advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The only Super Bowl recap you’ll ever need.

Or not. It was awesome, wasn’t it? Borrowed interest and crassness working overtime. (Teleflora, and GoDaddy were truly the most embarrassing.) Everything that everyone ever said about it is in one of the links here. My vote for best spot? The Fox promos weren’t too bad, like the one above swiping some lineage from the classic Coke spot with Mean Joe Green. Overall though, a more inconsistent Super Bowl Ad Class of 2011, owing more to the placement of spots and the duration of the halftime show. To that end, NASCAR and Fox promos seems to break up the brand flow of everyone else.

Yes the event has moved beyond halftime to include ads running throughout all quarters as well as the week before, but the *wonder* of the ads as this main event at halftime seems to have been abandoned. I kept waiting for that big block of badass, but it never came. That’s not a problem when you have a halftime act able to pick up the slack either, but Black Eyed Peas were simply overwrought with wth?

Guns N’ Roses covers and shrieking, party of five, your stage is ready.

I liked the Coke soldiers drawing a line in the sand. Showed why they own genuine moments and in a bigger sense, Pepsi. Again though, owing to the subjective nature of online opinions, someone labeled it a fail. Whatever, as they say.

I thought Chevy struck a different tone across the board with their spots, from their initial ‘Runs Deep’ heritage vibe and a more light-hearted approach. Bud Light did what it always does while Skechers tried to creep their way into the same conversation as GoDaddy. Given how far both brands have fallen though, I’m not really sure if either Skechers or Kim Kardashian really hurt their cause. Kim is a one-trick ad pony in everything she does.

What’s zero minus zero again?

Surely everyone wet themselves over VW and Eminem’s Chrysler Detroit love. VW, okay, cool, but the longer version builds better. As for the Chrysler, someone said guys shouldn’t say meh, but... meh. The same road was already traveled by Harry Connick and Lincoln in a post-Katrina world, and even Levi’s Braddock, PA resurgence work felt more genuine. (Both Chrysler and Levi’s done by W+K.) Disaster marketing, rubble porn, whatever you call it. Levi’s felt right – Chrysler’s here felt forced. The line of the night might go them for “Imported From Detroit” though.

I wonder though if that angle plays the way it once did. Our parents were “Hell yeah, American Made!” but the last twenty years has seen cars built as a part of multi-national relationships. They may have been going for resurgent pride – a fine American ideal – but it also feels like a slap in the face for preferring Toyota et al. Why pit us against each other as consumers?

Clear winners? Who’s to say.

When you look at all the sites running Top 10 lists, no two will agree on the same spot. So your opinion is no better or worse than anyone else’s, mine included. Clear winner as far as theme of the night goes to: Tron. Toyota, Black Eyed Peas and a few others leverage the sci-fi classic like it was their job. I just hope brands avoid canning their ad agency because the USA Today Fad Meter didn’t rank a given spot high enough for their liking. (Can any marketing director justify how 250 people in San Diego and McLean, VA get to determine who keeps their job on the agency side?)

As for the use of the online space to promote brands, there was very little innovation. A hidden code for Angry Birds is not enough. YOL.* Groupon actually has a nice thing going with donations for saving whales and rain forests, etc., but the spots seemed to undermine that effort because you wouldn’t know this from watching. I love everything that Crispin does, but this seemed like a chance for them to play it straight and leave the joke out of it. Letting people in on it would’ve kept them from hating the snarky tone and led them instead to be sympathetic to the cause. Groupon comes off like a brand that wants to go to the next level in terms of mass adoption and popularity, and the ‘any PR is good PR’ mindset feels like it works against that.

None of the social stuff is a surprise though, because while major TV shops show they still love them some dick jokes, they also show how much they still fail at building a deeper online experience. The majority treated social the way they had before, by letting the online discussion happen about the spots that ran, and that’s all. It’s a passive, weak approach, and only scratches the service of where brands could be.

But hey, big brands love big TV man, so expect more less next year.

*Yawn Out Loud.

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