Super Bowl Ad Recap

Much to my surprise (though  I am quite happy about it) the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl!

And while I am excited to see the team take home their first championship in franchise history, what I really want to talk about is the ads.  Overall, I can honestly say that I was a little disappointed with this year’s advertisements in general.  Focus on the Family’s pro-life ad featuring  Tim Tebow was filled with pre-game hype, but ultimately had nothing to show.  The Bud Light and Doritos commercials were clever, but nothing really made me crack up.  Even the TruTV ad about “Punxsutawney Polamalu,” which some thought was very funny, was simply creepy and weird.

I suppose there really isn’t anyone to point the finger at.  While some may say that the advertisers themselves dropped the ball, we have to remember that they were somewhat disadvantaged from the start. Ever since Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” the TV networks have been very wary of what ads are aired.  Thanks to content censors we’re left with “too hot for TV” GoDaddy commercials (which are not in the slightest bit “too hot”) and bans on ads that are seen as inappropriate (ie. Mancruch’s banned ad).

Regardless, there were some ads that did well.  Snickers Betty White ad (watch the commercial below) has emerged a one of the games better ads, earning the number one spot on USA Today’s Ad Meter.  Motorola’s Megan Fox ad also made me laugh.  My personal favorite though was the Google ad, which I’ll be discussing in a later post.

Although the Super Bowl is the Holy Grail of TV advertising, nothing beats good old fashioned originality and creativity.  The ads that did well, and ultimately became fan favorites, didn’t do so because of when they aired… they did so because they were clever, original, and well-made.  A little thought goes a long way.  Advertisers need to stop making funny ads for the sake of being funny and start putting some thought into why they are doing what they’re doing.   Maybe then we’ll see a Super Bowl where the ads live up to the hype.

Comment below with your thoughts on the big game’s ads!


Super Bowl Ad 5 – Reebok’s Terry Tate

Based on a pilot originally created during 2000, Reebok’s “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker” ad created quite the buzz.  The commercial featured fictional football star Terry Tate tackling and shoving office employees in an attempt to motivate them and increase productivity.  At the end of the ad, consumers were encouraged to watch more Terry Tate videos online at  Check out the original Super Bowl spot below:

Reebok Marketing reported that the ad campaign had “tremendous global success.”

“More than 20 million “Terry Tate” films were downloaded from the Reebok website. The campaign received global rave reviews, including being named the “Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival Golden Lion Award” winner, “Best Actor in a TV Commercial” and “Ten Most Liked and Downloaded Ads of 2003” by Advertising Age and “Most Likeable Ad of 2003” by USA Today.”

Although the ad had such great critical and consumer response, I feel as though the one downside was the lack of branding.  I’m sure most everyone remembers Terry Tate, but how many people remember that the ad was for Reebok?  Regardless, it was definitely hilarious and still one of my Super Bowl favorites.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Super Bowl Ad 4 – Tabasco Mosquito

When this ad aired during the 1998 Super Bowl, I vividly remember my dad going on and on about how funny it was.  Perhaps it was his constant retellings of the ad, or maybe it was because I genuinely enjoyed it myself, but this ad for Tabasco remains one of my favorite to this day:

While the ad had excellent response from the public, PETA found issue with the mosquito exploding (how anyone could be upset about a dead mosquito is beyond me).  As MSNBC reports, Tabasco then pulled the ad, and  eventually remade it with the mosquito surviving.  I actually saw this ad on television not too long ago; coincidentally though, I don’t remember seeing the mosquito surviving in this latest iteration.  Whether Tabasco decided to go back to their original ad, or whether my memories of the original trump things in my mind, I’m not sure.  But I do know one thing: this ad is hilarious.

Post your thoughts on the ad in the comments below!

Super Bowl Ad 3 – Mean Joe Greene

Airing during the Super Bowl in the late 1970’s, the Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola commercial has become one of the most iconic ads in all of television history.  It may seem cliche of me to put it on this list, but I the first time I saw this ad (during one of those “Best Commercials” specials; I think I was 10 or 11), I loved it.

The commercial won two CLIO awards in 1980, one for best ad and a second for best male performance.  It was recently discovered however that Mean Joe never actually received his award and it was presented to him in an official ceremony before the Bengals-Steelers game on November 15, 2009 (reported on Coca-Cola Conversations).

Coke Zero ran a pseudo-remake of the ad during the 2008 Super Bowl.  I personally think it was clever, but let me know your thoughts on the remake (and the original) in the comments section below!

Super Bowl Ad 2 – Miller High Life 1 Second Ads

Last year’s round of Super Bowl ads had something a little bit different.  MillerCoors bought one second ad spots to promote Miller High Life during the big game; that’s right, one second. The company had to purchase the spots on local affiliates around the country that were showing the game because Budweiser has exclusive national advertising rights as the official beer of the Super Bowl.

Take a look at a collection of ads that didn’t make the final cut, but still give you a good idea of the campaign’s overlying concept:

The decision to do single second commercials was explained in an ad leading up to the game, but also officially explained in a press release by senior brand manager Kevin Oglesby. “Miller High Life is all about high quality and great value, so it wouldn’t make sense for this brand to pay $3 million for a 30-second ad. Just like our consumers, High Life strives to make smart choices. One second should be plenty of time to remind viewers that Miller High Life is common sense in a bottle” (pulled from The Business Journal).

The ads fit well with the brand’s identity and created quite a buzz due to their unique and original delivery (not to mention that they were very funny).  While they aren’t widely recognized as some of the Super Bowl ad greats, they are some of my personal favorites and were definitely innovative and fresh.

Comment below and let me know how you liked the ads!

Super Bowl Ad 1 – E*Trade Baby

Shown during the 2008 Super Bowl, E*Trade‘s “Trading Baby” commercials are some of my favorites of all time– not just Super Bowl commercials.  I’d be shocked if you havn’t seen at least one of the many ads in the campaign at this point in time, but if not, here’s the one that aired duing the ’08 game and started it all:

(view the second commercial here)

The ads were extremely successful for E*Trade.  According to NielsenWire, E*Trade had the second greatest amount of online ad discussion after the game.  USA Today reports that the two ads are 2 of the most online watched game-ads of all time.  E*Trade released new commercials during this season’s playoff games and plans to unviel an additional commercial during the Super Bowl on Sunday (according to MediaDailyNews). While some still enjoy the latest batch of commercials, others claim that the campaign is on its way out.  Personally, I am still a fan of the new ones; the lottery ad is hilarious.  To support the commercials, E*Trade also relies heavily on social media campaigns, with the baby amassing thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m excited to see how the third ad turns out during the game Sunday… let me know what you think of the old ads and any thoughts or predictions on the new one.


Other than to the Trading Baby ads, E*Trade has also had a few other memorable super bowl ads.  Check out these other two hilarious classics:

E*Trade Dancing Monkey

E*Trade – Money Coming out of the Whazoo

Super Bowl Ad Countdown

It’s Sunday. One week to go until the Super Bowl— the showcase of the best (or at least the most expensive) ads that companies can throw at you.

Over the next five days (M-F) I will be going back to some of my favorite Super Bowl ads from the last several years as well as a few of the more iconic ads of the game’s history. Will your favorite make the cut? Check back over the next several days and find out.

On Saturday I plan on posting a preview of some of this year’s ads… Sunday will, of course, feature post(s) analyzing the best and worst ads of the game.