Monday, February 8, 2010

Review of Super Bowl Ads 2010

Not even going to give it a fancy title; no links to my stupid jokes/references. Did this for class; felt good (or, at least, not bad) to be reviewing spots again. It is easy to tell which embedded vids go with which reviews. Enjoy.

Although Brett Favre has been known to make a little fun of himself for television commercials (see some recent Sears Blue Crew spots), his futuristic turn in this piece does provide him with some comedic dialogue as well as an unintentional reference to his impending non-decision concerning his return to the recently disheartened Vikings. The semi-coincidence of 2010 become 2020 (a potentially great year for geometricians) in ten years being compared to Hyundai’s ten-year warranty makes for a nice a-ha moment. What’s creative about the piece is that it took some courage to say, “Look, the ‘Brett Favre is old and can’t make decisions’ joke is totally staid, but we can do this well enough and make it relevant enough to entertain the masses.” The MVP trophy hologram was a nice touch too.

I may be a little biased having seen this spot and others like it a couple of months ago but I still love it. It asks the audience to read! Wow. In a time where CGI reigns supreme and a mediocre story can be overcome by amazing visuals (Here’s looking at you, James Cameron.), Google tells a delightful story that compels the audience’s involvement. They didn’t throw a novel up on the screen. They gave you bullet points in the form of the search suggestions that took you through a simple story that could have been trite or sentimental but hit you right in the heart with the final ‘cribs’ search. Amidst the men in underwear, pseudo-controversies, and year(s)-old Internet viral references, Google demonstrated a much classier form of familiarity.

The above spots are really the only ones I actually liked. But this spot from the normally over-juvenile Bud Light comes across as dumb in a smart way with jokes that make sense in context. With punchlines from “environmentally responsible” to “there’s Bud Light in the fridge made of Bud Light” to the showering girlfriend in the “window,” it’s slightly less juvenile than the Bud Light spots we’re used to. It also created a unique setting; you wouldn’t be surprised if you saw the Bud Light house in future spots. Lastly, the spot has energy, an attribute that recent Bud Light spots, advertising in general, and the Colts in the fourth quarter lacked.

Looking at the rankings of these 2010 Super Bowl ads, this one is ranking near the top in every one. I don’t understand the hype but I do believe that there is a smart enough message coupled with a nice performance from an elderly stateswoman. And despite the obligatory tackle-crunch sounds that are louder than the sounds in the actual game, the spot doesn’t go overboard in the way that all post-Janet Super Bowl spots (and all comedy movies for that matter) have gone overboard. It keeps it light enough so that you are waiting for the switch that happens once the Betty-man takes a bite of the candy. The crunch-tackle of Abe Vigoda’s ghost was a little much but the spot managed to maintain a light-ish tone that separated it from the rest of the pack.

I actually don’t really like this one that much. I was once during the E*TRADE “Baby Girlfriend,” Denny’s “Chicken Warning,” and Volkswagen’s “Punch Dub” spots (below). But this piece had an element that none of the other Super Bowl spots had: post-Bowl viral potential. And as simple as a concept as that is, NONE of the other advertisers reached the conclusion that the most sexually enthralling woman on the planet in the bathtub in a commercial would bring massive online video searches. Maybe it was because Fox couldn’t bring big box office success with Jennifer’s Body, but for thirty seconds I think she can get the job done. Considering that this year’s slew of Bowl spots didn’t quite knock it out of the park, a piece that makes it to online afterlife seems remarkable. And at least a little creative.

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