So who won the $uper Bowl?

February 2, 2009

 Who won the Ad Bowl? Who knows?

It really depends on who you listen to. I liked the Pepsi Bob Dylan advertisement, and was a bit turned off by the Teleflora wisecracking box commercial. But when I spoke with Professor Tim Calkins of the Kellogg School of Management, who oversees a Super Bowl advertising review,  he had nothing but good things to say about the spot, calling it “an astonishing piece of advertising.”


In fact, Calkins and I were not the only ones at odds over the SuperAds. Just check out the web…

Experts and consumers told the Wall Street Journal they favored the site.

Monster’s ad, which starred a low-level worker who shares his cramped office with the backside of a stuffed moose, was among several humorous commercials in the Super Bowl line-up that scored high marks with advertising executives and consumers.
    “Touchdown. This is how a lot of people feel right now.” said Rita Rodriguez, chief executive for the U.S. division of WPP’s Brand Union.
    “Hysterical, maybe the funniest ad of the night,” said Don Weir, a 41-year-old comedian from Media, Pa. Added Jessica Madden, a 29-year-old bank analyst in Chicago: “It appeals to the crowd now, because we are all wondering if we will have a job when we wake up.”  

And they hated the Cash4Gold spot:

A campy spot for, which buys gold jewelry from consumers, involved former late-night TV personality Ed McMahon and rapper MC Hammer ostensibly selling their possessions; it was panned. “Unwatchable,” said Eric David, a creative director at Kaplan Thaler Group, a unit of Publicis Groupe. “They are making a joke out of something that is not a joke in this bad economy.”

But guess what? Advertising Age figures Cash4Gold may have gotten the best bang for  the buck.

Cash4Gold? On the Super Bowl? Really?
Things are even worse than we thought.
Not because it’s pitiful that the down-and-out Ed McMahon and MC Hammer should humiliate themselves before 100 million appalled eyewitnesses. Not because in the Dustbowl Super Bowl poor NBC is reduced to accepting a schlocky direct-response spot thinly disguised as a winking spoof of schlocky direct-response spots. Not even because the economy is so bad that we’re panicked into trading our jewelry and bridgework for 17î on the dollar of gold value.

The truly scary thing is that this skeazy exercise from Euro RSCG Edge and Arnold Worldwide will generate, by far, the biggest ROI of the Super Bowl.

Barbara Lippert of Adweek had this to say about the spots she disliked:

Let’s get to the bad spots. Teleflora was so awful that it exploded the space/time continuum. Speaking of coffins, H&R Block seemed to build itself a nice one by using the Grim Reaper, voiced by Abe Vigoda. What were they thinking?

She also ranked Doritos and GoDaddy very low. But, of course, USA Today’s Ad meter put Doritos at the top, followed by two Budweiser Clydesdale spots and a Bridgestone spot.

It wasn’t just the Arizona Cardinals who met their match in the Super Bowl — so did Madison Avenue. 

And it could be a game-changer. For the first time, it wasn’t an ad agency that created the best-liked Super Bowl commercial. It was two unemployed brothers from Batesville, Ind., whose ad for Doritos — created for an online contest for amateurs — won them $1 million from Doritos maker Frito-Lay, and leaves ad pros with a lot of ‘splaining to do.

Go figure.

Keep an eye on:

  • With a week to go until News Corp’s quarterly results, investors wonder how bad things will be and are girding for sharper-than-expected profit declines, asset writedowns and perhaps more severe job cuts (Reuters).
  • The tension between Apple and the music industry stems from Apple’s power over the industry, but it also echoes the traditional divide between suppliers and distributors (NY Times)

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Sadly no word on Miller Lite’s amazing one second screamercial. Best $100,000 ever.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

what about the e-trade ad with the two little kids? I thought that was hilarious!

Posted by Irene Sherman | Report as abusive

I thought Cash4Gold was very funny. Exactly how many Super Bowl ads did Eric David and Kaplan have in the Super Bowl?

Posted by Phillip | Report as abusive