By now, the 40-some minutes of Super Bowl advertising have been sliced and diced a thousand different ways. And, while there are plenty of opinions of the best and worst, funniest and failures, award winners and money wasters, noteworthy and not worthy, I'd like to dole out a few accolades of my own that vary just a bit from the standard ad awards.
The Water Cooler Winner
The CBS Late Show promo with David Letterman/Oprah Winfrey/Jay Leno
This was easily the most talked about ad on Monday. For me, on first glance, I thought surely Leno's appearance was a digital trick, but further viewings showed it was Jay live and in person, which made it even more noteworthy. Some nice brand polish for CBS, The Late Show, Letterman, and for the guy who needed it the most, Jay Leno.
"A" For Execution But... Award
Google Parisian Love
The ad critics said "Wow!" but everyone else seemed to say "Why?" Execution-wise, it was simple, wonderfully done, and cut to heart of Google's content and function. However, most non-ad folks (and even some poets) were nonplussed and wondered why Google needed to even bother with a Super Bowl ad when they own 90% of the market. Fact is Google, in their quest for Internet domination, has their sights set on search advertisers and small business owners, as well as well-financed competition in the form of Microsoft's Bing. A little brand enhancement on a big stage couldn't hurt.
Honorable mention: The Intel spot featuring the moping robot. Well done, funny, and a Top-5 TiVo most watched ranking but, like Google, it left viewers wondering why the item that dominates the market felt the need to advertise.
The WTF Award
A tie between KGB, Boost Mobile, and TruTv/NFL Full Contact
Offering a pay-per-use text message question answering service (sorta like Google, but not free), KGB was well ahead in the WTF competition with their Sumo spot (that did little to fully explain what the hell they offered), until Boost Mobile rolled out their poorly produced Boost Mobile Shuffle spot that was a parody of the Chicago Bear's Super Bowl Shuffle video from 1985! The original Super Bowl Shuffle video was brutally bad and resurrecting it and some of its' principals 25 years later made me think Boost Mobile was selling a male sexual enhancement product. Finally, if you were late getting back to the TV after halftime, you might have missed TruTv/NFL Full Contact's spot taking off on the Punxatawney Phil groundhog ceremony that used a creature that looked like a sinister cross between Troy Polamalu and a troll doll. And I'm still not sure what in the world they were selling...
Best Pointless Celebrity Appearance Award
Vizio trotted out Beyonce to sing and look lovely...for a few precious seconds, until she was whisked away by a dark, menacing robotic claw and deposited into a giant industrial stew that contained zombies, dentists, and seemingly every Internet app icon known to man, as well as plenty of pop culture references past and present. By the time it was over, I found myself suffering from icon overload and had pretty much forgotten Beyonce was in the spot to being with...
Animated Animal Award
While I've always said, "You can't go wrong with monkeys on Super Bowl Sunday," chimps were strangely absent this year. Instead, this Super Bowl 44's best animated animal was Monster.com's fiddling beaver. Nicely executed, showed in plain terms that there's a job for everyone at monster.com, and more importantly on Super Bowl Sunday, it did it all while still being entertaining.
The Please, For The Love Of God, Go Away! Award
This one was the easiest for our judging panel (me and the office dog) to decide and I'm not even gonna dignify it with a link: Godaddy.com's spot with Danica Patrick and her stripping (insert overly excited, well endowed female role here). The concept was cute and naughty when they first did it several years ago, but now it's just stale. I'm sure the only thing that's changed is the amount of nudity on the website you're directed to so one can see the "too hot for TV" content (not that I've even bothered). And if you're gonna look at naked women on the Internet, you're surely not gonna go to the godaddy.com site (errr...ummm...from what I hear). Granted, having Danica Patrick onboard as an endorser is big, especially since she's now making a run at Nascar, but godaddy.com would be better served in the future to fake the tease and use the opportunity to actually extoll their virtues, lest they risk becoming known more for their risque ads than their actual web-hosting and domain name registering services...
So there you go, my take on Super Bowl 44's ads...with no Doritos, no Bud Light, and no poetry. Now, when does the 2010 football season start again?
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