Sorry about the lack of a second half in-game report to go with my earlier first half report. I was working on one and, whaddya know, the game was more entertaining than the ads and I got a little distracted. The dust has settled a little bit now (but the votes keep pouring in), so I’ll offer a few thoughts on last night’s ads in general.
OVERALL GRADE: B-
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: The game was definitely better than the ads this year, but it’d be pretty hard to top that game. Overall, the ads were fair to good. Some smart marketing efforts were seen and hearty laughs were had, which is exactly what people want out of the big game, no matter how bad the economy is.
Doritos (“Crystal Ball“) – Not bad for a consumer-generated ad. Not only is it ranking near the top of the SpotBowl polls as I write this, but it actually won USA Today’s annual Ad Meter. For that distinction, the two amatuers from Ohio took home an extra $1 million. That’s still less than what Doritos would have paid an ad agency to create this same ad.
Bridgestone (“Up on Blocks“) – Moon dudes four-wheelin’ to some old school House of Pain? Awesome. The guys get stranded when their rover’s tires are stolen? Hilarious. The fact that Bridgestone was able to so deftly weave their product into the punchline? Priceless.
Hulu (“Evil Plot“) – This is a nice effort by one of the last advertisers to buy ad time in this year’s game. Alec Baldwin is great (as usual) and the idea that TV doesn’t rot your brain, but “only softens the brain like a ripe banana” is laughable…because it’s true.
Dreamworks (“Monster vs. Aliens“) and Pepsi (“Lizard Lake“) – We don’t usually judge movie trailers here at SpotBowl, but we’re lumping the film promo in with the SoBe spot for one reason: The 3D was major letdown. The best part was the paddle ball comin’ right atcha in the first few seconds of the movie trailer. The rest looked better with the glasses off.
Vizio (“Something about a TV“) – This one was just awful. Some guy talking and some words on the screen over a funky blue background. The only creative part was the little arrow in the beginning pointing to our not-Vizio TV logo.
GoDaddy (“Shower” and “Enhancement“) – We get it, you’re edgy, but the gag is getting old. Who’s GoDaddy’s target audience? 15-year-old boys? Anything Danica Patrick does to reverse gender stereotypes on the race track is immediately canceled out by her appearance in these spots.
Miller High Life (“One Second Ad“) – I missed this one when I looked away to shoot a high, arching three-pointer into the trash with my 3D glasses. Good thing I was able to catch it again on SpotBowl.com. The Miller folks never intended for this spot to win an awards, but they definitely got their money’s worth with a ton of pre- and post-game buzz.
Coca-Cola (“Mean Troy“) – This remake of the classic Mean Joe Greene spot was okay. The appearance of the Coke brand manangers — two guys from another Coke ad campaign — wasn’t quite the twist I was hoping for. Them babbling about suing Coke was confusing, especially if you weren’t familiar with their previous work. It also virtually assured that this spot would have no nostalgic value past November 2009. This ad would have been a lot better if they’d have had a ref snatch the Coke and watch Troy finally take out some agression on the man.
Pepsi (“Pepsuber“) – I’m a big Saturday Night Live fan, so when I saw the SNL characters reprising their roles for this MacGuyver skit-turned-ad, I was excited. But I can see why a lot of people might not have liked this spot. Still, you have to love the original MacGuyver, Richard Dean Anderson, making a mulleted cameo.
Bud Light (“Conan in Sweden“) – I liked it, even if the reaction was mixed otherwise. It was definitely the best celeb cameo of the night.