09 March 2010

30 Days Later: Remember the Super Bowl Ads?

Here we are, 30 days removed from the Super Bowl... You remember the game, right? Thrilling see-saw battle that resulted in the Saints finally winning a championship. It was epic.

Remember the ads? At something like $3 million for a :30 spot, one would hope so. Off the top of my head, I could only describe three of them in any detail. There were two other brands I could identify as having aired ads, but beyond that it was all a blur. One would hope for the millions invested, the ads would have had a bit more staying power, right?

Which ads stuck out? VW's "Slug Dub", the Dodge Charger "Man's Last Stand" spot, and the NFL.com promo spot with Arcade Fire as a soundtrack. The other two I recalled more generally were from e-Trade and Hyundai. The last two came with distinct emotional reactions: e-Trade = annoying and Hyundai = appreciative.

I'm tired of the e-Trade baby, who by all rights should be celebrating his graduation from kindergarten by now, but is actually still sucking a bottle and pooping his pants. C'mon e-Trade... You want us to believe you're still cutting edge and good for our investments, but your spokeskid hasn't developed one bit in years. Tsk tsk!

As for Hyundai, well, I just recall feeling good about the value + quality message their ads delivered. Not sure of the specific executional elements, but I still feel good about them.

Having confirmed that I couldn't recall most of the ads I saw, I pulled out my notes on the full slate of spots run. Yes, I'm that big of a marketing geek; I took notes on Super Bowl ads. Guess what, I liked a lot of them at the time! Funny how the response of the moment faded, or perhaps not. In any case, by checking the notes, I got a few pleasurable "oh yeah!" moments.

How could I have forgotten Kia's Sorento ad and its Vegas road-tripping toy posse?! Or Emerald Nuts and PopSecret's "Human Dolphins" lunacy? Or Audi's "Green Police" spot? They all make me smile even now, just looking back on them... Whereas GoDaddy, Taco Bell, and the aforementioned e-Trade spots simply make me grumpy.

I'll riff soon on the five things I believe ads should do... Until then, take a look back at the crop of this year's Super Bowl ads and consider which you think made most effective use of its media spend: http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/superbowlcommercials

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