Published February 3, 2008
Animals and Angelina. And don't hire the ad firm that sales genie.com hired.
Those are the highlights after spending a meticulous Sunday night watching not the Super Bowl, but the Super Bowl ads.
I watched the game, too, which did its best to resemble a NCAA hoops game where you only need to watch the final few minutes.
Anyway, here's my bad impersonation of Roger Ebert critiquing the TV ads:
Ads worth watching today:
- Bridgestone tires and T Mobile earn top honors from me. Bridgestone employed animal characters in a bit that showed a squirrel about to get whacked by a car. The entire animal world surrounding the squirrel and the car erupted in screams, until the driver turned at the last minute. It was funny.
- T Mobile featured basketballers Charles Barkley and Dwayne Wade. Funny. Quick. Barkley rules.
- Angelina Jolie was in an ad for a movie. I can't remember the movie, but a good rule for any ad is to have Angelina in it.
- Animals ruled again in a FedEx ad where a generic delivery company was going old-school by using pigeons. The company had huge Godzilla-like pigeons for larger deliveries, but the large pigeons created disaster on a city. Pretty funny.
- The Bud ads, as in most years, tended to be hits or misses. One that hit for me was the last horse that failed to make the famous clydesdales team. He went on a training regimen with help from the Bud dalmatian dog -- and the theme from "Rocky" playing in the background. He made the team next year.
- The Tide stick ad with the talkking stain was a hit, mainly because of my own challenges with stains on dress shirts.
- Life Water snuck in a great ad with dancing salamanders .. or lizards .. or geckos. Geckos, I think. I checked on Google. They look like geckos. Again -- animals work.
- Justin Timberlake-Pepsi and Planters Peanuts produced funny ads that are worth a watch.
- I liked the parade inflatables fighting it out for an inflatable Coke amid the NYC skyscrapers, and Charley Brown coming in at the end and winning the Coke.
And there were bad ads:
- Repeat: Do not hire the company that did the sales genie.com ads. Horrible.
- In this era of wardrobe malfunctions, I think CareerBuilder.com needed better advice. They had an angry worker whose heart was jumping out of her chest. But given where the heart is on the body and that the character was a woman, the ad was too much breast allusions.
- Ford, Toyota and GM had weak ads.
- Bud Light launched a commercial droping the "S bomb." Sure it's not the "F bomb," but note the wardrobe malfunction era above.
Local ads got in the game:
Valley Industrial Trucks, O'Donold's Bar, Master Plan Builders-Home Savings, Comfort Keepers, Greenwood Chevy and Zuzolo, Zuzolo, Zuzolo lawyers got in the game.
The O'Donold's ad was actually pretty cool.
And diehard Steelers fan were able to see Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl, albeit in an ad for "American Idol." You thought his motorcycle wreck was bad, go see him sing "The Pina Colada Song."
Another cool marketing gimmick was Fox itself. It could have put all these ads on any site in the world. But they put the ads on their companion web site, MySpace. Go to myspace.com/superbowlads.