Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl Ads in Review: Top 5 of 2011

Once again, we're shown that marketeers and the general public have, shall we say, slightly different takes on the Super Bowl commercials.  USAToday's AdMeter* put BudLight's lame dog-sitting party spot at #1.  Go watch it if you want to.  Dogs walk upright and serve beers... Whatevs. Tied at #1 was the cute but predictable spot for Doritos with the pug and a glass patio door.  Neither ranked well with the experts.

Conversely, the big winner last night has to be Volkswagen.  Not only did it score right behind the two dog spots in USAToday, it was the first SB ad I saw leaked on the Facebook, which tells you it was going viral even before it aired... a great sign.  And after it aired during the game, the twitterverse went wild with positive remarks.  And it scored very well with the experts.  

While the buzz the Super Bowl ads create is on a slightly bigger budget than my clients can typically reach, here's my top five. 

#5  E*Trade Baby.  Sorry, I'm not even close to sick of this concept.  They're just funny.   

#4  Verizon iPhone 

#3  NFL: "American Family" Grey Group

#2  Chrysler: "Born of Fire"  Wieden & Kennedy/Universal McCann

BTW, this work of art is rated at #44 on USAToday's AdMeter.  Unbelievable.   Obviously that's because there were no monkeys, dogs, or people getting hit in the face and/or crotch. 

#1  Volkswagen Passat Mini-Vader

I also note that this is far and away the most popular of the YouTube, with 16 million views and counting.  What's fanny is that this ad completely obscured another VW ad that was nearly as good, the Black Betty Beetle.  VW FTW! 

*USA TODAY assembled 282 adult volunteers in Bakersfield, Calif., and McLean, Va., and electronically charted their second-by-second reactions to ads during the Super Bowl. Shugoll Research and Trotta Associates chose the volunteers, who used handheld meters to register how much they liked each ad. A computer continuously averaged the scores. Scores are the highest average for each ad.
 So that's my Top 5.  What's yours?  

1 comment:

melanieburger said...

Your top 3 made it into my top 5. The iPhone/Verizon ad and the E*Trade baby just didn't make the cut.

I agree that I'm still loving the baby ads, but because I've been seeing the same campaign for a year now I didn't feel that they were Super Bowl caliber. I am also partial to the first E*Trade baby, so it may take me some time to get used to this new kid. I do give them props for the sneezing cat named Pepper though. Sneezing animals are almost always a good idea. (Remember the baby panda?! )

My top 5 ads would be:

5. CarMax "Gas Station"
I liked the other CarMax commercials, but I really thought this one was something special. It was clever, funny, original, and, although the CarMax brand was not strongly tied into the idea behind the commercial, I was still able to recall this morning that it was an ad for CarMax. Good stuff.

4. NFL: "American Family" Grey Group
I am always a sucker for nostalgia, especially when said nostalgia includes The Fonz. I thought this ad was really well done.

3. Volkswagen Passat Mini-Vader
Loved the ad but the version you posted was NOT the Super Bowl Ad. It was the longer (and better) version that had been leaked prior to the game. When it finally came on I was excited, only to be left feeling gyped once I realized that they hadn't splurged for the extra 30 seconds of airtime to show the whole thing. Darth languishing over his PB&J was my favorite part, and didn't make the final cut. So sad.

2. Chevy Camaro "Miss Evelyn".
I loved, loved, loved this one for its wit and cheekiness. "Mirrors? Uh... I guess" and "She's in the city; I don't know why there would be hay bales..." It cracked me up, and I really thought it was one of the superior ads of the night.

1. Chrysler: "Born of Fire" Wieden & Kennedy/Universal McCann
This was, by far, my favorite. I knew when it started that they were trying to sucker me with the "American Dream gone wrong & trying to come back" story of Detroit and I was totally willing to be suckered. I loved the feeling of hope that they conveyed, I loved the scenery from the city that they showed, and I loved that they got Eminem to do a serious commercial that touched on his hometown pride.

I've heard the question posed today, "Is Eminem the right spokesperson for the Chrysler's luxury car's target market?" Maybe not. But I thought the rest of the ad was so well done that it didn't matter who was driving the car since it was more focused on Detroit than on the endorsement. Eminem was just the cherry on top of an already superior ad.