Super Bowl Ad Winners are Real Dogs

Discussion
Feb 07, 2011
George Anderson

The Lombardi Trophy went to the Green Bay Packers and the
Super Bowl’s best commercials went to the dogs, at least according to USA
Today
‘s AdMeter
ranking.

In what turned out to be one of the more evenly matched and exciting
games in Super Bowl history, the ads were … well you decide.

USA Today had a first when two spots tied for the top spot in its
AdMeter rankings. Bud Light’s spot in which a guy throws a party with dogs
serving as the help received an 8.35 score as did Frito-Lay’s commercial in
which a pug knocks down a glass door on top of a man to get his Doritos.

Rounding out
the paper’s top 10 were: 


  • Volkswagen’s Darth Vader spot
  • Doritos’ house sitter
  • Pepsi Max’s "Love Hurts" — woman gets hit in the head with
    a can of soda
  • CareerBuilder’s chimps parking cars badly
  • Pepsi with a couple on its first date
  • NFL fans
  • Coca-Cola’s border guards.

Advertising Age saw it a little differently. The company gave four
stars to Best Buy’s Ozzie and Justin "What’s a Bieber?" commercial as well
as Chrysler’s two-minute "Imported from Detroit" spot featuring Eminem.
Groupon and the NFL also received the highest grade. 

Chrysler’s Eminem spot was
the "the big story of the night," according
to NM Incite. The Nielsen/McKinsey Co. business, which tracks online buzz,
said the commercial went viral.

Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing
at the Kellogg School of Management, told The Associated Press, "It
was a very risky commercial, but it scored very well with our panel."

The
Groupon spot, which got high marks from Ad Age, failed to get votes
from USA Today and the NM Incite panel. "It wasn’t a very effective
piece of communication and clearly rubbed some people the wrong way," Prof.
Calkins told the AP.

Discussion Question: Which commercials did you think were among the best/worst on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

29 Comments on "Super Bowl Ad Winners are Real Dogs"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Kevin Graff
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

Even before reading Ad Age’s ratings, I had Best Buy’s “Ozzy vs Bieber” as my favourite, being about the only one that made me laugh out loud. And, you had to applaud the courage of Chrysler to use the tag line “imported from Detroit” in its “Born of Fire” ad. Great story telling and brand building.

Phil Rubin
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

Having spent some time in an award-winning agency 20 years ago, watching the majority of the spots during last night’s Super Bowl was painful. While there were a handful of exceptions (more on those in a moment), most of the spots were trying so hard to be funny or entertaining that the message was lost.

While the advertisers participating clearly have the means to burn $3+ million on the spot and production, it’s hard to imagine it not being incredibly easy to drive more business by investing the $3+ million elsewhere (i.e., invested in customer marketing).

Two spots stood out and both were in the automotive category. In terms of engaging the viewer, the Chrysler/Detroit spot featuring Eminem, including the best audio track of the night, was incredibly strong. The other was the spot for VW Passat.

The biggest disappointment was Best Buy, who promoted the spot ad nauseam via PR and via email to customers. What a waste of confusion given what is a very strong proposition.

Anne Howe
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

I’m a Detroit native, so I loved the Chrysler spot. I liked the Chevy Silverado “positioned as Lassie” as well. VW The Force spot was actually the winner in my opinion. I’m not a fan of the Pepsi spots, especially the one that knocked the girl over.

VW has a decent Facebook page for The Force spot, while Chrysler 200 has a page, but no content. Big miss in the engagement piece of the puzzle for Chrysler. Connecting the dots is a huge opportunity since the ads themselves don’t generally create purchase intent.

Max Goldberg
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

With the exception of the Chrysler spot, the more memorable commercials featured comedy. The Budweiser spots were the biggest let-down, especially after all the spots they ran in the weeks leading up to the game.

Joan Treistman
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

At some point my friends and I had our own little contest as to who the advertiser was. There was such complexity and drama that oftentimes we needed to consult each other. Well, maybe we’re not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier after all.

I was surprised by how many commercials had people hitting other people (by accident) or other forms of over the top behavior. The Pepsi Max commercial had an innocent jogger knocked off a bench onto the ground after getting hit with a can of soda (don’t try that one at home).

Personally, I got a kick out of the GoDaddy commercial. Seeing all those sexy girls I was reminded of the controversy they generate each year. And then Joan Rivers shows up and ties a nice pink self deprecating bow on the message. It made me think that GoDaddy “gets it” and they surely got me.

Today’s request was for our personal favorites and there you have it.

David Biernbaum
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

“Ozzy vs Bieber” was probably the best overall because of how the “names” were used and because this message touched on so many nerves (in a productive way.) Overall, I didn’t think the commericals were up to par this year and most were pretty forgettable.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
10 years 2 months ago

The Bud Lite dog party was a hoot, but I’m with Phil on this, most of the ads were a big ho-hum. I wonder, though, if this isn’t more indicative of the changes to the medium than the content. When network TV ruled the waves, the Super Bowl was the event of the year for ads. With the daily immersion in the myriad of messages and carriers, I wonder if we haven’t all gotten more than a little jaded.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
10 years 2 months ago

On the whole, the commercials were awful. The only three worth mentioning in my mind were the animated Eminem for Brisk iced tea (like the Rolling Stones before him, he has gone from most dangerous performer in the world to harmless pitchman), the House MD ad spoofing the Mean Joe Greene Coke commercial from the 70s, and Ozzy/Bieber. Fortunately the second half of the game became interesting or the whole broadcast would’ve been a snooze.

Jeff Hall
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

I have to applaud Chrysler for the bold storytelling and embracing the raw grittiness of Detroit. Fantastic tag line in “Imported from Detroit”. I found the Groupon Tibetan-themed spot to be a bit offensive.

Bill Robinson
Guest
Bill Robinson
10 years 2 months ago
Most of the ads were either mean spirited, over-the-top fantasy, or sexually offensive. I actually didn’t even get a couple of them: Ozzie and GoDaddy.com My favorites were the Motorola ad–Better World, and the Chrysler – Eminem collaboration that celebrated Detroit. They were both great ads that challenged the prevailing social attitudes about their subjects. Only Korea, Japan and Germany can produce an automobile. And only Apple can produce a brilliant, world changing device. The NFL ad brilliantly and successfully positioned the league as a dominant theme in Americana. I also liked the talking kid eTrade ad, and Snickers–Roseanne ad, Cars.com talking cars, and the border crossing Coke ad. But each of these, it seemed to me, carried a message that was condescending to any thinking person. Many of the ads were frankly sexually offensive, among them Godaddy.com, and Teleflora, and Pepsi’s First Date. It was also revealing how few retailers elected to advertise to the Superbowl eyeballs: Only Carmax, Wendy’s and Verizon. And among online retailers, Cars.com and Teleflora. Does this indicate that many… Read more »
Jill Turner
Guest
Jill Turner
10 years 2 months ago

I thought the Super Bowl commercials were generally pretty lackluster this year. Either my sense of humor is out of touch with America or our advertising/marketing people just don’t have a clue about what to present that’s both funny and halfway smart. Seriously–a new Pepsi diet product that’s so fantastic it’ll fly out of the cooler and hit a guy in the nuts?!?!?! Wow. What about that says anything nice about Pepsi, or is supposed to make me want to try it?

Ryan Mathews
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

“Imported From Detroit.” Says it all for me.

As to the worst–Dorritos. Somehow finger sucking and pant sniffing don’t really want me to run out and buy a product….

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
10 years 2 months ago

Personally I liked the mini Darth Vader using the force to start the Volkswagen. The Dorito’s ads creeped me out–big time! Uck! Also, have we gotten so lame that our performing artists don’t have to learn the words to the songs they sing? When did singing the National Anthem become all about Christina and not about the USA? She embarrassed herself, the Super Bowl, Jerry Jones, Texas and the United States of America in front of the whole WORLD.

Jonathan Marek
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

The Eminem Detroit commercial was the most interesting, not as an ad but in what it says about America right now. To me, it is a sad commentary on how Americans identify themselves: once-great, beat-up, but possibly resurgent. It’ll take a lot more than one ad, though, for Chrysler to tap into that national vibe. Plus, even if Chrysler succeeds, as the economy rebounds will they really want to be associated with that vibe?

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

I thought VW ran a humorous commercial and still showcased their product well. Some I thought were just stupid, but then again, these commercials are likely not directed towards me. Every year movie commercials seem to be taking over more and more time slots.

Steve Weiss
Guest
Steve Weiss
10 years 2 months ago

Just a ditto on the House commercial. Yeah, I’m an older guy and welcomed the nod to nostalgia. Even though the commercial mocked the poignancy of its forbear it was one of the only spots that seemed written by a human being rather than “concepted” during a game of beer pong.

Doug Garnett
Guest
Doug Garnett
10 years 2 months ago

I really enjoyed the VW Darth Vader ad (as father to two boys who are just barely past the age of the boy in the spot).

But as an ad guy, it was pathetic. It’s a sad day when all VW can say about their product is that it has a remote starter.

Advertising moves people when it has meaning. There was little meaning in those three hours of TV although there was some fine enjoyment.

Chuck Palmer
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

I have to say the VW Darth spot stood out because of its deep connection with the core customer for that car–families with young kids. That is, families–Dads–who grew up on Star Wars. The father-son connection, the fun of it and the role the car plays in it all synced up.

I also give a nod to VW’s other spot for the New New Beetle. It too connected to the fun and energy of that car and its targets. Full disclosure: I own a 2002 Turbo Beetle that I love, so I’m biased.

On the flip side, Groupon was simply baffling. Colleagues running real-time panel discussions with GenXers and Millennials reported both groups were offended by the spots, generating the opposite effect the sponsor intended (I hope).

As for the Chrysler (or was it for Detroit?) spot, it was a beautiful piece of storytelling but I have to say, the tag still positions them against the imports and doesn’t transcend ala Cadillac.

Dennis Serbu
Guest
Dennis Serbu
10 years 2 months ago

One Word: Tacky. Most were offensive at some level, none managed to convey the features and benefits of the brand they represent (unless you count Volkswagen has a remote start feature). I am not sure what the intent of these commercials was. If it is building brand recognition, well we already know these brands by virtue of the fact they can afford the spots.

As a stockholder in many of these companies, I am offended that they would waste capital to entertain themselves. Someone needs to step back and grasp the concept of responsible stewardship of our investments.

Michael Tesler
Guest
Michael Tesler
10 years 2 months ago

Wouldn’t the best ad be the one that brought the most positive results in terms of brand and image building and/or return on investment? If that is the case than it is not about which one we like the best but which one has company executives saying in six months ‘that was well worth the investment.”

Yes, the Chrysler ad was well done, interesting and entertaining but the money it cost might have helped to sell more cars if were part of a larger integrated marketing campaign that more directly addressed that reasons why target customers are buying cars at local dealers.

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
10 years 2 months ago

One commercial that isn’t getting much notice was the Teleflora commercial with Faith Hill. I thought it was hilarious. And yes there are thousands of social nerds who would do something like that and think nothing of it!

Bob X
Guest
Bob X
10 years 2 months ago

What burns [me up] is the fact that Chrysler spent millions of our (the taxpayer) dollars to produce and air a commercial during the Super Bowl. I can think of better places for that money to be spent.

John Karolefski
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

There were several creative commercials, but overall they were not as enjoyable as those in years past. The Doritos spot was hardly appealing, to put it mildly. There were way too many shots to the groin and other displays of violence in a lame attempt at humor. Ha-ha-ha. Gotta buy that product!

Ted Hurlbut
Guest
Ted Hurlbut
10 years 2 months ago

I thought most all of them were trying to be too clever by half. The one that stood out distinct from all the rest was the “Imported from Detroit” spot. I thought that was memorable, and helped all three domestic automakers, not just Chrysler. Best in show, by far.

Mark Burr
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

“Imported from Detroit”–period.

Powerful. It clearly rose above any other ad. It may have set an entirely new standard for this one of a kind opportunity all year long. None other was even close.

There is no question today whom the spot belonged to whatsoever. No question.

It was great to see “Detroit” fight back. I’m hopeful that its only a beginning.

Most everything about the rest of the night was a disappointment and then at the end–Wow! It was beyond just being well done. It was well thought out. It carried a message. It was powerful. It left no doubt about its purpose. Today, we know exactly whose message it was–Chrysler. Today, we know exactly where it came from–“Detroit.”

Bernice Hurst
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

Full disclosure–I have little, verging on no sense of humour, I do not like football and it’s been more years than I’m willing to admit since I’ve been in the US for Superbowl Sunday.

Being here this year has been interesting, informative and infuriating but in no way entertaining. I saw some of the ads–admittedly not all–and did not think much of any of them. The Detroit one was well made and, probably, well intentioned, but not appropriate to the occasion. Most of the others I found pathetic and sad. It was humiliating to think that so many viewers were expected to increase their interest in products based on the ads. What on earth goes through the minds of the copywriters and producers? Overall, in my view, a depressing experience.

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
10 years 2 months ago

Darth. VW. Perfect. ‘nough said.