Super Bowl Ads Reach for the Funny Bone
By Tom Ryan
The Super Bowl of advertising also took place last night. Thirty-second
spots sold for a minimum of $2.5 million although some fetched more than $3
Many ads featured the typical Super Bowl fare of animals and guy humor
although a few took creative risks.
“There were good, solid spots, but there
weren’t any ‘change-the-advertising-world’ types,” Elisabeth Vanzura, a former
ad chief at General Motors and current chief marketing officer of MMB Advertising
in Boston, told The Wall Street Journal. Perennials Pepsi and Fed-Ex
didn’t have ads, but a number of new brands did have a presence.
Here, a few spots from key companies:
Anheuser-Busch: A human-bridge is built across a ravine to bring a
Budweiser truck to a town. Scientists choose Bud Light when they realize an
asteroid is coming. A man builds a house of Bud Light cans. Lance Armstrong
appears in a Michelob Ultra ad.
Audi: Eco-unfriendly consumers are arrested by the "Green Police."
Boost Mobile: The 1985 Chicago Bears reunite to perform a new version
of the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Coca-Cola: In one ad, Mr. Burns, the miserly billionaire on “The
Simpsons,” loses his fortune but finds happiness through Coke. In another,
a man sleepwalks through an African safari.
Denny’s: Chickens become panicked after comprehending the workload
required to fill the supply of eggs needed for the restaurant’s free Grand
Dockers: Men sing across the hillside on the joys of not wearing pants
as part of campaign extolling men that it’s time to “wear the pants.”
Doritos: Among the several ads the game sponsor ran, one spot featured
a samurai donning a suit made of Doritos and expertly using a chip as a weapon.
Google: In its first Super Bowl ad, Google showed off its search functionality
in a spot called Parisian Love.
Homeway.com: The Griswold family of “National Lampoon’s Vacation” fame
star as part of a yearlong campaign. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo reprise
Hyundai Motor: Brett Favre wins the 2020 Super Bowl MVP award and
again gives a speech pondering his retirement.
KIA: Children’s toys, including a teddy bear and sock monkey, joy
ride in the Sorrento SUV.
Monster.com: A beaver succeeds in becoming a concert violinist through
stages after using the website.
Snickers: Actress Betty White is shown playing football as a fellow
teammate complains, "You’re playing like Betty White." A taste of the candy
bar galvanizes the player to shine. The final shot shows actor Abe Vigoda getting
Taco Bell: Basketball legend Charles Barkley rhymes about everything
diners can get in the NBA 5 Buck Box.
TruTV: The Time Warner cable channel ran an ad with a Groundhog Day
theme showing a miniature Troy Palamulu of the Pittsburgh Steelers seeing his
shadow, leading to the declaration that there will be six more weeks of football.
Volkswagen: Reinvents the game of “punch buggy" – people hit each
other when they see any type of Volkswagen and shout out its color.
Discussion Questions: What did you think of this year’s
Super Bowl ads? Which ones stood out for good or ill? Which do you think
will benefit the sponsor most?
- Are you ready for some commercials? – The Associated
Press/Arizona Daily Star
- Super Bowl ads go goofy for laughs and frugal for wallets,
as recession lightens up too – The Associated
- 2010 USA TODAY Ad Meter tracks Super Bowl XLIV ads
– USA Today
- Best And Worst Ads Of Super Bowl XLIV – Forbes.com
- Hell Freezes Over As Google Runs Its First Super Bowl
Ad – The Washington Post
- Denny’s, Doritos, Snickers Score Big in Ad Bowl – The Wall
- In Super Bowl Commercials, the Nostalgia Bowl – The
New York Times