Monday, February 3, 2014

The Game Ended Early, But The Super Bowl Ads Live On

Image Credit: Budweiser via Adweek.

Every winter, on one Sunday, every TV around the world tunes in for one super football game. But for those of us who live and breathe all things marketing, the final football showdown each season provides a different focus. That focus costs a pretty penny - or several million to be exact. The incredibly high-priced ads that grace the TV screen during the Super Bowl have become known as the Brand Bowl, and I'm thrilled to share a three-peat review of these ads with Julia Carcamo.

As a brand marketing professional, I recall many of the ads despite this year's one-sided Game. What about you? Read about my faves and Julia's faves. A few quick notes before we begin: Julia and I began this annual review back in 2012, and repeated last year. This year, we provide a three-peat. Julia's bio precedes her comments below, and I encourage you to visit her blog and connect on Twitter. Also, if you missed any of the ads or want to know which 10 were the most engaging, links are provided at the end of our joint post.

Here were my faves:
[1] MetLife featured the entire Peanuts gang with a preamble to the Game, and since the game took place at MetLife Stadium, this was a good intro to the Game.
[2] Budweiser's puppy and Clydesdale with the hashtag #BestBuds: this ad was memorable and tugged at the heartstrings.
[3] Budweiser's thanks for military service: this ad was memorable and reminiscent of Budweiser's timeless post-911 ad.
[4] Doritos time machine ad was funny but would have been funnier if it had run after Radio Shack's Back to the Eighties spot.
[5] TurboTax's ad was amusing except for the fact that no one wants to think about filing tax returns the first week of February.

I appreciated the presence of more cause-related marketing ads, especially Microsoft's #empowerment ad and Chevrolet's cancer awareness ad.

However, one element was different for me this year. While watching the Game, instead of simply Tweeting once I saw the hashtags after each ad, I participated in a TweetChat with the hashtag #SBexp for "Super Bowl experience" hosted by Jim Joseph ( of Cohn and Wolfe. Jim will host similar TweetChats during the upcoming Olympics with the hashtag #OlympicsExp.

Now, please welcome Julia Carcamo back to my blog. After the last two Super Bowls, we connected across the miles and shared joint posts on my blog and also on hers. Julia is a brand strategy consultant for J. Carcamo & Associates and develops marketing strategies and tools to revitalize brands and engage customers. Check out her blog at and connect on Twitter at

This year was a little disappointing, both on and off the field. Gone are the days when massive production budgets and huge theatrical events were the commercials that we saw. Here are my Top 5 in order of appearance:
[1] RadioShack came out of nowhere for me. They were smart in not releasing their spot early so they could surprise everyone on Sunday. I can't wait to see what they do with their brand, with their stores, and with their business.
[2] Another big surprise for me was Tim Tebow in the T-Mobile commercials. Who knew not having a contract to be so liberating?
[3] The girls of GoldieBlox showed everyone that girl power is pretty awesome, even in the midst of what is typically a testosterone-filled day.
[4] Pepsi did a nice job of hyping halftime. Their "Souncheck" was a creative use of the New York City skyline.
[5] I tried to not make it my favorite, but I just couldn't help it! My winner was Budweiser's "Puppy Love" and now I want to adopt a Labrador.
And lastly, 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.

Here's a list of the top 10 most engaging ads according to for Advertising Age:

Here's a link to catch any of the ads if you missed watching them:

What about you? What was your fave ad?

Here was our joint post on February 4, 2013:

Here was our joint post on February 6, 2012:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!