I watched the Super Bowl Ads so You Don’t Have To

Super bowl, blah, blah. I wasn't that interested this year. I don't have any ties to either team (which is a little rare considering the number of places I have lived). When it comes to picking a team, I consider whether I have lived in either place (there's a long list), then I look to see if there are any USC players on either team (this time a wash with Junior Seau and Steve Smith). For a lack of one specific team to root (route?) for, I select the underdog. So I was cheering for NY, though it wasn't enthusiastically.

So of course, we watched the super bowl ads this year. Just one word of warning before you go clicking around on that site: a few ads in, that eTrade lead-in ("Click. Click. Yay!") is going to make you want to hurt yourself. What I learned, or rather confirmed (again) this year is that there's really not anything all that new in advertising; just variations on a few themes. I also confirmed that he who has the most beers laughs the loudest and I was drinking Diet Coke so you can kind of guess where I am going with this.

Anyway, for you, I looked at all of them. Yes, all of them. As in other years, there's a certain type of humor that goes with the super bowl (the whole celebrating the overweight, middle aged frat boy in all of us kind of thing....and I'm just middle aged so you know, I don't really get it that much). I will admit, as I probably have before, that I don't so much enjoy "haha" humor. Stephen Colbert? Hilarious. Adam Sandler? Not so much. That's just me. So yeah, I'm probably not the ideal target of most of these. A couple of note:

1) Bud Light: Pick-up Artist 

After the line "we make sandwich; I am meat", the seven year old in the room asked "what does that mean?". She seemed satisfied with "don't worry about it". That would have made me want to look it up on the internet if I was her, but we didn't have an internet when I was seven.  She's a much more laid back kid than I was at her age. But I guess that line wouldn't have made it past the censors when I was seven.

2) Victoria's Secret: Friendly Reminder

This one resulted in my friends dad telling us how much he was looking forward to the upcoming Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. I don't know why, but I really don't want to hear about this from my friend's dad.

3) Bud Light: Jackie Moon

Does Will Farrell keep playing the same character in all of his movies? I may have a negative bias (see what I said about haha funny above); I couldn't get through the ice skating movie. Anyway, not really that funny until you line it up against all the other super bowl commercials and then it seems slightly more funny.

4) Diet Pepsi Max: What is Love?

I liked this one. Nothing too amazing but I lived in LA so that whole SNL skit that this commercial references, well, I can confirm that it happens in real life. Plus I love LL Cool J.

5) Planters: Unibrow

My favorite one. You go girl!

6) E-Trade: Infant Investing

Oh boy. Another talking baby; which was funny the first time, like 5 years ago. Yet the baby vomit adds a nice twist (and the acknowledgment of creepy clowns in the follow up). This one elicited laughs from the beer drinkers.

7) SoBe Life Water: Super Model dance

This one I have probably the most to say about. It would have been funny if it acknowledged the Naomi Campbell probably wanted to throw a cell phone at those lizards. And they could have made it just about the dancing lizards. There was just too much going on here and it's hard to make the connections between the model, the song (Thriller relates to the product how?), the lizards. There was some goodness here but it got lost. I imagine some advertising execs in a meetings arguing about whether to go with the model thing or the lizards thing and at an impasse, they do both.

8) Pepsi: Getting close to Justin

This one I saw before the super bowl. Again, the drinkers found it funny, but I didn't really. There's something oddly appealing about Justin Timberlake though. Not sure what it is. I think that once you see him dance, you can't not like him (or is that just me?).

9) Bridgestone: Running over Richard

The one that I found the most relatable and pretty funny. Because who doesn't want to run over Richard Simmons. Glad he can make fun of himself (and hope he made some bank off of that).

So that's it. Not much to see here. In fact, the most disturbing thing about the whole super bowl hoopla, I noticed before the game ever started. I was on the treadmill trying to get ahead of all the eating that was going to occur (Cheryl made something called "heart attack on a stick"). Anyway, I had my iPod on, so I wasn't getting audio on the TV. And maybe someone who actually viewed this with sound can give us the full picture of how awful it was. I swear I saw Ryan Seacrest on a "red carpet" for the super bowl. What the? When I see Ryan Seacrest, I want to go get a manicure (after changing the channel), not watch some football. It was just so odd to me. I tried not to look directly at it for too long.


Comments (9)

  1. Kerry says:

    I was disappointed with the ads last night – I love the SNL skit so the diet pepsi ad was my favorite.  I also liked the justin timberlake commercial when he said "hey to you" to the girl just before getting knocked out with the flat screen. Seriously some of the ads I just didn’t get.  Oh well – I voted on the ads this morning http://www.youtube.com/adblitz

  2. Graham says:

    When I caught the Naomi Campbell ad, I thought Geico had combined their lizard ads with the celebrity spokesperson ads. Didn’t even notice it was for a new drink.

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    Kerry – me too. So many of them were so familiar. I bet ad agencies recycle their story boards.

    Graham – yeah, I think that ad will be selling no whatever water.

  4. Mary Jane says:

    Kerry, I agree! The Pepsi commercials were my favorite this year – both JT and Diet Pepsi Max commercials were hysterical! That SNL skit is timeless, I love it!

  5. Andy says:

    I don’t watch sports or TV at all so I missed it but I did go online later and watch the commercials to see if there were any funny ones. The only one that made me laugh was the doritos mouse and even that was pretty lame. Anyway I think Superbowl ads are becoming a thing of the past. Why spend 2.3 million on getting really creative with an ad that only some people in the US will see when you can do targeted advertising via Double Click or Right Media exchanges etc. and get your add out there 24 hours a day in front of millions of people who are actually interested in whatever your product is. Even if click through is low you still get way better results from online ads than you do from a Superbowl ad. I think we are seeing the slow death of traditional TV advertising.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, but the network still gets the big bucks for the space because they still get the eyeballs. An advertiser would want a super bowl ad thisyear because it was the biggest viewership ever. I think the creativity may be lacking but as long as people are watching, advertisers will come up with commercials and will pay the big bucks. Would be interesting to see the trends in cost per minute of advertising and what factors have an impact.

  7. deb says:

    HA!  After seeing the JT commercial, I sent a text to a friend asking if it was wrong to find him to be such a guilty pleasure (and so cute!).  I feel like I *shouldn’t* like him, but I do.



    P.S.  I’m slowly recovering, as I moved here from MA and have been taking the expected abuse after the loss….while decided that 18-1 is nothing to be ashamed of and moving on to talk about spring training for the Red Sox.

  8. HeatherLeigh says:

    deb – yeah, same here. Weird huh?

    Don’t feel too bad about your Pats. There’s always next season.

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