February 04, 2008

Super Bowl XLII

Once again, the Super Bowl has come and gone (--trying to come to grips with the results). The biggest upset in Super Bowl history was also the highest rated (97 million viewers). All the overly hyped, multi-million dollar spots have been well covered, gathered, analyzed and critiqued. Sadly, the modern day equivalents of Apple's groundbreaking (and still creepy) 1984, or Coke's memorable Mean Joe Green spots have yet to be created.

Anyway, there are several unwritten rules in the advertising and marketing that one must humbly abide by in order to be considered legitimate. After... "One quote David Ogilvy or Bill Bernbach at least once a year" and "Every wardrobe must contain at least four elements of black" ...comes the rule where we all have to watch and rate Super Bowl Ads. It's not a bad rule, considering that as a spin-off, you get to watch a football game during the breaks.

So, to fulfill my obligations for this year, I offer the following "Top 5" list. My criteria for making the list is a little different from other more intellectual advertising guru's lists. I judge my fav ads like this: 1). Is it well done and executed? 2). Is it entertaining? (ie. did I respond emotionally in some way), and 3). Do I remember the brand?

In honour of our recently trademarked tagline, I am calling this year's list:

Top 5 Cut through™ Super Bowl Ads - 2008 (oooh... so Catchy.)

NFL - Mr. Oboe
This spot made me smile. It's such a different approach to the "what-you'd-expect" type ads from the NFL pushing the on-field product with lots of action and tough guys hammering on each other. It was interesting and entertaining with a great payoff at the end. I had never heard that story, and I felt good afterwards.

Budweiser - Rocky
It seems like it wouldn't be a Super Bowl without the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale ad. Although there have been better ones in years gone by, this year's version does not fail to deliver. The ending, although predictable, was nice with the great high-five shot.

Coca-Cola - It's Mine
Simple idea, gorgeously executed. Great nostalgic payoff at the end (even though I was never a big Charlie Brown fan - the strip just wasn't that funny). The brand is brilliantly integrated into almost ever frame.

E-trade - Baby
This baby talking in an adult voice gag never gets old... especially when you make it relevant to the message, and add some baby vomit (or a creepy clowns as in the follow up spot). Funny stuff.

Tide - Talking Stain
This hilarious spot saw its national debut during the big game after having received widespread industry recognition last year including a 2007 Cannes Silver Lion award.

This spot also served as the launch pad for their new web campaign and microsite - www.mytalkingstain.com where you can create and upload your own talking stain video. And, if you're that big a fan, you can even download a talking stain ringtone or mp3.

If interested, you can view all the Super Bowl spots

On a related note:

Bob Garfield - who I normally enjoy and respect... has totally lost touch with reality. Except for his comments on the Ronald McDonald House ad (which I completely agree with) he is totally off his rocker. "Homophobic"? "Scaring little children"? Yikes.

Watch his Rant here

"Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn't sell much of anything."
- David Ogilvy