February 7, 2013

If you were one of the millions of people who tuned in to the Super Bowl, did you, like me, think the commercials were pretty lackluster? From bad taste TV spots (Go Daddy) to Taco Bell making fun of old people (why is the thought of seniors having a night out seem so funny to people?); the majority of the spots left me cold. Sure, there were a few good ones, such as the Ram/Paul Harvey spot, but overall most left me wondering where has creativity gone?

Well, perhaps it has gone to the internet. It seemed that most advertisers were spending more on social media campaigns to create “buzz” about their lackluster commercials before the game, than investing in real creative magic during the game. Might just be a sign of the times. Now hype, buzz and social media are more important than content and presenting something of value to your potential customer.


  1. Good observation, Mark. This year those of our group that watched the game noted that our spouses used to join them to watch the commercials. Not any more.

  2. Agree Mark. I have not missed a super bowl in many years just because of the ads. This year’s ads were lame. Clearly meant to entertain versus actually sell anything.

    1) VW Ad – rather than focus on why to own one, the producers made a stupid ad about a white guy with a Bob Marley accent.

    2) Best Buy – Use of celebrities is always risky and using Amy Poehler proves this point. There needs to be a connection between the celebrity and the product sold, otherwise it becomes disengenuous – this is a perfect example.

    3) PSY – Pistacios. Completely predictable. By the way, what brand of pistacios was that? What you don’t remember? Case closed.

    4) Coke – What was that anyway? The A-Team creatives weren’t working on this goofy scene in the desert that never paid off coke’s brand value proposition.

    5) Allstate’s “Mayhem” was a disaster. I didn’t

    6) Doritos Goat Spot: Over produced / stupid premise. Poor production quality. But, at least there were lots and lots of bags (strong visuals) for doritos. No mistaking the brand/product.

    7) M&Ms – Unless you watch GLEE or one of those shows most of us never watch, the entire point was lost on the audience. How many recognized the woman? How many got the joke about licking (“I won’t do THAT”)? It seems to have been targeted to women – maybe that IS their market.

    8) ETrade (baby next to stack of money) – This is a remake of an oldie that was cute many years ago. The only difference this time was all the photoshopped photos of the baby (in a hottub, on a horse, on vacation, etc…).Not a terribly creative or unexpected evolution of the campaign.

    9) BEST ONE OF THE DAY: Sketchers. LOVED THIS ONE. Clever showing the guy running faster than the chetah then saving the antelope from getting killed. Very cute payoff with the guy and the antelope exchanging kudos at the end. Good product shot. Memorable. Not sure I would buy Sketchers but I’ll at least remember the name next time I’m buying tennis shoes.

    10) STUPIDEST OF THE DAY: the Doritos spot where the dad and his buddies are in the little girls bedroom playing dress-up. It wasn’t even funny. Why didn’t they run a 2nd Goat spot?

    11) KIA SORENTO: Bet you don’t recall this one do you? It wasn’t even about the car. Didn’t hardly show the car. It was the one with the mom and dad and the kid in the back asks “Where babies come from”. Dad makes up this story about “Baby-landia” and 26 seconds of the spot are of babies flying through space arriving on earth. And that has what to do with KIAs?

    12) PEPSI – About as weak a Pepsi Superbowl spot as I’ve ever seen. Old people having fun. I’m not sure who they were targeting on that one…

    13) HYUNDAI – Like the KIA spot, there was never anything about the car or why you might want to buy one. The whole spot was about the little kid collecting a group of super strong kids so they could go back to the school yard for a pick up football game. It was barely entertaining. The payoff was the little kid throwing the ball so hard it knocked over the bully kid. Again, zero relevance to the car.

    14) OREOs – Just stupid. What was with all the whispering? The only interesting part was the integration of INSTAGRAM VOTING to choose whether you liked the filling or the cookie better. Who cares really?

    15) KIA FORTE – Guy at the car show kicks tire and supermodel heaves him across showroom into wall. Cute but is this the best payoff for their tagline of “RESPECT THE TECH”? Again, well produced, and at least there was a focus on the product.

    16) SAMSUNG – Next Big Thing. I didn’t know who either of those two guys were. I knew who Labron James was (on the Samsung galexy tablet). They traded jokes and it really reinforced SAMSUNG. This was an on-strategy commercial – probably more so than 99% of the others. Well done.

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