To take your mind off whatever tsuris you may be feeling about our nation hurtling toward anarchy, for the third year in a row we take you briefly back to Sunday’s state of guacomole-induced stupor, to compare critics’ reviews of the all-important Super Bowl ads.
Like our politicians, once again it’s clear that the critics can’t agree on much (unless it involves dachshunds dressed up as hot dogs.)
And once again we realize that John Wanamaker was right: 50% of advertising is wasted. Unlike Mr. Wanamaker, in this case we have a pretty good feeling about which 50% may have been involved.
At the bottom of this post is a remarkable chart comparing major reviewers (color-coded green/yellow/pink) for all the spots run during Sunday’s game. It’s pithy!
NOTE: ads are grouped by my rankings of green/yellow/pink but are alphabetically listed within those large groups.
A few observations:
First of all, if Super Bowl 50 was such an amazing success, why were there approximately 260 CBS ads taking up valuable ad space?
Humor seems to be back, and boy do we need it. (Celebrities are back, too)
– unfortunately, sophomoric humor was also in full schwing! (Amy Schumer, I’m talking to you)
Generally well-accepted spots had breakthrough, were straightforward, enjoyable, had product as hero – – and you came away knowing what the brand was
Audi’s Commander, Kraft/Heinz Wiener Stampede, Toyota Prius The Longest Chase, Doritos Ultrasound (I was not a fan), Avocados from Mexico Avocados in Space, Bud Light Bud Light Party, Hyundai Genesis First Date, Hyundai Elantra Ryanville, Amazon Echo Baldwin Bowl Party, Advil Distant Memory
Disliked spots featured unappetizing topics or visuals, human ailments, made no detectable point, or were just stupid
AstraZeneca Opioid-Induced Constipation Envy, Squarespace Real Talk, SoFi Great Loans, Great People, Valeant Jublia Best Kept Secret, LG OLEG TV Man from the Future
Mtn Dew Kickstart PuppyMonkeyBaby carried the torch of 2014’s Doberhuahua, quite happy to spew the ridiculous in the craven quest for online buzz
– (by the way, it’s Mtn, not Mountain)
– Anthony Hopkins’s perfectly executed tongue-in-cheek “I’m not selling out” pitch for TurboTax
– Jeep’s spots (finally) taking advantage of its amazing legacy
– Kia’s spot called ‘Walken Closet’ starring Christopher Walken. (Did the pun drive the copy?)
– LG’s infuriatingly pointless waste of Liam Neeson and Ridley Scott’s talents
– Squarespace’s infuriatingly pointless waste of Key & Peele’s talents
– Spots that required you to know the context (T-Mobile/Drake, T-Mobile/Steve Harvey, Hyundai Elantra/Ryan Reynolds)
A few spots had obviously high production values but were virtually ignored by reviewers – which makes one wonder if their $5 million+ was well spent:
– Intel Experience Amazing, McDonald’s Good Morning, Bai Horse Whisperer, Pokémon 2.0, Wix.com Kung Fu Panda, Advil Distant Memory, Mobile Strike Fight
Finally, Weather Tech – this is I believe your 3rd Super Bowl ad. You make a great product in an admirable way. You are decent, hardworking, earnest people.
But maybe it’s time to step away from the cheese dip and have a beer.
Click once or twice on the table below to make it more readable.
My evaluations are generally based on the Kellogg ADPLAN approach: Attention –Distinction – Positioning – Linkage – Amplification – Net Equity – – along with some personal gut feel.
Reviewers and links to reviews (if you were involved in any of the reviews and feel I got something wrong, let me know):
Kellogg Graduate School of Business – Northwestern University
Wall Street Journal
See you next year!