Monday, February 02, 2009

Superbowl Ad Grades

Woo-hoo marketing! I have opinions about everything, and everyone should know about them! POP CULTURRRRRRE!!!!

Below are the TPWK's official grades for the 2009 Superbowl Advertisements.

The Winner

Telaflora.com : Box of Flowers

All around, the best ad of the Superbowl. Most men have no idea that the flowers they ship to their woman’s workplace come in a box. Now they will feel guilty about sending flowers. That's hard to do. Does the ad play on women’s insecurities about their appearance, and negative notions about their self-worth? Um, yeah, but shame on women anyway… That’s how sell you flowers, people. This ad took guts, but it made Telaflora.com some money.

Grade: A+

The absolute loser


Sobe – NFL Ballerinas

Okay, football players dancing in tights. Not funny, and the Kubrickian motif is perplexing. And everything’s blurry because apparently there was a promotion involving 3-D glasses in which I did not take part. Oh good, it’s those lizards who didn’t make any sense last year, and now it’s the Monsters from that terrible-looking Dreamworks movie. And, now one of them is wearing a bra.

If this were China, some creative director would be hanging from a noose with his organs harvested.

Grade: F

The runners-up

Careerbuilder: It’s Time

One of the best executions in years (Superbowl or otherwise) is torn between two running times. 30 seconds wouldn’t work for the concept, but it runs out of ideas at the 45 second mark. Still, it was interesting and funny enough for me to hold tight until the brand ID.

Grade: A

Bud Light – Swedish

Nice coup for NBC getting it’s late night star in a Budweiser ad. Actually, it’s a perfect pairing of talent and role. Conan is an absurd spokesperson for just about anything, and it’s been awhile since ads have taken on European absurdism. Plus, it does a good job of featuring the product, which is all Bud Light would hope, or need, to do.

Grade: A

Doritos – Crystal Ball

This is a very well written ad from a comedic standpoint, though the relationship with the product is debatable. Plus the lead talent is extremely similar to my former roommate Leroy, to the degree that he will spend his next two weeks deflecting “hey, that guy from the Superbowl ad for Chex Mix or whatever… He reminded me of you.” Conversations.

Grade: A-

E-Trade: Babies

This is a great campaign generally, and I think it was time to get away from “buying stocks is so easy, a baby can do it” and move to a recession message. I’m not sure what the addition of another baby adds, but watching a baby say “this isn’t the venue” is funny. Somebody fought for that line, and we win because of it.

Grade: B+

The minor misfires

Pepsi Max – I’m Good

The shot of men enduring all manner of slapstick abuse was funny to the ladies in the room who, in reality, were the target audience for this ad. The message is, “men are idiots who won’t drink diet, but women know better… Here’s a tasty soda.”

Grade: B

Castrol: Monkeys

From an originality standpoint, this is just another ironic monkey ad. That said, if you’re target audience is shop managers, they probably get a kick out of the literal take on “grease monkey”, laugh at “the monkeys made me their king” and generally don’t care if your ad is derivative.

Grade: B

Doritos – Lucky Day

A man eats Doritos, and great thing happen with each chip he eats. The message is that Doritos are lucky? In the first shot, a women’s outerwear disintegrates, which begs the question… If you walk around all day in elaborate, sexy lingerie, are you really all that ashamed when you are exposed? As a rule, women voluntarily remove their clothes for men who watch what they eat. Just sayin’.

Alas, the bag only has three chips, so the ad is actually pretty true to life.

Grade: B-

Bud Light – Meeting

Props to Bud’s ad team for making fun of itself re: drinkability (does my pen have “writability”?), but the punchline itself was banal. That said, the makers of Budweiser are well-served by reminding people that we are in a recession. No money? A night on the town is as close as your refrigerator.

Grade: B-

The major misfires

Cheetos: Pigeons

The Cheetos Cheetah is all grown up, and now manipulates flocks of birds to facilitate his love life. Another snack food revealing an essential truth: Cheetos are food only if you are not human.

Grade: C+

Audi: Grand Theft Audi

After decades of failure with those other vehicles, the Transporter finds success with an Audi. Fair enough, but the only funny moment was when he glares at a wimpy Lexus across the street.

Grade: C

Bud Light: Skier

Drinkability? It means our beer tastes like water. With those other beers, things like flavor get in the way. Flavor is like a tree, avoid it. By this point, I had certainly had enough of watching guys injure themselves.

Grade: C-

Bridgestone: Potato Heads

Potato head comedy has been done, and this ad has nothing to do with Bridgestone.

Grade: C-


Pepsi - MacGruber

So, they literally took an SNL skit and made a Pepsi ad out of it? Wow. The skit was marginally funny, at least.

Grade: C-

Bud Light Lime: Sphere of Summer

It’s summer all the time with Bud Light Lime, or so this hyper-literal ad would have us believe.

Grade: D+

Coca-Cola: Strangers:Monster online, pretty girl by day. Coke brings them together for some reason. This ad doesn’t make any sense at all.

Grade: D

Coca-Cola: Bug’s Life

Ugh, I’m going to have to sit through this ad every time I go to the movie theater, aren’t I? What is it with Coke and epic ads? That’s an awful lot of money to spend just to bore us to tears, eh?

Grade: D

Budweiser – Clydesdales

I don’t think people associate Clydesdales with Budweiser as much as Budweiser’s marketers think they do. This year, Budweiser produced three ads, each squarely aimed at women, none of them entertaining to either gender.

Grade: D

Taco Bell – Smooth

A guy meets a girl, promises to call, and does so instantly, then immediately treats her to Taco Bell. This is an old ad (I saw it earlier this week) that isn’t very funny, advertising a product that doesn’t look very good. “Enchiladas at the speed of Taco Bell” is a tagline that evokes unpleasant memories.

Grade: D

GE: Scarecrow

GE would like us to know that it is making energy more intelligent. The “If I only had a Brain” motif will appeal strongly to the coveted age 88-115 demographic. Snooze.

Grade: D-

GoDaddy.com – Enhanced/Danica Shower

By all accounts, last year’s effort to lure men online to watch car racer chick (I got her name wrong last year) to take her clothes off was a resounding failure. So why not do it again, with two more ads that trot out banal jokes that refer to events that happened years ago? Yeah, that’ll sell, um, domains.

Grade: D-

FIRE YOUR AGENCY NOW!!!!!

Pepsi: Forever Young

Pepsi greatly overestimates its role in the collective national ethos, I think. This boring, minute-long ad features random footage of historical youths. Great.
Grade: F

Bridgestone: Jump Around

I have no idea what this ad is intending to convey.

Grade: F


Cash4Gold: Get Paid

This ad is kinda funny, but it won’t work. People trade their valuables for cash as an act of desperation. If you want to profit off their poor decision making, fine. Lord knows the makers of Bud Light Lime intend to do so. But you are kick them while they’re down BEFORE they even become customers? Who wants to be the next MC Hammer? This is terrible advertising.

Grade: F

4 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

While I did enjoy the Teleflora commercial, I still have to say the Conan ad was my favorite, moreso because of its absurdity.

Always enjoy your ad comments Kev.

7:08 AM  
Blogger CastrolUSA said...

I may be biased, but I thought the grease monkeys were pretty awesome. If you want to know more about Castrol or EDGE, check it out here: http://bit.ly/17AfP

10:58 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

So Castrol hired people to spam blogger comment sections in conjunction with their ad?

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Guy Incognito said...

What is that address? Wouldn't www.castrol.com be the best way to find out more about Castrol?

7:52 AM  

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