The Advertising Apprentice

February 9, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Filed under: Advertising — adamlauzon @ 8:45 PM

Another Super Bowl is in the books. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. Several hundred people are upset they didn’t get to watch the game from their assigned seats and are now filing a lawsuit against the NFL. And the advertising industry showcased its best talent to the hundreds of millions of people watching all over the world.

What can $3 million buy you? Well in Super Bowl XLV it gets you 30s-seconds of airtime. Below I present to you the commercials I thought were the best, those that I thought were downright bad, and a few that I thought were just ugly from this year’s batch of Super Bowl commercials. Enjoy!

The Good

1. Teleflora – Help Me Faith

I liked this commercial for several reasons: it made me laugh, Faith Hill, and most importantly, with Valentine’s Day being a week away from its airing, the timing was fitting.

2. Pepsi Max – First Date

I laughed out loud when I heard the guy ask, “Wait! Which one?” This was a great commercial with a simple and well-executed concept. On a side-note I will neither confirm, nor deny, whether or not all men share the same thought process while on dates!

3. Bridgestone – Carma

Everyone, myself included, will remember, the beaver in this commercial. But let’s try not to forget that the spot did a good job showing off the product. I’d consider buying a set of Bridgestone tires for my car; as long as they come with a cute stuffed-animal beaver!

Honourable Mention: – TV Favorites

Wow, so many familiar faces! Consistently is the theme of this ad. Nicely used transitions. This commercial is effective as a one-off. I would hate to be exposed to this commercial repeatedly.

The Bad

1. Stella Artois – Adrian Brody

Ten seconds in I realized I needed a Bud Light! Stella took a risk with this spot in trying to reach the viewers of the Super Bowl. Did it pay off? I don’t think it did. It might’ve worked had the commercial been shorter, but it took too long to get to the point.

2. Skechers – Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is a beautiful woman. But did I really need to see her in a commercial for Skechers? I thought this spot was too over the top and served better at boosting Kim’s ego than boosting the sales of Skechers shoes.

3. Doritos – House Sitting

The reason this commercial is on the Bad list is because of my perceived cockiness on Dortios’ part in portraying product as having the God-like powers to bring living things back too life.

Honourable Mention: CarMax – Service Station

By the time I understood the message, I didn’t care. I can’t speak about all gas stations, but whenever I go to full service gas stations, the attendant will clean my front and rear windows as well as check my oil. That’s why I wasn’t crazy about CarMax’s portrayal of good customer service being so ancient.

The Ugly

1. Go Daddy – The Contract

I honestly did not know who the woman alongside Danica Patrick was. (If you’re wondering the same thing, it’s fitness guru Gillian Michaels.) It’s not a good thing when people don’t instantly recognize the celebrity in your commercial. I’m also not a fan of Go Daddy blatantly encouraging people to visit their website to see more.

2. Career Builder – Chimps

I envision the creative brainstorming session for this ad going along the lines of the creative director, or maybe even the client, saying that a great idea would be to use a bunch of chimpanzees in the commercial, and everyone agreeing it was a good idea out of fear of losing their jobs. I understand the concept of showing a person “stuck between a bad job and a hard place”, but I think the execution failed.

3. Chevy Camaro – Red Head

Let me start off by saying I’m fond of the Camaro, so it wasn’t an easy choice to include it on this list; however, I don’t think this ad is effective in showing off the Camaro. The ad is all over the place. It really needs to take its Ritalin and calm down!

Honourable Mention – Snickers – Logging

I understand quite a few people were fond of this spot. Maybe it’s because they’re all excited about seeing Roseanne Barr getting hit with a massive log!



  1. Hey come on, anything with Richard Lewis in it is going to be great. The Stella spot is in regular rotation on TSN as well, even though I didn’t see it during the Super Bowl.

    Comment by Nathan — February 10, 2011 @ 12:17 AM | Reply

    • Meet me halfway: Richard Lewis cancels out Roseanne. This still leaves Snickers on the hook for a very weak follow-up to last year’s memorable Super Bowl spot starring Betty White.

      I have yet to see that Stella ad on TSN and I doubt that it was included in the Canadian telecast of the game.

      You can check out this year’s Super Bowl commercials on the following website:

      Comment by adamlauzon — February 10, 2011 @ 3:49 PM | Reply

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