Ok, so I probably should have posted this last night immediately after the Saints’ victory, but I was lazy and a bit drunk. But I did take notes and I still want to share my POV on last night’s barrage of ads, the good, the bad, and the Megan Fox. At first I figured, I’m only one of a million to post something like this at this point, so why bother. Then I said to myself, “David, stop trying to dissuade yourself, you know you’re going to post it anyway.” So here it is, without further ado:
The Aerocles SuperBowl 2010 Ad Awards (and Fails!):
Funniest Ad Award goes to Snickers for their use of Betty White. There’s nothing quite like watching one of the Golden Girls get knocked, face first, into the mud. Though, I would have liked the spot better had the Snickers bar just transformed her into Super Betty White who would then proceed to destroy her opponents, as opposed to reverting back to that dude, but whatever. Betty white is the shit. So is Abe Vigoda for that matter.
Runner Up in the Humor Category goes to e-Trade. Most of their ads were only so-so, but I personally found the one with the philandering baby caught cheating via webcam to be more creative and funny than the rest.
Cleverest Ad – VW Punch-buggy. Not only are their reviving a classic childhood game, but that last bit at the end with Stevie Wonder and Tracy Morgan was actually pretty damn funny. It even comes with a social media component!
Best Targeted Ad (and my personal favorite) was, without a doubt, the Sony Vizio spot featuring the succession of Internet Meme references. Clearly, they know their audience – the tech geeks. Maybe Middle America didn’t get the reference to chocolate rain, or the Mayahe guy, but I did. And if you’re reading this, my guess is you did too. So kudos to them for understanding their audience and the niche consumer market to which they should be, and have successfully been, catering.
Best Call To Action: For me, this one went to the new PS3 game, Dante’s Inferno. Seconds after the spot ran, I logged on to Gamefly and added it to the top of my queue. First thing this morning, I received an email from Gamefly telling me they’ve shipped the game. A series of events that is, in my opinion, indicative a realistic execution on the real time nature and expectations that have come to define this generation of consumer-brand interactions.
Runner Up: Dockers. As much as this one didn’t quite cater to my tastes, despite the fact that it used a gimmicky free sample tactic or that they portrayed a drove of pantsless men running wild through nature, I do have to admit that it seems to have been effective. People have and will always flock to the free shit brands give away. I don’t know if it will inspire any brand loyalty or what, if any, long-term effect this maneuver will have. But in the short term, they managed to successfully drive traffic to their website, even if it cost them a Millions in advertising and free pants to do so. So ROI aside, their call to action was effective.
Least Creative But Still Quasi-Effective Award goes to Motorola for putting Megan Fox in a bathtub. Why? Well, sex still sells. Why not? Because I was too busy trying top picture Megan Fox’s body underneath those bubbles that I have no idea what product they were selling.
Best Interactive Ad: Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) of CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” Holding up a sign in the stadium with his phone number. If you called, as I did, you got a recorded message of the one NPH inviting you for drinks at McLaren’s Pub in 6 years. Suit up!
Biggest Disappointments: The Entire Beer Industry, Doritos, & KGB
Runner Up: Coke & The Simpsons – It was cute, not certainly no “Mean Joe Green.”
Most Confusing Ads: Anything Sporting Men Running Around In Their Underwear. Everything With Beavers. WTF? Was there some industry meeting in which all the ad execs decided this would be the year of unattractive people running around without pants or jumping through hoops for nuts? Was there some Forrester study that highlighted the American consumer’s newfound affinity and fondness for CGI Beavers? I must have missed those meetings. Right – a beaver looking for a job as a violist – so hilarious I forgot which online job board it was promoting.
Worst Ad: The Who’s 30-minute musical plug for CSI. Sorry CBS, but now I associate all your crime dramas with Pete Townsend poor excuse for a performance and the accompanying image of whatever that was we saw when his shirt opened up toward the end of the performance…and we both know that’s not a good thing. I think I speak for all of America when I say, we’d take Janet Jackson’s nip slip over any exposed Who body part.
Ok – You want a real worst ad? Try the Oprah, Jay Leno, and Davit Letterman group plug for The Late Show. – You’d think that 2 of the highest paid “comedians” would be able to come up with something funny, but clearly they got the same writers from The Jay Leno show to script this commercial, because it was a complete dud, in fact, it was probably the least funny of all the spots that aired last night. All it did was remind me of how industry screwed over Conan and reinforced my desire to boycott late night comedy until his presumed September return. GO TEAM COCO!
Ad requiring the most analysis: Google.
So, my initial take & first reaction was one of genuine disappointment. There was – nothing innovative or groundbreaking about the spot coming from a brand that is known for those very qualities. If Google was going to break tradition of stoic and near-nonexistent TV advertising, it had better be to unveil a new feature or launch some wondrous new technology. Alas this was not the case. Which made me wonder – what was the point?
I took away two things from the ad:
1 – Google has feelings. They are a sympathetic organization, not the emotionless, lifeless corporate robot, embodied and epitomized by their rivals, like Microsoft.
2 – There has been a plethora of recent ads touting alternatives to Google – like Bing’s Decision Engine, and KGB, that offers “Answers, Not Links.” I think this ad was intended to remind us why we use Google, and why will continue to use Google. They are not flashy or pretty, or overly complicated, like Bing. They are free and fast – unlike KGB. They are the minimalist but efficient search engine that gets us through life on a day-to-day basis. It reminded us why we “Google” Things, instead of “search” for them.
In that respect, I think it was effective and successful. I wasn’t blown away, but I don’t think that was Google’s intention.
Most Unremarkable Ads Intel. I dunno about you, but I thought their Tech & Talk theme was funny the first time I saw it, then it got a bit old. As for their 2 guys who grow up together and eventually work at Intel together – I’m not sure what message they were trying to convey there. It was boring too. #Fail.
Biggest Missed Opportunity: Dove – Strong, funny opening. It generated buzz in its subtly misogyny and blatant emasculation and then…nothing. What did it have to do with their new line of men’s products? Nothing? Was it targeting men? Their wives?
Best Rebranding: Hyundai – They succeeded in depicting their cars as classy and reliable. Perfect timing given Toyota’s current debacle. While we’re on the topic, I think KIA has also done a pretty solid job at revamping their advertising and branding efforts.