Monday
Feb082010

Super Bowl XLIV Ads: Letterman, Favre, Megan Fox And A Bunch Of Other Animals

February 8, 2010: Super Bowl XLIV is barely in the record books and people are already beginning to wonder what marketers will do for Super Bowl XLV, which will be shown on Fox on Feb. 6, 2011 and played at Cowboys Stadium. In fact, Mars already has unveiled a promotion sending winners to the game. But before that . . .  The Second Annual NYSportsJournalism.com "Suck-Didn't Suck" review of Super Bowl spots shown on CBS during the Big Game on Feb. 7.

DIDN'T SUCK
CBS "Late Show"
Letterman-Oprah-Leno
In-House
One-ups the unexpected Letterman-Orpah ad from Super Bowl XLI in 2007 when the two were friendly-feuding. Leno and Oprah showed up at The Ed Sullivan Theater on the Tuesday before the Super Bowl to film the spot. Works on many levels, especially for its spontaneous nature.

HomeAway
Griswold Trailer
Publicis in the West, Seattle
Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprise their roles as the Griswolds from the National Lampoon "Vacation" movies from 20 years ago. They are offered the Napoleon Suite, which turns out to be fit for a very, very short king. HomeAway, an online vacation rental marketplace, got its money's worth for its rookie Super Bowl spot. In addition to advance publicity, the company said that visits to HomeAway.com were up by more than 500% on the day after game and that the spot "generated one million incremental page views on HomeAway.com immediately following the airing of the ad."

E-Trade
Girlfriend
Grey, New York
A new toddler now fills the spot of the previous actor, who grew too old for the role. Here, he explains that he didn't call his girlfriend because he was busy on E*Trade. "And that 'milkaholic' Lindsay wasn't over?" she asks. "Lindsay?" he answers. He's then busted when Lindsay sticks her head in and says, "Milka -whatt!?"

Electronic Arts
Dante's Inferno
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Quick-cuts, high-energy, graphically eye-catching scenes from the videogame, played out to "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" by Bill Withers.

Hyundai
10 Years Favre
Innocean Worldwide Americas, Irvine, Calif.
In 2020, Brett Favre still hasn't retired and has won the MVP award. "I'm honored to be here after 29 seasons . . .  When you're older than most of the fans, coaches, owners . . .  I should probably retire after this . . . I don't know . . ." What is certain is that a 2010 Hyundai warranty will still be in effect.

Motorola
Megan Fox
Anomaly, New York
Transformer favorite Megan Fox takes a photo of herself in a bubble bath then sends the picture out over the Internet via her cell phone, which sets off explosions, fights and other acts of chaos, which reflects not only on the power of the Internet but mocks all of the actresses who have done this in real life and expect no ramifications.


Google
Parisian Love
Agency: In-House
Cool, swift spot that allows us to follow a man as he searches via Google from studying abroad, finding cafes near the Louvre, finding out how to impress a French woman, finding a church in Paris and then how to assemble a crib. Also serves as a counter-attack to rival search engine Bing.com spots implying people get overwhelmed, but get no information, using Google.

NFL
Best Fans
Grey, New York
Uber slow-motion played scenes of players and fans played out to rousing, triumphant music gets the core of the NFL out in the open.

Kia
Joyride
David & Goliath, Los Angeles
WIth a nod to Toy Story, such toys as Sock Monkey and Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba, come to life and enjoy life as they tool around in their Kia Sorento, played out to a funky "How You Like Me Now" by Heavy.

Mars' Snickers
Betty White
BBDO, New York
Golden Girls actress Betty White (pictured) is tackled while playing a game of pick-up football. Back in the huddle, one guys berates, "Mike, what's your deal? You're playing like Betty White out there!" "That's not what your girlfriend says!" she replies. A bite of Snickers reforms "Betty" into Mike. On the next play, Barney Miller senior citizen actor Abe Vigoda gets tackled. Text awkwardly explains, "You're not you when you're hungry."

Coca-Cola
Hard Times
Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Gets points for featuring Montgomery Burns, a supporting character from The Simpsons rather than Bart or Homer, who make only a brief appearance at the end with the rest of the cast. Lot's of insider sight gags, as well. But if Burns is like Madoff, even a Coke should not make people like him.

Bud Light
Book Club
Cannonball, St. Louis
A guy is heading out of the house for a softball game and also to avoid his wife's book club. But he stays when he sees Bud Light refreshments, and is soon joined by his friends. "Do you like Little Women?" one of the women asks one of the guys. "I'm not too picky," he replies.


DIDN'T SUCK SO MUCH
McDonald's
LeBron James and Dwight Howard reprise the Michael Jordan-Larry Bird spot from 1993 playing for a Mac and fries. Unfortunately and sadly, in the script, neither player knows Larry Bird.

Focus on the Family
Focus got its money's worth from pre-game publicity regarding how the Tim Tebow ad would reflect the group's Pro Life stance. Without that, the spot might have gone totally unnoticed. It came off as a cute rather than controversial.

E*Trade
Sitting in first class on a jet, the toddler explains how E*Trade handled his portfolio while he was out of town with his buddy Mike at a bachelor party. Mike then confuses the pilot making an overhead announcement for his dad.

Chrysler
Several ads during the game pictured guys who had either lost all respect for themselves or where having the pieces that made up their manhood puzzle taken away. Here, the guy at least gets to drive a Dodge Charger. "I will carry your lip balm, I will watch your vampire TV shows . . . And because of this I will drive a car I want to drive." James Bond music plays in the background for exta emphasis.

Qualcomm's FloTV
A guy stuck shopping with his wife gets to "escape" by watching sports on his FloTV hand-held. Another spot fast-cuts 100 years of history into 30 seconds.

Denny's
The only thing people heard was, "Free Grand Slam," a reprise of the offer from 2009, except here a guy warns the chickens to get out of town. That drew millions to Denny's, so for effectiveness, this works. Denny's also ran "Chicken Birthday," which offers a free Grand Slam on your birthday, but comes with more rules and regulations than the one-day free offer.

Honda
The new Honda Crosstour crossover has a lot of trunk space, so we get to see a squirrel stuffing stuff into a tree trunk.

Vizio
Twitter, Flickr and other Internet destinations on your HDTV.

Volkswagen
Updating the ancient tradition of hitting the person next to you when you see a Volkswagen.

KGB
Two skinny guys dressed as Sumo wrestlers have to figure out how to say "I surrender" in Japanese before a real Sumo takes them down.

Intel
An Intel employee talks about "the greatest thing we have ever made," much to the chagrin of a nearby robot.

Bridgestone
"Whale of a Tale"  shows three guys who attended a bachelor party returning a killer whale to the ocean (pictured). It could be more for the SUV than the tires.

Boost Mobile
"Boost Mobile Shuffle" revisits the "Super Bowl Shuffle" featuring original members of the Chicago Bears, who won Super Bowl XX in 1985. Not the stuff of which memories are made.

Doritos
Consumer-generated ads show a guy who faked his death to be in a coffin filled with Doritos, a guy at a gym who is obsessive about his Doritos, a dog who puts a collar on his owner and, the best of the bunch, a kid who warns his single Mom's new boyfriend to keep his hands off "my Momma and my Doritos."

Go Daddy
"News" and  "Spa" are mirror images of each other and several Go Daddy ads from previous years, both with Danica Patrick and women who rip open their shirts to reveal Go Daddy T's. "Movies," which was pulled due to licensing problems, and "Lola," rejected by CBS, likely would have left better impressions. However, according to Go Daddy CEO and founder Bob Parsons. "We had a tremendous surge in Web traffic, sustained the spike, converted new customers and shot overall sales off the chart. This is a textbook Super Bowl campaign for Go Daddy!"

TruTV
Punxsutawney Troy Polamalu sees his shadow, meaning six more weeks of football via TruTv's behind-the-scenes series, NFL Full Contact.

Several ads for Budweiser, Budweiser Select 55 and Bud Light that were memorable for being unmemorable, including "Ice Bottle," "Asteroid," "Lighthouse" and "T-Pain."

CarMax
Spots for the used car company aired in 48 markets, so they were not "official" Super Bowl spots. Not bad impact for the territories that saw them, with animals watching CarMax spots on TV.

Various movie trailers had visuals galore, led by Johnny Depp in Alice In Wonderland, but viewers would be hard-pressed today to remember one from the other.

REALLY SUCKED
Dove For Men
Shows how hard it is to be a MAN while still adhering to the needs of your wife and/or girlfriend. But "now that you've comfortable with who you are isn't it time for comfortable skin?" With luck, the new skin care line with defoliate.

Cars.com
Timothy Richman grows up knowing everything except how to buy a used car. Cars.com ripped off its own story line from last year.

Audi
The Green Police, sort of a new age version of a group from World War II in Germany that could go anywhere and do anything to people who didn't agree with their way of thinking.

Careerbuilder.com
People in their undies during casual Friday, with a guy who is dressed thinking about looking for a new job.

Monster.com
A beaver fiddles his way from street musician to Carnegie Hall..

Teleflora
A woman who comes off as the office hottie gets wilted flowers while her co-worker shines when she gets fresh flowers.

Taco Bell
Charles Barkley and a guest appearance by Lamar Odom for a $5 meal in a box meal.

Michelob Ultra
Lance Armstrong has a healthy lifestyle, which includes the product.

Dr Pepper
Members of Kiss rock out with their little Kiss versions.

Bridgestone
In the apocalyptic world of Mad Max, people hunt and kill for gasoline. In "Your Tires or Your Life," they need tires. But a guy mishears "wife" for "life" and drops off his wife with a group of misfits.

Dockers
A wandering minstrel of men sing about not wearing pants. Even if it didn't directly follow the CareerBuilder "Casual Fridays" spot showing people in their underwear, the message here - "Calling all men. It's time to wear the pants" with an offer for free Dockers Khakis - would have been lost.

Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret
The tag is "Awesome Plus Awesome = Awesomer," but the spot is not.

U.S. Census Bureau
Let's gather up everyone in the U.S. to pose for a group picture. Oh, wait, the Census Bureau is already doing that.

Coca-Cola
"Sleepwalker" shows a guy wandering the countryside in Africa for an icy Coke. Thinking about how this got from creative to TV would put you to sleep.

Budweiser
"Fences," "Bridge" and "Stranded" (for Bud Light).

Sketchers
Joe Montana explains that he played 16 years of pro football and he now needs Shape-Ups to improve his strength and posture.

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