Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 Super Bowl Commercials - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Last night's Super Bowl was an entertaining match, both on the field and in the competitive landscape of advertising.  At nearly $4MM per 30 second spot, the stakes were high.  Here's my recap of who spent that money well, and who didn't:

The Good
Hyundai - Passing: Hyundai spent a ton this Super Bowl, and while their ads were just OK, this one in particular was both entertaining as well as strong on the feature of the product being advertised.  Nice work.

Time Warner Cable - Walking Dead: Likely a regional buy, TWC knocks it out of the park.  The commercial features a popular character from the series, and fans of The Walking Dead had to love it.  Very well done.

Skechers - Man vs. Cheetah: Animals are always a good attention-getter in commercials, and the FX in this ad are done very well.  Entertaining, and on brand.

Volkswagen - Get Happy:  I think this was the best ad of the whole Super Bowl.  Completely aligned with the brand, VW gets their message across wonderfully.  But since I've already discussed this previously...

Audi - Prom: It takes a while to build to the literal punch line, but when it gets there it is totally on brand.  Not a universal ad, but Audi is not a universal brand.  For their target market, this ad will resonate.  Outstanding.

The Bad
M&Ms - Anything for Love: The women eating the M&M just makes it kind of creepy.  This is the best they could do?  Poor execution, and not going to sell any incremental candy.

Blackberry - Zed Ten: My job requires me to be up to speed on the latest technology, and even I didn't get this commercial.  Not at all.  I don't understand who their target market was, nor do I understand their message.  $4MM right down the toilet.

Beck's Sapphire - Fish: Evidently, "black" beer is all the rage right now as Bud launched their offering via a Super Bowl ad as well.  Makes me think about such moves as "dry" and "clear" beer.  Ah, the memories.  Alas, I have no idea what the heck the fish is doing, or what it is supposed to represent.  

Coke - Desert Race: The folks at Coke are usually advertising geniuses.  However, this year's campaign was horrible.  Off brand, not entertaining, and a totally forced social media attempt align to make this 2013's most ineffective campaign ever.

The Ugly
Taco Bell - Old Peoples' Night Out: I didn't find this cute, or funny, or on brand.  It was kind of creepy, and I still miss the point.  This is going to sell more fast food?  I don't think so

Go Daddy - Nerd Kiss: I don't want to see any close ups of open mouth kissing, regardless of who is doing it.  I get that this probably is a home run for their target market, and I appreciate that they've finally graduated from using faux lesbian scenes after relying on them for nearly a decade, but this ad was just really too much.

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