Super Bowl Ads: Everyone's a Critic
Monday after Super Bowl is a tough day to get any work done, unless you’re writing about Super Bowl ads and the whole office provides an unscientific focus group of what connected and was just plain stupid or insulting. And these days everybody’s got an opinion, a poll and a megaphone in the shape of Twitter and Facebook feeds.
Mars’ Snickers commercial starring Golden Girl Betty White won USA Today’s Ad Meter. The online poll comes with a novel video overlay featuring the newspaper’s ad writer, Bruce Horovitz, tossing a bowl while telling viewers how to vote. Doritos came second. The Wall Street Journal’s poll had Audi’s Green Car taking the top slot in both the best and the worst commercial of the game with its readers.
Former Magna TV analyst, Steve Sternberg, conducted his own poll on Twitter and Facebook coming up with these top five: Snickers, Google; Bud Light (Beer House), Doritos (Play Nice) and E-Trade (Milkaholic). Doritos “House Rules,” spot was the most talked about ad on Twitter receiving 35,000 tweets during the game.
Boston ad agency Mullen also used Twitter to figure out who won the Brand Bowl. The results are at Brandbowl2010.com, In terms of sheer volume of tweets the top three ads were: Doritos, Google and Focus on the Family. While Doritos won the title by virtue of dominating through sheer volume of tweets. That was enough to keep them ahead of Google, which had a higher percentage of positive tweets. Mullen offered to provide free creative for next year’s Super Bowl for the loser of its poll which happened to be Budweiser Select55.
Even the students at the University of South Carolina got some coverage for their poll which also ranked Doritos the winner of their seventh annual Cocky’s Super Ad Poll.
If ad writers were in the Super Bowl, then surely the New York Times‘ Stuart Elliott deserved a most valuable player award for live blogging his way through all 62, or was it 63? ad spots, serving up a critique of the commercials with the kind of background that only a veteran can muster. Elliott knows his onions.
Every year, overall themes emerge from Madison Avenue’s creative department whether that’s violence or bad taste humor. This year two themes emerged: men without pants on and alleged misogyny. A Dodge ad had a man agree to do all that the women in his life asked of him, so long as he could drive the car he wanted to drive. A Bud Light spot had a guy crashing a book club. When asked whether he liked “Little Women,” he responded that he wasn’t all that fussy. The Focus on the Family commercial also had viewers split down the middle on whether it was acceptable material for Super Bowl.
Two spots vie for biggest surprise advertisers of the night: Leno sitting on the sofa alongside David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey and Google for breaking its long held philosophy against brand advertising. The Google ad was a big hit with the media and advertising folks that I follow.
With social media featuring heavily with marketers it was no surprise to find Vizio’s Beyonce spot - for its hi-tech TV - featuring gliding images of Twitter and Facebook riding high online. The ad was the only one to make Twitter’s trending topics list during the game.