Some might say I’m un-American because – wait for it – I don’t actually care about the Super Bowl. In fact, last night I set my DVR and waited until the big game was about halfway finished. Then I sat down, alone, with a glass of wine and my pup and began fast forwarding through the football game and watching only the commercials and halftime show.
Being in the advertising biz, I’ve always enjoyed the ads more than the game. Watching the best of the best in advertising gets me pumped up for my job. I used to pretend and go to Super Bowl parties, but I would get annoyed with all the chatter during the best part of the “game.” Now I make no pretense about it. My time is too precious to waste it on football. Instead, I watched, paused, evaluated and took copious notes on the ads.
And here are my Super Bowl ad ramblings. Ready, set, go.
1. Our world revolves around #hashtags.
Anyone who is anyone was using them last night. Bud Light #upforwhatever. Chevy #silveradostrong. Bank of America #connect4red. GoDaddy #liveyourdream. T-Mobile #nocontract. VW #dasauto. H&M #BeckhamforHM. CarMax #slowbark. Coca-Cola #AmericaisBeautiful. Jeep #stayrestless. Audi #StayUncompromised. Intuit #teamsmallbiz. Axe #kissforpeace. Chobani #howmatters. Heinz #ifyourehappy. Honda #hugfest. Budweiser #saluteahero. Chrysler #AmericasImport. Microsoft #empowering. Hyundai #nicehashtag. Jaguar #goodtobebad. Fox #jackisback. Budweiser #bestbuds. GoDaddy #itsgotime. Doritos #doritos. Fox American Idol #thisisreal. Esurance #esurancesave30.
And my thoughts:
Come on Doritos, #boring.
Hyundai, I don’t get it. #confused
Most memorable goes to Audi, Jeep and Jaguar. #carfolksaredoinitright
2. It was the night of new car launches.
The dramatic Maserati ad had me glued to the screen. It was completely unexpected, and the voiceover had me in a trance. And if I had an extra $66,000 lying around, I’d be on my way to see my friend Adam at Maserati of Sacramento on my lunch break today. Hello, Ghibli.
Sorry Morpheus, your presence, the valet service and opera music didn’t make me forget that the K900 is still a Kia. Luxury, I think not.
3. Humor = Memorable.
The spots I remember the most are ones that used humor well and actually made me laugh out loud.
The Intuit Turbo Tax ad did it best. Not only did I laugh out loud but also the ad took into consideration the context in which the audience was viewing the ad. They met the audience where they were: most of the country didn’t have “their” team in the Super Bowl and they used that as an opportunity to connect.
Audi took an interesting approach combining two dog breeds to create this scary mixed breed to bring home their tagline “Luxury without compromise.”
And Radio Shack. Oh, Radio Shack. Your brand was very much in need of “relevance check,” and I’m guessing you found that it wasn’t significant any more. It was stuck in the ’80s. Owning that and playing it up with nostalgic icons like Chips, Alf, Teen Wolf and Hulk Hogan was like giving your audience a big hug. It was #welldone and made me want to embrace your new makeover.
On the other hand, Doritos fell short in the humor department with their time machine spot. Didn’t even chuckle.
4. Love it or hate it: animals in ads.
LOVE IT! Budweiser #bestbuds. Love in the air. The cutest golden receiver puppy. Clydesdales. It was a crowd pleaser.
LOVE IT! Who can forget the Chevy Silverado cow love story? Great combination of humor and love. Plus, it features a man and his truck. Sigh. What can I say: I’m a simple girl.
HATE IT! First of all, Chobani, I love what your product stands for “all-natural ingredients” so it pains me to pick on you. BUT, the folks at PETA were not happy with your use of a bear in your ad. And as a closet animal activist and aspiring vegan, I’d have to agree that it’s time we left the wild animals where they belong, and that is not on TV.
5. And lastly, a shout out to my boy, Bruno Mars.
Holy hotness with those dimples! And seriously, how can you not want to get up dance when you hear his upbeat music? Considering Denver barely made it onto the scoreboard (I saw that when I was fast-forwarding through the game), halftime was most certainly the best part of Super Bowl XLVIII.
Honestly, I have six pages of notes from my ad analysis last night and could go on for days. But y’all don’t have that much time.