Best and Worst o' the Bowl
The Best and the Worst ads of the Super Bowl.
By Michael Bartnett, 10:21AM, Mon. Feb. 4, 2008
I'm no ad exec.
I am, however, an ad rep (amongst other things - thankfully). And while this may qualify me to place your $18 sugar-gliders-for-sale ad in our Pets / Exotic Animals section, I might not be your go-to-guy when it comes to brainstorming that new, dewy-fresh idea that will somehow make the millions of dollars you spend on your Super Bowl ad spot worth it.
But luckily, another thing that I'm not, is an idiot. And, although I'm sure there are those who would argue otherwise, it overwhelmingly underwhelms me the inability of highly-paid, self-proclaimed "advertising gurus" to put together a simple, original and effective commercial. The teams of Coke-drinking, Ford-driving, mutual-fund-investing monkeys these companies have running their marketing departments almost always resort to the same ol' tired tricks when it comes to their ad campaigns:
1. They play it safe and go with the bland and boring branding ad.
2. They run ads that take an originally funny joke, say, from the Simpsons or Seinfeld or something, and banally bastardize it. Either that, or, even worse, they rip-off a commercial that was crappy to begin with and make it even crappier.
3. They take the holier-than-thou approach, running ads saying something to the extent of: "We're too lame to try and make our commercials original or funny, so we'll just try and convince you instead that - we're better than that." How's that working out for you Hyundai?
4. Or, you could just do what 99% of companies do, and make something disappointingly "developmentally disabled," hoping that the lower-educated demographic you're trying to exploit somehow manages to muster a laugh, despite the self-induced comas they've slipped into or the voluntary lobotomies they're giving themselves by watching your commercial in the first place.
There are some good ads out there though - that is, if you're in to that sort of thing. Personally, I tend to tune-in to the more original, creative, and minimal approaches to advertising. The sensory-overloaded amygdal assault on the subconscious approach? Not so much.
So now, without further ado, I present to you...
My picks for the best and worst commercials from the Super Bowl
You can never go wrong with The Godfather. 'Nough said. What this homage to the decapitation of a horse lacks in originality, it makes up for in cinematography and, uh - classicality.
I'll be the first to admit: I've seen some FedEx commercials that make me want to gag myself, throw up, and then eat my own puke just so I can throw it back up again. But this one? Not bad.
I picked this one just for the web address:
4. Bud Light
Will Ferrell's always good for a laugh.
In this particular case, he was good for a couple.
...and now for THE WORST:
1. Under Armour
Is this dystopian world of athletic apparel from a scene out of Matrix 4? Seems like someone in the creative department needs to lay off the 'roids and try the "happy-pills" instead. Oh, and don't forget to pick up Laurence Fishburne on the way to the cave rave, buddy.
Is anyone else as done with the "car as one with nature" motif in advertising as I am? First, it was Jeep on top of Old Smokey; then, Hummer pleasantly pillaging through the polar ice caps; and now, we can't even get a car commercial without a talking, singing, or screaming squirrel in it.
I find it disturbing that what this commercial seems to be saying is this: Haul ass down the road. Accelerate towards any animal that happens to cross your path. Wait until the very last second, and then - you'll probably be able to swerve out of the way. Key word: probably. I wonder what happens to the screaming squirrel the second time around.
We all know that sex sells, but c'mon GoDaddy - you're better than that.
Racism, on the other hand, does not sell.