There is nothing that warms the cockles of my nerdy little heart quite like Super Bowl Sunday primarily because it’s the day I get to O.D on commercials. Let’s be honest – we’ve seen brilliant campaigns that have become part of the American lexicon, such as the iconic Budweiser Clydesdale spots, the classic Mean Joe Green commercial for Coca-Cola, and the strangely addictive Budweiser “Wassup” ads. And then there are the spots that make us cringe or wonder what the advertiser was thinking.
So, without further ado, here is my list of the best, worst, and downright bizarre spots in this year’s broadcast.
Best of the Best
Hands down, this year was a tie between Bud Light/Budwesier and Doritos. Both clients went to the extreme in terms of creativity and came up big winners in my book, with Budweiser pushing the envelope in terms of creative, as well as cashing in on the perennial favorite Clydesdales, with Dorito’s making an equally strong showing.
Bud Light – Conference
This is what happens when budget-slashing goes too far.
Bud Light – Swedish
I admit it – I’m a sucker for Conan O’Brien. There is nothing this man does that fails to make me laugh and this commercials proves his genius.
Budweiser – Clydesdale Circus
This tale of “boy meets girl – boy loses girl – boy searches for girl – boy and girl are reunited” is probably one of my favorite spots of the year. Leave it to a horse to teach us that true love knows no boundaries.
Dorito’s – Crystal Ball
I could watch this spot over and over again. Kudos to the art director, who was able to take a subtle approach to a very slapstick gag without making it over-the-top.
Dorito’s – Power of the Crunch
Never underestimate the “power of the crunch,” otherwise, bad things could happen.
While there were tons of clever spots, the ones that won my heart were either captivating or spit-take hilarious.
Careerbuilder – Tips
If you haven’t been in one of these situations, you’re either extremely lucky or a terrific liar. Enjoy the insanity.
Cheetos – Spoiled Girl
For some reason, the Hitchcock approach used in this spot works for me, plus utilizing the beloved Chester mascot as the root of evil is both twisted and brilliant.
Pepsi – Refresh Anthem
What’s not to love about a spot that features Bob Dylan, “Forever Young,” and Will I. Am? The music is addictive and fantastic, and keeps the audience captivated until the very end
Sobe – Lizard Lake
This spot is a bit bizarre and doesn’t immediately identify with a product, but it captures the audience from start to finish, which, to me, makes a great spot.
Teleflora – Flowers in a Box
Cruel, snarky, and hilarious all at the same time, this spot comprises several elements that make me very, very happy.
Worst of the Worst
It’s hard for me to be outwardly critical of someone else’s creative, because brilliant is in the eye of the beholder, however, these spots stood out to me because they were either awful, unwatchable, or just plain pointless.
Castrol – Edge Monkeys
I’m sure someone paid big money for this commercial, but, honestly, it gave me the willies. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
E-Trade – Wings
I have been hearing about the genius of the E-trade ads for a couple of years. As much as I wanted to like this, I just couldn’t, and I give it an E for “ehhhhh.”.
Go Daddy – Shower
Again, I’ve heard about the so-called brilliance of the Go Daddy commercials, but this was just too bizarre, even for me.
Hyundai – Angry Bosses
I just can’t like a commercial that stresses me out. You be the judge.
Pedigree – Crazy Pets
I’m sure I would like this commercial if I understood what they were trying to say. The creative is lacking in this spot in the fact that it struggles to make a point that might lead to a sale.
Sprint – Roadies
I’m sure someone thought this was clever at some point in the creative process, but going back to Advertising 101, if a spot doesn’t say anything about your product or brand, you have wasted your money.