Welcome to the 2013 Super Bowl Ad Awards For The Non-Poetic! Super Bowl XLVII is done, the Ravens are the Super Bowl champions, Ray Lewis is officially retired and now has a lot of time to kill, and it’s time to reveal our judging panel’s (me and Office Dog) favorites from this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads. Note that while everyone has their opinions of the best and worst, funniest and failures, award winners and money wasters, noteworthy and not worthy, our honors may stray wildly from the standard Super Bowl advertising award fare. Our goal is to recognize the ads that stuck, the ads that sucked, and the ads resonated with the guy or gal who watched the game first, the commercials second, and had a beer or two while actually enjoying the entire show (from the viewpoint of an advertising guy who worked Super Bowl promotions in bars for 15 years). So, without further non-poetry…
The Office Dog Honors Award
Kia Sorrento Space Babies
Last year, dogs replaced monkeys as the official animal of Super Bowl advertising. This year, I’d say wolves took over the crown, appearing in the Cars.com and Old Spice spots. However, in spite of the presence of his canine cousins, this award recognizes the Kia Space Babies ad as the best Super Bowl spot with a dog or dogs, owing to the presence of not one, but two yellow labs at the :35 mark. While it didn’t do a helluva lot to sell the Kia Sorrento and went a long way for a weak tagline payoff, the spot was cute and certainly had lots of parents laughing along knowingly.
The A For Execution But…Award
Hyundai Santa Fe Epic Playdate
While this spot fit the mold for an attempt to be memorable, it was just weird. Highlighting all the incredible things you can do, apparently only while driving a Hyundai Santa Fe, and stitched together with a superfluous appearance by the Flaming Lips and their front man, Wayne Coyne, it ran down the Super Bowl spot cliché checklist for wacky, loud, and attempts at humor. However, while it was amusing once when it ran in the first quarter, it was easily forgotten by the time the game was over.
The WTF Award
What BlackBerry 10 Can’t Do
OK, BlackBerry spends millions to buy a :30 in the Super Bowl to tell us what their new smartphone, entering the battlefield against Apple and Samsung, can’t do? And you demonstrate what it can’t do in the time-honored, Super Bowl tradition of muddled, wacky, CGI generated stunts? That’s the best you’ve got? That phone doesn’t have one neat feature to set it apart from it’s competition? So, someone please help me here..why should I give a damn about the BlackBerry 10 based on this spot? Other than an ability to piss away $4 million on a pointless TV spot, I can’t think of any…
MiO Fit Sports Drink “Anthem”
The Please, For The Love Of God, Go Away Award
Go Daddy, Perfect Match
I think I just need to rename this the GoDaddy.com award since, for the fourth consecutive year, they’ve taken the prize for the worst ad in the game (I’m not going to even dignify it by embedding it), this year featuring a hot model disgustingly sucking face with a fat, ugly geek, with face sucking SFX amplified. I’d hoped that the Wal-Mart of web hosts might change tacks this year, since they actually went with an agency instead of producing in-house, but no. This year, we got this spot and the pointless, silly, incongruous spot encouraging people to register “your big idea” and pushing .co extension addresses. And for that, GoDaddy.com becomes the first four-time Super Bowl Ad Award For The Non-Poetic winner…
The Your 15 Minutes Are Up Award
Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin’
This spot was stale before they’d finished shooting. Sorry, but Psy doing Gangham Style isn’t going to stand out from the crowd and it sure as hell isn’t going to sell pistachios or even make much of a brand impression for that matter. Is anyone gonna still be talking about this spot on Monday? More money thrown away on a disposable, forgettable ad…
The Pointless Use Of A Male Model Award
Calvin Klein Concept
I found it wildly amusing that a spot for a product named “Concept” pretty much lacked a…concept. Instead, we get :30 seconds of black and white footage of an oiled up male model posing, glaring, thrusting, and running in Calvin Klein underwear to a beeping, techno soundtrack. Does it sell the underwear, its features or even the fantasy that wearing Calvin Klein underwear would turn me into a tanned, toned, non-poetic Mr. America candidate? Nope! This ad had no concept, no point, and no hope of standing out on Super Bowl Sunday…
The Water Cooler Winner
A tie between Dodge Ram Farmer
The Water Cooler Award goes to the spots that people are gonna be talking about the most today and, at least to my gut, this two far and away led the pack. The Ram Farmer spot, with a powerful voice over from Paul Harvey and some vivid photography, just stopped you dead in your tracks. That it didn’t beat you over the head with the brand, so that you spent the better part of the spot guessing what was actually being advertised was icing on the cake. And the Budweiser spot, accompanied by Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, just hit all the sappy, emotional buttons (and it made my beautiful wife cry), which makes it stand out even more from the rest of the Madison Avenue masturbation that ran during the game.
So, there ya go…my take on the the ads from Super Bowl 47. Some good, some bad, some creative, some cliché. Feel free to leave your thoughts, picks, pans, favorites and failures in the comments. And, until then, when does the 2013 football season start?