You call these Super Bowl Ads?

So, like so many others, I watched the big game yesterday. Not for the football. I could care less who one. Well, not true. I cared who lost. I wanted one team to lose more than the other.

I watched for two reasons. One, the half-time show. Fabulous to see really old rockers that still have the soul to keep going. Since they are way older than I am, makes me feel good. I saw them live in the early 1980's. 1982 I think. Best concert ever. Some of you reading this were there with me.
But I digress.

Back to the Ads. I watch them as everybody else does, though, admittedly, I've spent my entire career in Marketing. And yes, admittedly, I've written, edited and cast a few in my time. Nothing with this kind of budget, but some very high profile clients once in a while. It's been a long time since I've done anything in that arena. But I like to watch. See what kind of creativity is still out there. Techniques and technology have evolved to the point that they can and do create fabulous mini-movies in 60 seconds.

So I'm not very objective. I look for some key ingredients. Did I laugh? Cry? Wanna run out and buy whatever they were selling? Not so much. The E-Trade "girlfriend" spot, while very funny, not so original. They've been on this theme awhile now. Baby got so old they had to swap him out. I did have a good time watching the Men without Pants spot by Dockers . 5 Stars.

Next CBS gets Kudos for their remarkably funny NCIS promo with the head slap. Now that was funny. And memorable. 5 stars. The Controversial Pro-Life ad? I must confess I missed it. Oops. Hope it didn't cost too much. I must have been in the kitchen with all the other targeted audience members for that coveted ad position. Rule number one. The best ad placement in the world for the Super Bowl is NOT the same for men and women. Something to keep in mind when paying over a million bucks a minute.

Doritos? I'm sure a few guys thought it was funny in a sophomoric way but didn't convince me. Even AB Media disappointed with only a few Bud Light spots that were amusing at best. GoDaddy? They sure spent big bucks, but I still don't know what the hell it is, other than offensive. An Xrated domain site???? Clever, but may not have the effect they are looking for. I'll forget about it by this afternoon.

Every year, our industry rewards its own with Addy awards. I like to call my next category the Baddy awards. This year's winner? Dodge Charger. Written and conceived by the same misogynists who came up with the iPad name generating monikers galore related to hygiene not technology. A commercial whose theme is "Man's last stand." Against who? They appear to be referring to his wife, girlfriend, partner, et al. Hmmm. Do they not know that if the poor schmo is in a relationship, they have sealed his fate? He won't be buying a Charger anytime soon. Do the research bozos. WOMEN make the car buying decision. They ALLOW their man to purchase that vehicle he's drooling over. And yes, we do watch the Super Bowl. So you have just ensured millions of women will now Just Say No to the Charger. Bummer. That's a Baddy.

So, all in all, a disappointing year for Super Bowl Advertising. A lot of money wasted. Imagine, if you will, if just ONE of those advertisers put in a plug for Haiti Relief efforts. Now that would have been effective, and done more for PR than a year's worth of ads. If it was there, and I missed it, I apologize. I wasn't glued to the set. But I'm thinking nobody thought of that. Missed the boat on that. I know the argument is that they were "in the can" long before Haiti's earthquake. This is the digital age. Anything can have last minute fixes. Or last minute submissions. There's no excuse really. But Karma will reign. These ads will not bring the expected return. In some cases, sales will fall. And it will be just rewards.

The Super Bowl is a winner-take-all-event. And this time, CBS looks to be the winner. Which isn't saying much.

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