Super Bowl Ads - my top 5

Monday Monday Monday! The day everyone talks about the Super Bowl Commercials. And once again, the commercials didn't live up to the hype. Of course, there were a few highlights - the game for one.

So, I will try to keep this brief. Here are my top 5 commercials and then my pick for the absolute worst and why. My list isn't about which spot got the biggest laugh, or which spot had the craziest effects. So, some of my picks might surprise you. I'm more interested in the commercials that tried something new, that broke the mold of a typical super bowl ad and stood out from the rest of the crap that left you thinking "eh, that was okay." It's the freakin Super Bowl and your paying 2.5 million dollars - you better get more of a reaction than "okay." And I thought I said I was going to keep this brief.


Sprint- watch it here

This commercial is hilarious. So unexpected, so ridiculous. It's ubelievably awkward, painful, and funny. This spot gets the "biggest balls" award. And I love the concept of crime deterrent. Hands down - best spot of the night.


Ameriquest - watch it here

The line at the end of this spot is beautiful "Yep, that killed him" as he stands over the patient with the defibrillator - and the look on the patient's family's face is priceless. Big thumbs up. Plus, this commercial (and its sister) get extra points because they are for a mortgage and loan company. Making a mortgage company hot is no small challenge.


Fed-ex - watch it here

A lot of people liked this spot, and they should. It's completely logical while being illogical. And who doesn't like dinosaurs. But the true reason this spot gets my pick is because it has an amazing kicker (i.e. ending). A little dino get's punted and a man dies, all in 3 seconds. Love it.


McDonald's Hamster - Watch it here

Original, odd and funny. This commercial was completely unexpected from McDonald's. It's incredibly low budget and simple - everything a super bowl commercial is not. It stands out and that's why it gets my vote. This actually aired a few minutes before the game - but I'm counting it.


Budweiser Wave - Watch it here.

You might wonder why I pick this spot out of all the Budweiser and Bud Light commercials. All the others feel very expected, very forced, very formulaic. While I think some of the Bud Light stuff was funny - they all kind of feel like a stand up comedian delivering a joke. That's really all they are. And while the Budweiser horses are recognizable and carry a lot of brand meaning, they just don't have the same magic that they use to - they feel trying - and in the end fall flat. The Budweiser Wave was imaginative and magnificent. From start to finish you're thinking "That's cool." It takes you by surprise - and left me feeling satisfied - like a good beer commercial should.

Honorable Mention

Hummer - watch it here
I love this spot, however, it aired well before the Super Bowl, so I don't count it as a true Super Bowl ad.

Absolute worst

Diet Pepsi -
While Go-daddy was a huge disappointment after all the hype. The Diet Pepsi spots were just embarrassingly bad. I don't want to go into it - I'll start getting angry.

Watch or download all the Super Bowl commercials at iFilm


Tom Tom said...

Nice analysis. I think I have to agree on a lot of that now that I've gotten to think about it more. I think I still like Whopperettes, but if your client will let you get away with murder, and that's all you come up...meh.

mark said...

Nicely done.

pylbug said...

I don't know... those McDonald's spots are pretty lame, and a blatant rip-off of BK's King (not to mention Jack-In-The-Box's Jack, Quaker's Quaker and Sprite's talking action figure "show them my motto" dude). TBWA talked their way around mimicking the King with the client, but I don't think it helps dimensionalize McDonald's when you portray the brand as plastic, stilted and manufactured. The hamster suit is just pandering; attention for attention's sake.

And the Budweiser wave spot was an even more pathetic rip-off, of this Carlton ad.

Littlejohn said...

You make some good points. But I found the McDonalds spot a lot more random than any of the examples you mentioned. What does a hamster have to do with McDonalds? You could argue that that's exactly what makes it a bad ad. I'm just saying I had to give McDonalds props for going outside their comfort zone and doing something that was attention getting (at least for me). And the Budweiser Wave doesn't seem to be ripping off the Carlton's Big Add - although it does use a similar technique - it felt more like Michael Jackson's "We are the World Super Bowl performance. The wave ideas goes hand in hand with football. But of course, that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i thought ameriquest ads were lame. i could not remember who they were for, what they were advertising. nothing. it was a comedic short film shopped around for a sucker marketing director with a logo slapped on. we won't judge? what's that mean? that you don't care if my credit score is 290?

Littlejohn said...

No need to apologize. And yes, I think that is the point - they won't judge you if you have a bad credit score, or a good one for that matter. And yes they are merely comedic short films. Comedic short films about a mortgage and loan company - which there isn't much to laugh about. Comedic films that many people are now talking about. Again, I have to give them props for having fun with a traditionaly boring account. I would love to hear everyone else's top 5 spots.

Anonymous said...

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