Better than the Football: Super Bowl Ad Review

I am not a huge football fan.

But when it comes to the Super Bowl, oddly enough, you can’t pull me away.

Why?

I have a passion for advertising and marketing. I love the wittiness and hilarity of the ads. I am eager to see the cutting edge in much-hyped big budget TV commercials.

My favorite this year was Budweiser’s Clydesdale and the Longhorn steer. Leave off the last few words of the voice over - “not even a fence” - and the ad would have met my idea of perfection. “Nothing comes between friends” was perfect, with punch and effectiveness that made it stand out in the Super Bowl ad pack.

And the Google ad was wonderful. I type fast - yes, Google ad fast - and live my life fast, but not that fast. I laughed out loud. It was funny and sweet. We are replaying the script this morning, and the final search not one of us forgot, “how to assemble a crib.” What a great advertising debut for Google, and I am not agreeing at all with the criticism that a Parisian love story was not “Super Bowl” material.

paris.jpg

What I found a wee bit disappointing is that this year, not a lot of the ads were really exciting. I’ve had enough bawking chickens. Babies trading stock online. Cartoon characters pitching soft drinks.

Then there’s the opposite side of the sentimental Google commercial: too much testosterone. I understand that this is the Super Bowl, the culmination of a season of head-jarring, bone-smashing entertainment. But there seemed to be an emphasis on violence. A Dorito stuck like a ninja star in a man’s neck, a semi-truck full of beer rolling over a human bridge (ouch!), sassy little children, no matter how cute, smacking an adult. And the dog that strapped a shock collar onto his owner, which made me laugh, although I’m sure the ad horrified dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, the evangelist of canine positive reinforcement and non-violent redirection.

The most fascinating “buzz” of the evening was on my laptop, though, where I was logged into Twitter and YouTube and surfing for work in between ads and plays on the field. There was an online conversation within seconds about each commercial (and probably the football plays too, but that’s not where I was tuned in) and an instantaneous YouTube replay for my favorites. These ads were not only Super Bowl commercials, they were multi-media social mega-entities. The “play” they garnered off the Super Bowl field has a huge economic reach.

And I’ll admit: I added the Google commercial to my Playlist. It’s a keeper.

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