Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl Commercial Highlights

It's always an enlightening experience being the guy who works in advertising at the Super Bowl party. For the past five years it has fun being the de facto expert on commercial creative and strategy (and somehow feeling like you get credit for every laugh from the group); however, tonight I was constantly answering the question, "did they really spend $2.7 million on that?" And while I don't think this year's spots were significantly more disappointing than last year's, I did start to feel a bit disheartened. I had been making the (unoriginal) case to listening co-couchers that although it may seem an excessive amount to pay, when you consider not just the reach of this event but (more importantly) the number of eyes that will actually be actively engaging with the content (watching/talking about each) during the game (as well as the coverage in the weeks before and following), it was probably worth it for at least some companies. But unfortunately when the game ended, the consensus was "the commercials sucked" (with the exception of Ferrell for Bud Light "suck one"). There didn't appear to be breakout stars—brands that benefited from being "diamonds in the rough." Instead, the negativity toward the collection was the final word. And I started to wonder how many more chances we all would get before people would rebel against (ignore, skip, channel flip, or call for a change in the model) our thirties and sixties the way they do during the other 364 nights.

In case you missed them and want to find your gems, you can watch them on MySpace. These are not my favorite commercials, but certainly the two standout moments...

The first is the Gatorade ad, "Man's Best Friend." I know from my work with Purina that the more frames showing a happy dog, the better. Yet, I connected to it because of the striking resemblance of the black lab to my family's, Zeus (that's his name).

The second moment was fulfilling because I was the first person to remember "where is that guy from?" in the Amp Energy commercial. Your turn to try (if you haven't already).

Yes, you guessed it. Right? It's Donkeylips (confirmed by Michael Bower Wiki entry) from Nickelodeon's Salute Your Shorts. Amazing show, and really the only thing that made this commercial bearable.

It's late and I'm too tired to go spot by spot, but quickly I thought Coke was unsurprisingly solid, E*Trade surprisingly good, and most of the rest forgettable.

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