The Advertising Apprentice

February 8, 2010

Super Bowl was a Resounding Success

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 9:22 PM

So how’s everyone feeling today? I was the responsible DD last night so I feel just fine today. Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints for winning last night’s Super Bowl. Their victory brought joy and hope to thousands upon thousands of people living in New Orleans.

Enough chitchat, let’s get to today’s topic, my thoughts on yesterday’s commercials. First off, I’ll address the commercials shown to Canadians as the restaurant I was at last night played the Canadian, CTV, feed of the game. (The cost to reach the estimated 6.7 million viewers that tuned in to CTV to catch the game was somewhere around $117,000.)

Here are some of the high-, and low-lights, from the commercials from last night’s game:

The following ad is great because it ties in two of our senses by connecting the sounds of the piano keys with the visual of the white and black Hyundai Sonatas ending the commercial lined-up resembling piano keys. The other component that makes this commercial stand-out is that it was one of the first ads aired where you instantly knew it was created specifically to be released during the Super Bowl because it just seemed like it was on another level in terms of effort and ingenuity compared to most of the other ads seen before that point in the broadcast.

Another ad I really liked was this Vancouver, BC tourism ad. The main reason that it sticks out to me is the use of celebrities such as: Kim Cattrall, Michael J. Fox, Erick McCormack, Sarah McLachlan, Steve Nash, and Ryan Reynolds. All of whom are originally from BC.

However the use of the star-power in this ad also reminds me a lot of the following Visit California commercial:

The following commercial left me puzzled wondering what the connection was between the ad’s message and the company that paid for the ad. You can see the video here. I clearly understand that the ad wants fathers to teach their sons about the importance of respecting women, why the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador paid for the spot is lost on me. I can see the ad being a PSA by a women’s rights group. But it just seems weird that Newfoundland Labrador would pay such a high amount of money for the airtime to air an ad of this nature. Why didn’t they follow their provincial counterparts in BC and air an ad inviting Canadians to go explore Newfoundland Labrador?

A couple other small observations from yesterday’s Canadian telecast of the Super Bowl:

  • There were a lot of commercials for movies coming out. Once I noticed the trend, I counted at least five previews for movies being released in the upcoming months.
  • CTV had many short promos for their coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, whose opening ceremonies take place this Friday. The sheer volume of these promos, combined with other Olympic themed commercials, just came across as excessive.

Now for the American spots. (It’s important to note that just like in Canada on CTV and RDS, CBS saw a record for the total number of viewers for the big game. Nearly 106 million Americans tuned in.)

First, let’s address the controversy and the hype surrounding the Tim Tebow commercial.

Is the commercial really what so many people were getting worked up over in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl? Based on everything I heard beforehand, I was expecting something much more extreme. This is very tame, light-hearted, and humourous. I’ve got absolutely no problem with it, and I think that all the negative, critical buzz surrounding it was much ado nothing.

This next ad left people wondering if the executives over at NBC have totally lost their minds. It’s not bad enough the ordeal they went through with Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. But to then let Jay Leno appear in a 15-second spot with Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman promoting the David Letterman Show. The philosophy at NBC is probably one of “things can’t get any worse!”

I’m sure the 18-25 year old; male demographic can’t get enough of the following Motorola commercial starring the sultry Megan Fox. I just question whether her sex appeal is enough to incite action, above and beyond the “See more at motorola.com” final shot of the commercial?

Google’s 52-second spot was well done. Simplicity was the key to this ad in telling the story of a male student going to study in Paris, meeting a girl, getting married, and having a child. At first glance I wasn’t very fond of it, but after repeated views it began to wear on me. A really cool aspect of this is that Google has the opportunity to pretty easily create other ads to be part of this campaign. And I really hope they do create other spin-offs to this one in the future. (There are already several parodies of this commercial on YouTube.)

The Google ad is the only longer ad that really resonated with me. Both Coca-Cola and the Dodge Charger struggled with their attempts at producing an entertaining minute-long commercial.

I’m not a huge fan of Coke’s commercial just because it all seems a little too far-fetched; a guy sleepwalking across the African plains, interacting with various animals, in his pursuit of a Coke?!

The Dodge Charger commercial really needs to lay off the testosterone and the self-help books. I understand that they’re trying to empower men, but come on. The overuse of the phrase “I will” would’ve had me saying after about ten to fifteen seconds: “I will mute my TV until this commercial is over!”

One theme that seemed particularly prevalent to me as I watched the American Super Bowl commercials this evening was that a lot of commercials starred celebrities/sports stars. In addition to Jay Leno, Oprah, David Letterman, Tim Tebow (and his mother), and Megan Fox in three of the ads I’ve already discussed, other commercials featured KISS, the Simpsons, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Larry Bird, Mark Sanchez, Don Rickles, Betty White, Stevie Wonder, Chevy Chase, Lance Armstrong, Charles Barkley, and Brett Favre. I may have missed a couple, but you get the idea.

So another year of great, and mediocre, Super Bowl ads is in the book. Ad agencies everywhere have probably already began to conceptualize ads to appear during next year’s game.

In the meantime come back and visit later this week, as I’ll be discussing the Olympic-themed advertising that has been prevalent over these last couple months.

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