This year's Super Bowl crop of ads was... well, interesting. Some of the big dogs of years past weren't there at all (Pepsi) and some just didn't make a good showing (Bud was 1 for 5, Coke, 1 for 2). Some were milking their campaigns way past their expiration dates (eTrade baby, I'm looking at you). We had some that used social media well (Oreo) and some that didn't (Coke - race/Lincoln - Steer the Script).
But as usual, there were some goodies. So, without further ado, here's my top 10 list and my worst 1.
10. Coke - Security Camera.
Originally I had the Samsung, next big thing slated here - but then I remembered the Coke spot and it got bumped. I've talked about the "Live a Little Bit" campaign before, as it has already had a spot in my Ad of the Week. But this was a nice addition to the campaign. It was simple, elegant, touched our good human sides and tied in very well with their overall idea of sharing happiness.
9. Doritos - Fashionista Daddy.
This spot took the wacky, "I'll do anything for some Doritos" idea to a new place. It was fun, in that "what dad could resist his little girl's pleading eyes - and a bag of Doritos?" way. Then, as a twist, when his football buddies catch him, rather than giving him crap for it, they join in for their own Doritos feast. Not sure how that big guy got into the mom's wedding dress, however - but it was funny.
8. Hyundai - Team
Most of us have run into bullies at some point in our lives, so we love to see stories when they get their come-upance like they do in this ad for Hyundai's Santa Fe. When the bullies still a kid's football and tell him to come back when he has a team, the kid and his mom tool around in their Hyundai, picking up their team. The kids they pick up are all normal looking kids, some kinda fat, some kinda skinny - none of them look very muscular. But they're all doing things like lifting weights, wrestling bears, welding and carrying grown men from a fire. And I guess the story here is they all fit nicely in the Santa Fe. Hyundai's other spot "Epic Playdate" which aired just before kickoff was also pretty nicely done.
Sure, it's basically the "Tastes Great" "Less Filling" Super Bowl brawls of old, only about whether the cookie part or the cream part is the best part of an Oreo. But instead of yelling they're all whispering, because they're in a library. And despite the fact that the escalating violence basically wrecks the library, everyone continues to whisper - even the cops through the megaphone. The campaign also deftly used social media - driving people to it's Instagram account to choose a side. They got some crazy good numbers in terms of new people added to their Instagram account, sharing and engagement.
6. Budweiser - The Clydesdales "Brotherhood"
Bud has always had multiple spots dominate the annual Ad Bowl, but this year they seemed off their game. The two spots for the new Black Crown premium beer looked like any other ad for any other premium beer targeting young, hip urbanites. they were stylish and shot well, but were pedestrian in concept, a "me too" campaign (at least they weren't Beck's black label beer spots, which were awful). The Bud light commercials carried on the superstitious campaign with a New Orleans/Super Bowl twist - but also felt flat and unimaginative. Then, finally, came their annual warm and fuzzy clydesdale spot. And while, it did feel a bit overly sappy to me, it was an original twist on the clydesdale story that I know touched a lot of people.
5. Wonderful Pistachios - PSY Get Cracking
Yes, I know. This guy's 15 minutes of fame should have expired at least a month of two. But, this spot just made me laugh. It's completely within their brand and on-going campaign. Yet, unlike the Bud light spots, it does take it over the top in Super Bowl ad fashion. I mean who doesn't like dancing pistachios singing "Hey, crack your nuts now!" and doing the Gangnam style dance moves - even after forcefully pulling their own shells off. And that last shot with Psy riding the nut - priceless. Take my ECD card if you have to, but I loved this ad.
4. M&M's - Love Ballad
Here's another spot that seemed to divide people among lovers and haters. Needless to say, I fall into the lover category. I think the whole campaign has been great and they've sustained it for years now. But this is a classic with Red playing/singing Meatloaf's "I'd do anything for love" while flashing to scenes of him and the gal who plays Santana on Glee in a lovers montage. When he gets to the part of the song that says "but I won't do that," we see a montage of her trying to eat him, put him in a pinata, bake him on cookies, etc... At one point he's whimpering, huddled under his piano as he continues to sing. It ends with three beautiful girls nibbling on him as he says "it hurts, but I kind of like it."
2. Jeep - Home Again
The final two spots go to different brands from a company who has starting making it a habit of creating stirring epic Super Bowl commercials that touch the human soul, giving us goosebumps and a lump in our throat. Chrysler did it two years ago with their epic "Imported from Detroit" ad and tried to recapture it with Clint Eastwood last year. This year, it's Jeep's turn. And Oprah has taken the voiceover duties. Nobody knows how to tap those tear ducts like Oprah. This time it's a commercial about when our troops come home and what that means. It's a tie-in to the USO with a brand with a strong military background. The words and images are done so well.
1. Ram Trucks - Farmer
Ram Trucks took a beautiful read on farmers by Paul Harvey and added a wonderfully paced collection of stunning still photos to tell the story of the hardy people who have been the backbone of this country since the country began. It's beautiful in any definition of the word. And it reminds us of who these forgotten people are and how much the rest of us owe to them. The subtle message is that someone who works this hard needs, no, deserves a dependable truck that will work just as hard. And if it's good enough for their needs, it's good enough for yours. It may be a different brand handled by a different agency, but once again, I raise my Super Bowl ad chalice to salute a Chrysler Corp product as kind of the spots.
And 1 Ugly One:
So, here's where I list my worst ad of the Super Bowl. And I'm guessing you already know what it is. It seems to be everyone's worst ad. It's even more ugly when you look at it right after the beauty of the last ad. Like the number one spot, the bottom spot is company who has been there before. Go Daddy consistently creates Super Bowl ads that people hate and even ones that piss them off. This year is no exception. The Perfect Match spot is ugly, gross, makes people uncomfortable to watch or even listen to. But, it does what Go Daddy wants it to. Everyone talks about it, you know who made it - unlike the talking squirrels spot, as of this writing it has over 7 million views on YouTube and you probably even remember the point of the ad - Go Daddy combines beauty and brains - or sexy and smart, as they put it. Just not when it comes to creating quality commercials.
Go Daddy - Perfect Match
So, what were your favorites and least favorites? Agree or disagree with my choices? I'd love to hear what you think.