Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Ads 2010

This year, my sister, brother and I played Super Bowl Ad Bingo. We typed up as many Super Bowl advertisement clichés we could think of (with the help of the Internet) and randomly assigned them to half a dozen 5x5 grids. In between the game, which was fun because my brother is a loud, vocal Colts fan and...I'm not, we called out the different tropes we saw.

By the end of the first quarter, my brother had won Bingo, but we continued the game to try to fill out the full grids. Unsurprisingly, we were able to fill out at least 3/4 of each of the cards. It seems like this year, a lot of advertisers fell back on things they knew worked, or thought they knew worked. There were very few outstanding commercials, and I was a little disappointed. E-Trade returned with the third installment of its talking baby commercials, and a certain Web domain provider continued using sex to sell online services.

I think the few ads that did stand out, however, did so by turning clichés on their head, targeting a broader audience then 18- to 35-year-old males (sorry, guys!) and using their brief time to tell a story. I'd love to see more commercials like these in the future, both in coveted Super Bowl spots and during regular programming.

This year, Coca Cola teamed up with The Simpsons for a funny, weird ad about their product. They take their story lines about the "power of Coco Cola" and throw it into the Simpsons universe. It's not a very rememberable spot, but it's cute--not a word I'd think to use to describe the Simpsons!

One of the clichés I included was a company re-brand, and it wasn't something I was sure that we would see. Re-brands are risky, and even my sister, another communications/business student, was confused as to how a company could re-brand with the Super Bowl (I think the example I gave her was if a certain Web domain provider decided to stop using breasts to sell services and focused on what they actually offered).

Then, we saw the Google Parisian Love ad. It was sweet, simple and it told a story. I like that in an advertisement, and I liked that the target audience was families and people who might not be very technologically savvy. It was a nice change to the usual Super Bowl ad fare.

My favorite spot this year was by far the toy monsters commercial for Kia. It's so cute and clever--there are no words. I want those toys. And maybe that car. But mostly the toys.

There were a few other great ads from Intel, and Budweiser, but I think these three stood out as my favorites. What are your thoughts? Who would you include in your top spots?

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