Our perspective at VantagePoint

My Super Bowl commercial review

 width=So for years I’ve watched the Super Bowl for the commercials. This year, I thought I’d give you my 2 cents about the creativity and marketing value of each of the national (and non-CBS-promo) commercials that ran during from kickoff to final play, each in a sentence or two. A few hits, mostly misses, not many repeats, but overall not very inspiring. You can watch any of the commercials again here. Let me know your thoughts (and if I missed any!).

  • Hyundai Sonata. Gorgeous car, great mpg, on-brand message (except the one where the people carry the car through the office). Not particularly creative, but I remember them.
  • Focus on the Family. Was this what all the hype was about? Tim Tebow’s commercial was almost invisible. I nearly missed it.
  • Robin Hood. A typical movie trailer with bad typography in the credits.
  • Go Daddy. More of the same, but less revealing than before?
  • Bud Light series. The house was ok. T-Pain was a little better. The book club, not so much. The fake “Lost” plane crash was the best of the set.
  • Monster.com. A fiddling beaver? Ok, I guess, but the timeline was hard to follow.
  • Doritos. The fan-created series was hit or miss. The funeral version was the best – quite funny.
  • Bridgestone. I didn’t like either of them. No real explanation what they had to do with tires. Very poor brand message.
  • Skechers. Did they even try? And was it necessary to type the entire voiceover on the screen?
  • Boost Mobile. Will enough of the audience remember the 1986 Chicago Bears for this to make sense?
  • Budweiser (human bridge). Ouch. Is beer REALLY that important?
  • Shutter Island. Yep. A movie commercial.
  • Late Show. Ok, I know I said “non-CBS” but this one I couldn’t ignore. Dave. Oprah. And Jay? HOW did they pull THAT off?
  • CareerBuilder. “Expose yourself to something better?” No thanks. I’ll keep my clothes on, thanks.
  • Dockers. Another commercial without pants? Um, ok. Interesting concept, but suffered running after the Career Builder spot.
  • Hyundai. Great use of Brett Favre in the future to emphasize the longevity of their cars.
  • Dove for Men. Great — albeit borrowed — comedic use of the William Tell Overture. Kept my attention.
  • Dodge Charger. “I will carry your lip balm.” Man’s Last Stand was a great payoff. Nicely done.
  • Teleflora. Makes the point well that live flowers are better.
  • Papa Johns Pizza. Nice (fake?) behind-the-scenes-with-the-owner-at-the-game, but not very memorable.
  • Alice in Wonderland. Fun. Depp. But from Disney?
  • Dr Pepper. A little “Kiss”? Oh brother.
  • TruTv. A little Polamalu? The payoff was too complicated.
  • Universal Orlando. Yawn. Even my kids weren’t impressed.
  • FloTV. Jim Nantz is an excellent touch. Love the bras over the shoulder.
  • Intel. The payoff contradicts the message of the commercial. Not good. (Poor robot.)
  • FloTV (again). Made its point, but not sure I’m comfortable showing a pile of the most serious moments of the last few decades to sell a product.
  • The Who halftime show. Yes, I know, it wasn’t an ad. Or was it? 3 of their songs are the theme music for CBS’ CSI series. Deftly played. (And no wardrobe malfunctions!)
  • Prince of Persia. A movie trailer that looks intriguing, with a dagger that facilitates time travel.
  • Motorola. Funny way of showing just another smart phone.
  • VW. Stevie Wonder does a punch-buggie. “How do you DO that?” Great revival of the old VW game.
  • Dennys. Screaming chickens = packed Dennys.
  • Michelob Light. As much as I love Lance, this commercial was invisible.
  • HomeAway.com. Love the Griswalds. Makes the point.
  • KGB. A good service. A horrible name.
  • Coke. A sleepwalker traverses Africa to get a Coke, to the strains of “Bolero”? Fun and visually captivating. But wouldn’t the caffeine wake him up?
  • E-trade. The talking babies are losing their luster.
  • Census. Dumb. A waste of good acting talent (and, I presume, our tax dollars).
  • Google. Great demo. Beautiful sound bed. Nice music. But I really wanted to see Paris at the end.
  • Kia Sorento. The road trip that toys dream about. Fun. I love it.
  • RoundUp. Really? The same commercial we’ve seen a million times?
  • Bud 55. I guess the music helps. A little.
  • NFL.com. Nice soundtrack. Captivating super-duper-slo-mo. Great images.
  • Vizio. A good way to show everything the technology could do, but I wonder how it works?
  • Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret. Strange. Just strange. I have no desire to eat either of these as a result of this commercial.
  • Dantes Inferno. I’m not the audience for this video game, but a great cinematic short.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales. Same song. 17th verse. At least they kept my attention.
  • Honda Crosstour. Great illustration style, but the connection just isn’t clear.
  • Dennys. Can you hear a chicken scream in space? Is the president a chicken? Inquiring minds need to know!
  • Audi A3. Controversy about the Green Police aside, it’s fun and makes the point well. But why the anteater?
  • Taco Bell. “Not the best ever” says my 16-year-old son. I agree.

 width=My favorite? Either the Kia Sorento or the Dodge Charger. The Dodge does a better job of closing the sale. What’s your favorite?


  • Jon Nottingham says:

    Dave, did I miss your review of the Snickers commercial with Betty White, or did you miss the Snickers commercial? By the way, I’m not a marketing guy, but it amazes me how much money is wasted on commercials that I remember for their humor but have no clue a day or so later what they were “selling”. I really liked the Doritoes commercials. The product was hilighted well and the comercials were very memorable. For me, there were many lame comercials and few that held my attention or sold me on a product.

    • Good call, Jon. No, I remember seeing that one, but must not have taken notes at the time. And didn’t remember it later, which may be telling. Humorous but slightly confusing would be my opinion–probably will be one that plays better on the 3rd or 4th viewing.

  • Cosmo says:

    Re: The Tebow commercial. I blogged about this the other day, but this looked like it was done by a bunch of freshman college kids who were just taking an ad class to fulfill some other requirement. Seriously, who thought it’d be funny to have Tebow blindside his mom. The fact that he’s a QB aside, there are other much funnier things, or at least relevant things, he could’ve done there. Plus, the end is just weird, with them staring at the camera. I think if he had walked in, handed her a football and said, “Thanks for thinking of me, mom.” that would’ve been a much better, more poignant commercial. As it is, it made everyone a) wonder what the fuss was about; b) focus on the slapstick silliness.

  • Thanks, John! Glad you agree that we made our point clearly! We think with the proximity to Valentine’s Day, that was the most important thing we could do.

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