Best and Worst of Super Bowl XLV: Do you agree?

I don’t.

First off, GO PACKERS! I was excited to see them win if I couldn’t have the Jets in the game. 

Secondly, was anyone else a bit disappointed in the ad fare this year?  Given how much companies are spending these days for a :30 spot ($3.1 million, and that’s just for the airtime, never mind the production cost of the ad itself), you’d have thought you’d get….I don’t know, MORE.

Here’s what Brand Channel deemed the best and worst brand spots. Do you agree?  Please post in the Comments.

I disagree with Telefora as a miss. I thought this was the best surprise of the night as to what I thought was going to be a schmaltz-fest with country singer Faith Hill – as many country songs and videos are known to be.  I loved the surprise of the guys vulgar line at the end, combined with the “we’ll help you say it beautifully” message – because “clearly you can’t.” I also kind of liked the Richard Lewis ad for Snickers, although it was too lame of a bet to try to repeat the magic from last year’s Betty White ads. The reason it worked last year is that it was completely unexpected. Still, I thought Richard Lewis (and Roseanne Barr, for that matter) were nice obscure choices.

I do agree that the Career Builder ad was just tired and lazy, Kim Kardashian needs to go away as a spokesperson for anything and the Go Daddy ad was scary and horrible at the same time. Go Daddy’s branding always makes me sad because they are such a great company with killer customer service and tech support, and they don’t need to go the shock value route. Almost makes me NOT want to use them, which is kind of against the point of brand advertising.

And, what the heck were you thinking? All that money, wasted on an ad that left people outside of the tech industry confused as to what Chatter does (made it appear like a competitor to Facebook, rather than a collaboration tool a la Sharepoint.)  And securing the Black Eyed Peas involvement to boot? Ay yay yay. Thanks a lot. You just convinced other B2B CEO’s why investing in brand ads is a waste of money. Note to those CEO’s: If you do it right, it is not.

As for Best spots, I had not caught the Chevy Cruze First Date ad, as I was hosting, chipping and dipping our own party. But after viewing it online, I adored it. What a great way to show the differentiation between their FB capabilities and Ford’s. And it was just a sweet spot. And as much as I hate Justin Bieber, the Best Buy ad with him and Ozzy was hilarious. “What’s a Bieber?” is my new catchphrase. The Chevy truck ad was very well done, using references to both Lassie and the Balloon Boy (didn’t know that was possible) I think what was great about these ads is that they showed you can still communicate a brand message and differentiator while producing a clever, memorable ad. This is in stark contract to just trying to create a “buzzworthy” ad that gets people talking, without it communicating the brand position you want.

Case in point: Groupon. Another pronounced Hit that I call a severe Miss. They went for the shock factor and it backfired, in my opinion. Yes, I know they were poking fun at celebrity PSA’s and yes, I can take a controversial joke as much as the next guy (after al, I’m a Daniel Tosh fan). But poking fun at Tibet, endangered animals and the like seemed just pointless and off-strategy for Groupon, whose brand is supposed to be all about “community”, “supporting local business” and  highlighting the “underdog small business guy.”  That’s what happens when you aim for buzz rather than brand.  Groupon may have just lost me as a customer – not because I’m offended by the ads, but more offended by the marketing stupidity that someone thought this was a good branding idea and wasted all of that money. The ads were just dumb. Period.

When companies get it right, they really get it right and show the world the power of effective brand advertising.  Effective being the operative word.

Until next year…..!  What do you guys think? What were your faves and misses? Please Share in the Comments.

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