Advertising Aftertaste  

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Super Bowl XLIII (43 for the roman numeral impaired), has come and gone, but the advertising aftertaste still lingers. In my opinion, there were a lot of average commercials during this Super Bowl (and I think this is usually the case), so I'm leaving all the grade "C" ads out of this post and am only focusing on the opposite ends of the spectrum, the "good" and the "ugly."

The spots this year went for a reported 3 million dollars a :30 spot, then add to that the cost to produce each spot and you're looking at 3.5-4 million dollars a commercial! It's hard to fathom that in these financially strapped times, businesses like Go Daddy could piss away 6-7 million dollars on shitty Super Bowl commercials. WTF?! I think this might be a good segue into the spots, I'll start with the ugly first.


Doritos, "Crystal Ball"

First off, the casting of the main actor in this spot was awful. Second, a nut-shot joke as your big payoff? Really? What is this, a Bud Light spot?
Grade: D

Doritos, "Magic Chip"

Oh, he bites the chip and the girl's clothes came off, HA! Oh, he bites a chip and the ATM spit money out, AWESOME! Oh, he bites a chip and turned a cop into a monkey, RADICAL! Oh, he walks out in front of a bus and bites it!!! No, the douche lived. Shit.
If only I could bite into a chip and make this ad disappear, just like the 7 million Doritos ate on advertising.
Grade: D-, "Shower"

This is one of those commercials that had me saying "what just happened?" These ads make me wonder if this company is run by horny 12 yr old boys, or is that just their target market? This commercial is proof that sex doesn't always sell. Hey, I have a domain name I'd like to register with you:
Grade: F, "Enhanced"

Just when I thought Go Daddy couldn't make a worse ad then the last one, they out-suck themselves. This isn't just one of the worst Super Bowl spots I've ever seen, this is one of the worst commercials I have ever seen, late-night infomercials included. I'm sure GoDaddy could be doing something better with all the money they wasted on bad spots. To top it all off, they do their advertising in-house — so no blaming the ad agency on this one bros!
Grade: F

Budweiser, "Fetch"

I get it, Clydesdale horses. Beer. Horses. Honor. Beer. Horse. Horse. Drunk. Beastiality.
Grade: D

Budweiser, "Circus"

"I didn't know Daisy was dating." Ha, ha, ha, ha, barf. I hear the glue factory calling.
Grade: D-

Budweiser, "Generation"

Oh look, the horse tried to pull people in the cart, but is so big the people are lifted off the ground...ha, ha, ha! Bang! Your horse ancestors are saddened by this advertisement.
Grade: D-

Gatoraid, "Talking Heads"

With Gatoraid, I expect "cooler" commercials than this. This time they set the bar high and then limboed right under it, using an old first-thought concept of "talking heads." Oh, but some of the talking heads are really obscure, and if you know who they are, then you are very coooool. Not so much. Even the name, "The G," is lame. It's like they were trying to be so cool, that it really just made this spot lame.
Grade: D-

Bud Light Drinkability, "Ski Slope"

These spots should be about "suckability," for the next spot can you please draw a gag in the mouth of the spokesperson?
Grade: D+

SoBe Lifewater, "Lizard Lake"

What do you do when you're in advertising, not creative, and can't come up with a single original idea? You do a spot with a talking, or dancing animal, or in this case lizard. But the ad wizards behind this campaign was so unoriginal that they copied the exact same bad idea from the year before, but made it look extra awkward by adding rhythmless football players. But hey don't worry, they put it in 3-D, so it would suck on an extra dimension. However, Ray Lewis does sort of look like a lizard.
Grade: D-, "Carlos Boozer"

Oh look, it's Carlos Boozer, he's a household name! (I truly hope you can read all the sarcasm in this.) Ok, this spot is bad on so many levels, but if there is one thing I would want the ad wizards to take away from this, it would be: Never use the phrase "bling-bling" again. It died many years ago after too many old white people said it during dinner parties.
Grade: D-


E*Trade, "Singing Baby"

I gotta say, I'm not a fan of talking babies, but these spots are done really well. My favorite is still the one with the creepy clown, but this one was pretty good too. Love how the baby keeps trying to break into song.
Grade: B+

Cheetos, "Pigeons"

I like the other Cheetos spot that is running now a bit better then this one (the one that takes place at a kids soccer game), but this one's not bad. Overall, I'm a big fan of the new bluesy Chester Cheetah mascot. I like the attitude. "Give daddy a kiss."
Grade: B, "Moose Head"

When looking at a trophy head on a wall, I've actually always wondered what the other side of the wall might look like if the rest of the animal were still attached, this commercial answered that. Nice job Monster, and thank you for refraining from what could have been an easy poop joke at the end of this spot, Bud Light could learn from your restraint.
Grade: B+, "Tips"

Dude, awesome. This was my favorite spot of the night, punching the Koala and having it spill coffee was brilliant. Muah! I would have given this spot an A+, but I thought they could have come up with a slightly funnier vignette then the speedo toenail clipping guy. Very nice work. "It's gold."
Grade: A

Coke Zero, "Troy Polamalu"

Thought this spot was a smart take on the classic Mean Joe Green spot, especially since Pittsburgh players were featured in both, I also thought ripping off the Coke Zero spokesperson's shirt and tossing it to the kid was a clever twist in this updated version.
Grade: B, "Alec Baldwin"

Yes, this was basically a commercial for 30 Rock, but I love that show, so it works. I also like that Hulu didn't take their tagline too serious at the end, going with the line: "Hulu, an evil plot to destroy the world, enjoy." Props.
Grade: B+

Pepsi, "Pepsuber"

Love the MacGruber SNL sketches, thought this one was pretty funny, but the camera work in it was a little too shaky (a bit distracting), and I thought the dialogue could have been a bit funnier, but nice work on actually getting Richard Dean Anderson for the spot, Canada is smiling.
Grade: B-

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9 Squirrels Squirreling

You're back! I thought you were taking a break to pack all your shit and move to Atlanta, like we discussed. If that's not the case, you're just a dick.

I agree with your rankings, except I think A.Baldwin is a fat old tool, so I didn't like that one (I don't watch "30 Rock" or any other TV for that matter). I sure as hell didn't get the infatuation with the low budget Doritos spot featuring the nut crushing. Lame.

Dude, you are the quickest commenter in the East. Thanks man, good to be back. I just had a case of "the lazy." I never heard back from the Atlanta recruiter, so let's just call her a whore. I have a lot of reading to do with your blog now, as I have been out of the bloggisphere (or however you'd say that) for too long.

Hooray! You're back! And I'm thrilled your first post-hiatus post wasn't all about football, as I thought upon first glance.

Thanks Kate, nope no Footieball, just a little ad-nauseam.

ditto the above comments, AK. you can't be leaving us that long anymore. shit, there's only, like, 12 readable blogs in the whole world, and yours is one of them. don't EVER do that again.

my thoughts were almost exactly in line with yours re: SB commercials with a few exceptions that nobody really cares about anyway. one odd thing, though, was that i actually laughed at a "talking baby" gag and didn't laugh at an alec baldwin bit, who was completely wasted in that commercial.

Thanks for the props Blaine, sorry about the hiatus. Yeah, I think Baldwin is often wasted, I might have rated that one a bit high...but it made me chuckle. Did I just say chuckle?

Nice listing and grades for the ads. Though I did like the Doritos ad a little better than you. I agree with the Cheetos ad. Love that mascot.

These commercials make it clear that niche internet advertising is the way to go for your money. The only ones that I remembered and made me want to use their services/products were the Careerbuilder and Hulu ads. I went to the Hulu the next day due the power of the Baldwin.

In addition, "Punching the Koala" may soon replace the phrase "Punching the Clown". .... if you know what I'm saying. Heey Ohh!

I LOVE commercials, and was SO disappointed this year at the Super Bowl selection -- they sucked donkey balls and quite badly at that. I agree with you on the talking babies, Hulu and the Cheetos. Although I thought the Coke commercial was the hit. Great post!

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