off as sexist trash, we felt this year's unveiling of Joan Rivers as the new GoDaddy Girl added an interesting twist to the domain registrar's usual bag of tricks. That said, now more than ever, it feels like the joke is tired, old and has been repeated far too many times for it to be even remotely humorous any longer.

We laughed at Teleflora's boob joke but really that's all it was; a crassly humorous joke. That's not to say that many men would really like to send that sentiment to their girlfriend or wife but it doesn't paint the brand in a very positive light.

There's a running joke on Twitter that Groupon is now seeking a new ad agency. That may not be much of a joke in the coming weeks as the negative sentiment regarding their ads pours in. While it's clear the brand was going for a snarky inside joke pointing out the fact we humans tend to place far too much importance on the unimportant and not enough on the truly important, making light of deforestation with female grooming and the even more egregious stab at the plight of people in Tibet by lauding their cooking resulted in some of the sort Super Bowl work we have ever seen.

While it's always funny to see Ozzy Osbourne the Best Buy spot from Crispin Porter + Bogusky was horrifically disjointed trash. What was the message? The Justin Bieber is weird? That Ozzy is a clueless idiot? How does this help anyone make the decision to shop at Best Buy? In fact, it might scare a lot of people away. After all, who wants to run into a freak like Ozzy or a pretty boy like Justin Bieber when shopping for your next piece of electronics?

Akin to a couple of elementary school boys telling jokes to each other in the bathroom, MINI's Cram it in the Boot from Butler Shine Stern & Partners was, while funny for a second like a fart joke, pure dreck. And using a five foot long sub as a stand in for a male appendage used to "cram it" in the "boot?" How old were the creatives on this account?

BMW. Wait, what? The ran ads in the game?

The rest of the Doritos ads? Ever seen the movie Idiocracy?

See all our Super Bowl commentary here.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-11   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion, Super Bowl 2011