Monday, February 06, 2006

Reviewing the Super Bowl Ads

As an advertising and marketing professional, I feel obliged to comment on yesterday’s Super Bowl of advertising. First of all, I’d like to congratulate my colleagues in the advertising industry for actually convincing people that a mass-release of new ads is something worth watching and discussing. Brilliant work. With this post, I continue the clever trick of making our industry seem far more important than it actually is.

For the most part, the ads (like the game) were rather mediocre. That’s not a big surprise—truly great advertising is practically non-existent. The best you can generally hope for as a viewer are ads that are amusing. And in that category, Budweiser, FedEx and Hummer all receive certificates of achievement. The FedEx caveman ad was the best of the evening—a delightfully absurd ad that still managed to clearly communicate the brand name and service being sold. The Hummer H3 "little monster" ad comes in a close second. But, then again, I'm a sucker for monster movies.

Of course, well-known brands have an advantage because they don’t need to spend a long time telling the audience what it is they’re selling. Less-established brands, on the other hand, simply have to tell us who the heck they are. A fact clearly forgot. What is I dunno. Looked like a soft-core porn site, but I’m sure it’s something more respectable. I’ll never know because I’m not going.

A dot com company whose ads I did enjoy was Playing off their ads from last year,’s ads tell the tale of a normal guy trapped in job where all his coworkers are monkeys. Literally monkeys. Most job searches are not unemployed, they’re just sick of their jobs. As such,’s ads do a good job of connecting with the intended market and communicating their key selling point in a humorous, attention-getting way.

Finally, I have to give the worst-ad-of-the-night award to the drink known as Full Throttle. First of all, as far as I can tell, only yuppies, celebrities and college-student’s aspiring to be yuppies or celebrities drink energy drinks. Real men drink beer. So marketing an energy drink to “real men” is really missing the point as to why these types of drinks are popular. Plus the ad was just flat-out annoying.

And there you have my critique of the Super Bowl of advertising. It’s a bit like reviewing fast food restaurants, isn’t it?


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