Super Bowl – The Advertising Winners (and losers)

Even if you’re not in the ad industry theres a good chance you watched Super Bowl as much for the ads as the game. Super Bowl ads set the standard as the most expensive, creative and wild advertising imaginable. While I couldn’t watch them live during the game I’ve still tracked down the ads and picked my favs. 

Along with lots of cars, beer, dogs and babies one of the interesting trends was the number of really good ads that came from crowd sourcing. Possibly not what the agencies were hoping for but the idea is only half the equation, execution is also key. 

The other key trend was the number of campaigns that were pre-released. While only a handful of ads were available online last year, this year 20 out of 36 advertisers released them in advance. Advertisers looked to leverage ads across social platforms and gather pre-game hype – when you’re playing $3.5M for 30 seconds it makes sense to make the ad work harder. 


Kia “A Dream Car. For Real Life”

I didn’t have high hopes for this spot after the Adriana Lima flag waving was slowed down into 5 hours of slow mo footage and released as the teaser. In fact, I’d pretty much decided I was going to hate it. Part of me thought – why bother watching?

However I was pleasantly surprised and happily wrong – Kia’s spot is everything you want from a Super Bowl ad – it’s wildly over the top and slightly insane. Adriana Lima isn’t the only draw card either – Kia managed to pack in rhino riding, a giant subway, kickboxing… oh and Motley Crue!  

 

M&Ms “Just My Shell”

A new character joins the M&Ms story this year – the sassy Miss Brown! As Zack Pumerantz of Bleacher Report says “at first we liked M&Ms because they were sweet and crunchy, but things have changed. We now respect their sex appeal and bravado” 
Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt 
This spot featuring John Stamos made me laugh – also in a brave move the creative was crowd sourced rather than using an agency. Doritos also went down this track with the public voting on their favourite of five finalists.    
 
Chevrolet “2012” 
Chevrolet takes advantage of the 2012 doomsday predictions and earns points by getting in a swipe at Ford too. Ford tried to have the ad pulled prior to the Super Bowl and the controversy stirred up further support of the spot. The inclusion of “twinkies” is almost distracting though – reminds me of the movie Zombieland! 

 

Chevrolet “Happy Grad”
A funny, likable ad. Again showing that the big brands are willing to risk $3.5M per 30sec spot by putting creative in the hands of fans. The spot was the winning entry in the Chevrolet Route 66 film competition. I’d say, due to some brilliant acting, the risk pays off. 

 

Acura “Transitions”
Rumors are that Jerry Seinfeld’s talent fee exceeded the creative and ad time budget for this commercial. It’s now being referred to as the ‘one with Seinfeld’ – nice ad, doesn’t mean much if the brand is lost though. Extended version of advert shown below.

 

Sketchers “Mr Quiggly “
There were some good dog commercials this year including VW’s and Bud Light’s Rescue Dog but my favourite has to be the unlikely race dog Mr Quiggly. 
Madonna “Halftime show”
The best advertising of them all – Madonna wasn’t paid for her 12 minute halftime performance but based on the rate card for ads her airtime was worth over $100M! Exposure that will definitely help her new single launch which was included in the performance. 
Lost on me:
I’m going to be honest – I didn’t love all the ads – there were a few that were completely lost on me!
  • Pepsi – Elton John and Melanie Amaro could have been great but it was way too cheesy – I did chuckle at the cameo by Flavor Flav
  • Clint Eastwood – Chevrolet “It’s Halftime for America” – ok I’m not American so I don’t think I’m meant to get it 
  • Chevrolet – Green Hell – didn’t tell me anything that convinced me this car was actually better than the BMW they compare it with
  • Go Daddy body paint and cloud spots – goes to show that the ‘sex sells’ rule can in fact be taken too far, lazy advertising at it’s worst 
  • Honda – “Matthew’s Day Off” – having never seen this movie, it’s obviously lost on me! It was the longest ad at 2.15mins – that makes it a rate card spot worth $19M! 
 
So what’s your favourite ad of Super Bowl 2012?
If you want to see ALL the ads you can see them here



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