Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl: Hits and misses

The day of gluttony is over. The antacid tablets have been consumed. Some of you may be battling hangovers this morning. Yet, there's work to be done--what do we make of last night's Super Bowl commercials and non-football activity?

Hit: The pre-game was spot on with Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton offering up a touching duet on America the Beautiful and Kelly Clarkson hitting it out of the park on the always difficult Star Spangled Banner.

Push: Madonna's halftime was okay...but not great as in "Prince great." Madge rocked it out well for a 53-year old but the entry to the stage took up too much valuable time thus keeping us from hearing other hits from the pop star. I was expecting more...

Miss: Hyundai. It was another year of automotive advertising taking center stage and Hyundai, who just three years ago had offered up the Hyundai guarantee via the Super Bowl, ran work which was so-so at best.

Hit: Audi. An automaker who gets it is Audi--this year's spot highlighted their LED headlights and took advantage of the current fascination with vampires.

Miss: Coke. I hate to say it but the polar bears are getting old. This brand needs a major refresh at the Super Bowl.

Hit: Doritos. One of only two laugh-out-loud spots for me last night was this brand's spot featuring a dog who did away with the family cat.

Miss: Busch Light Platinum. The bottle's cool--the advertising was not.

Hit: VW. Last year's best spot (child Darth Vader) was followed up by this year's overweight dog who ultimately loses weight to chase the VW Bug.

Miss: Dodge/Chrysler. I loved last year's spot for this automaker which featured Eminem and paid homage to the city of Detroit. It's hard not to like anything with Clint Eastwood but this rendition tried too hard and struck too political a tone.

Hit: Kia. Let's face it, it's hard to make a Kia sexy. This ad tried hard and did a pretty good job.

Hit: Chevrolet - Camaro. A hot car plays right into a college graduate's testerone-fueled fantasy of the riches the auto can provide.

Hit: Career Builder. Yes, I know--apes/chimps in advertising is considered off-limits by some. But, seriously, did you not laugh at this spot featuring, yet again, the worker tormented by his scheming "co-workers?"

What was missing? Well, thankfully, the sophomoric humor which has been so popular over the past five years or so was nowhere to be seen. GoDaddy continued to showcase their sexist approach to "advertising" and Adriana Lima will likely be one of the most downloaded women on the 'net today after being showcased on the Teleflora (a really bad spot) and Kia commercials.

GE tried to use the Super Bowl as a platform for their corporate message but it felt flat amidst the auto and other, more entertaining work.

Overall, it wasn't a great portfolio of work but, of late, what is on this biggest viewing event of the year? The game and associated broadcast has grown so large and overwhelming that little can stand up to the immensity of that programming.

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