AdBowl 2014

The Super Bowl has been played and once again Debbie Laskey has asked me to partner with her in her review of this year’s Super Bowl ads. We’ll be chatting later today to find out if we had the same thoughts, and I’ll share her review with you. In the meantime, here’s my take on yesterday.

I must say this year was a little disappointing. Gone are the days when massive production budgets and huge theatrical events were the commercials that we saw. Sure advertisers are still spending a lot of money to produce these ads, but for now, it looks like they’re a little less theatrical and I daresay a little less creative.

I heard a lot before the game about Ford shelling out the least amount they could to be a part of the game. That would be the spot right before the kickoff. Sorry Ford but your Fusion ad was not among my favorites.

Here are my favorites in order of appearance.

Kudos to Cheerios for remaining true to its brand and its respect for families of all kinds in spite of those with that would challenge them. Gracie is as charming as ever. Maybe she should have asked for a Clydesdale, too!

RadioShack came out of nowhere for me. I love this ad and so did a number of my friends. I love the way they called themselves out with a sense of humor. I knew exactly what they were talking about, and from what I read on Twitter, half of America did too. I can’t wait to see what they do with their brand, with their stores and with their business.

Another big surprise for me was Tim Tebow in the T-Mobile commercials. Having never been a big fan of his (actually not one at all), I have to say I’m kind of one now. He took a situation that has to be probably one of the most embarrassing in his career, and he really turned it to his advantage. Who knew not having a contract to be so liberating?

I like Volkswagen’s Wings ad. Sure, sales are slipping, but VW has a way of using comedy chops to illustrate the enthusiasm and longevity of its brand. It was funny.

Did Coca-Cola partner with Cheerios to make people realize America is still a melting pot of people? Two different products. Both a part of magical moments in our lives.

Although the boys of the Seahawks were pounding the football field and all around them, the girls of GoldieBlox showed everyone that girl power is pretty inspirational. Hey boys, are you jealous?

And while everyone was zigging with American pride Jaguar zagged with  a bit of English pride. These British villains sure make being bad look SO good.

Pepsi did I nice job of hyping halftime. Their “Souncheck” was a creative use of the New York City skyline.

I tried to not make it my favorite, but I just couldn’t help it! My winner was Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”. The spot had over 35 million views on YouTube before it even aired and ended the evening at the top of USA Today’s Ad Meter.

Finally, I have to give points to those advertisers that spent money to shine a light on a good cause: Bank of America for (red) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Chevy for World Cancer Day. I don’t think the commercials were the blockbusters we expect during Super Bowl, but did you expect to want to show your support for something other than a football team yesterday? I was among the many to download the US song “Invisible” and I’ll be making my profile purple tomorrow.

ADBOWL is a registered trademark of McKee Wallwork + Company. This post is not endorsed by McKee Wallwork + Company.

AdBowl 2014

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