Monday, February 05, 2007

SportsBusinessNews.com’s ninth annual Super Bowl Ad review


Welcome to the annual SportsBusinessNews.com Super Bowl commercials review. SBN Publisher Howard Bloom reviewed the spots online throughout the game, and was able to watch the spots at sportsline.com. Please note the spots that Howard reviewed are the ones you can see at sportsline.com as well, by clicking on the above link.

One note, Howard worked in the advertising industry sales and for an advertising agency for more than a decade, and offers tremendous insight, enlightenment, understanding and information of what makes an effective commercial. Finally these are Howard’s opinions and his alone. SBN Senior Editor and Assistant Publisher Jason Ilacqua edited the report, but the opinions are those of Howard Bloom. Howard rated the many movie spots all 5 out of 10. The additional spots were rated on a scale of 1 through 10. The sequence of the reviews is as they appeared at sportsline.com where the spots were streamed on a quarter-by-quarter basis.

First quarter

Budlight – Faceoff

The coveted first spot of the game and Budweiser the biggest advertiser on Sunday night’s broadcast kicks off their own Super Bowl with a not so classic game of rock paper scissors. When you’ve invested close to $25 million in Super Bowl XLI and you have the reputation Bud does this one just fell short of the goal line. 5/10

Doritos: Crash

One of the much discussed “user-generated” spots. Dale Backus created the spot. Doritos build up to the airing of their Super Bowl spot might have been better than what Backus created. The spot that ran early in the first quarter made light of a guy driving a car holding a bag of Doritos eying a young lady also handing a bag of Doritos. Mayhem ensues and the commercial flashes to what makes Doritos. Effective in selling Doritos, the ants commercial that led to this spot was more entertaining. Super bowl spots are supposed to be entertaining, this one wasn’t. 4/10

Blockbuster Mail

The Blockbuster rabbit and hamster return. This time they’re terrorizing a poor mouse in hopes of getting their 15 minutes of fame online. Blockbuster began a major campaign in the last few weeks that features Blockbuster’s move to offer both online and in-store service. Entertaining but not a spot that will endear Wayne Huzienga’s gang to the good folks at PETA. 6/10

Sierra Mist: Combover

This makes no sense once over. An office manager fires an employee who has an odd looking hair style. You can’t quite understand why Ted is being fired; Ted tries to save his job by suggesting he’ll start drinking Sierra Mist. It’s really difficult to look at Ted, his manager fires him and as Ted is walking out of the office you see him wearing roller skates and shorts. Watching this several times to write this review made it more and more difficult to view. Not funny, not entertaining – wouldn’t convince anyone to try Sierra Mist without cringing at the site of Ted. 3/10

Salesgenie.com: Sales Guy

How many sales guys were watching the Super Bowl? Add in the number of sales guys who watched Super Bowl XLI as well, and this spot was the classic – easy path to success in life if you just visit salesgenie.com. Most sales guys former and current can laugh at themselves. The spot focuses on a message of 100 free sales leads. Good spot, well focused and any sales guy even if he’s heard variations of this pitch before will take a look at the salesgenine.com website. 6.5/10

Sierra Mist: Karate

Much better than their earlier first quarter spot. This spot features a karate teacher asking his class what they should do if someone tries to take away their Sierra Mist. Does a good job of selling the product and ends with an amusing exchange between the teacher and one of his students with the teacher wondering if that student is really in the class. 7/10

Toyota: Tundra

The narrator’s voice is a deep baritone sounding voice. Created on the premise that guys like trucks, guys like trucks that are fast, guys really like trucks that seem powerful -- add it all up and you have what Toyota tried to sell in this spot. Nothing really special about the spot but you’ll be able to enjoy this for many months to come. Plays it safe, that’s likely what Toyota wanted to accomplish. Reaches their target audience for the product effectively, but just not special enough for a $2.6 expenditure. 5/10

FedEx: Moon Office

This spot had it all, at least as good as last year’ FedEx Super Bowl caveman spot. This time we’re on the moon and the first moon office. The office manager admits there might be a few kinks and tells the employees he giving a tour of their new office too “wait till you see the view” The next scene sees the employees enjoying that view outside on the lunar surface and the inevitable question comes up, “How are we going to get to our customers”. Big booming music, the FedEx spaceship/delivery vehicle arrives, emblazoned with a FedEx logo. Moments later Bill is floating away into space and is zapped away. Great, greater and even better each you watch it. 10/10

Bud Light: Wedding

Very similar to Bud’s spot last year where a pair of guys at a wedding want to keep their beer cold and take ice from the wedding display. This time we feature an auctioneer conducting the wedding ceremony in hopes the boys will be able to enjoy their beer that much faster. In a classic case of a tough act to follow, this 30 second spot, followed the 45 second FedEx classic. Again, not great and the real question is does Bud have their Super Bowl game face on? 5.5/10

GoDaddy.com

The GoDaddy girl returns, and this time she's put in the hot seat by actor Philip Baker Hall. The key in this spot is the voice behind the spot has had over 200 guest roles on television shows, including a memorable role as the library cop "Lt. Bookman" on Seinfeld in the episode "The Library". The spot is meant to be a takeoff of the Sharon Stone movie’s Basic Instinct. Godaddy manages to get a great deal of leverage from their banned Super Bowl spot. The godaddy.com girl rates a 15/10 makes you wish she had been a part of last years Basic Instinct II. The problem with the spot – you’re distracted by the godaddy.com girl, not sure she manages to get the message across. Nonetheless give it a 6.5/10

Nationwide: Kevin Federline Rollin' VIP

Who doesn’t enjoy Kevin Federline or his former wife Britney Spears being made fun of, being picked on? The spot begins with what looks like Federline in a rap video, showing all the bling he has and suggesting to anyone prepared to listen that his life is perfect. Well given that Spears tossed Federline under the bus, Federline failed in a brief appearance with the WWE, the spot ends with Federline watching the video and loving himself while he’s actually working in a fast food restaurant preparing fries. Does a good job about delivering their message – Life comes at you fast, you can use Nationwide on your side. Despite that this spot has run all week it works. 7/10

Schick: Quartto

Actually given that this spot runs for 15 seconds it works on several levels. Basically the spot Schick has been running for several months. The spot which can’t be fully and easily understood (remember it was only 15 seconds) sells the benefits of using the Schick razor while watching a young lady in a fitness club flying off a treadmill when a freshly shaven male jumps onto a treadmill. 6/10

Lions Gate: Our House

The first film trailer of the night. A black swim team and their coach is reminding his team “they thought because they were white they were better than you”. The only real issue – is 15 seconds enough time to effectively get what your film is about to anyone? 5/10

GoDaddy.com

As safe as it gets for go daddy.com. This one features the godaddy.com girl and if you’re looking for it you’ll notice Danica Patrick. The spot begins with an office manager using the first 15 seconds to remind everyone godaddy.com does a great job at what they do, selling domain numbers for $1.99. The second half, the other 15 seconds has the office manager opening the door to the marketing offices, where “everyone wants to work”. There’s a party complete with the “boys” judging the Goddaddy.com on a scale of 1 – 10, a wet T shirt contest, a little person and Patrick. Actually very good, first did a solid job of delivering their message and the second half what we’ve come to expect from the good folks at godaddy.com during their annual foray into the Super Bowl. 7/10

Coca Cola: Video Game

This spot somewhat interesting if you know the video game Grand Theft Auto. This spot aired during American Idol last week. The spot features an angry driver (the Grand Theft Auto connection) once the “angry young man” stops for a Coke—ultimately, he hands a wad of cash to a street musician, puts out a trash fire and returns a stolen purse to an elderly pedestrian. His attitude changes and the entire tone changes to a happy Coca-Cola spot. Suggests maybe a new direction in where Coke may be headed and appeals to a much younger demographic. 7/10

Chevrolet: Singers

An interesting 60 second spot, features a few “known” as Mary J. Blige, a pair of rappers named TI and Big n’ Rich and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The singers are extolling the virtues of buying a Chevrolet, features many cars, many singers and at the end of the day you’re not quite sure what you’ve just seen. 4/10


Second quarter

Bud Light: Classroom

Pokes fun a racial profiling in America. Not racially insensitive, doesn’t really go near that line in the sand. Teacher in a classroom trying to teach a group of non-English speaking people first learning how to say “give me a Bud Light” and then if they’re asked if they have a Bud Light they’re to say “no speak English”. In an era of a color coded America and green is likely gone for good, light on humor, some may find this racially insensitive, if you don’t have a sense of humor. 6.5/10

Budweiser: Dalmation

This is a classic. Budweiser has pulled the heart strings on many of their Super Bowl commercials since 9/11. From the Clydesdales going to New York, to a sixty-second tribute to troops returning from the war in Iraq last year, Budweiser promised they were going to lighten up their Super Bowl efforts this year. This spot starts with the piano music that was so much a part of those great tribute type spots. Not this time. Halfway through this spot our now very sad looking white dog notices a Dalmation sitting on top of a fire truck, a parade is underway. Cutting to the chase, our beleaguered white dog has mud splattered all over him and now resembles the Dalmation sitting on the fire truck being pulled by the Clydesdales. The spot ends with our now happy ‘fake’ Dalmation winking at the other dog; they’re both on fire truck. This one works, 7.5/10

Wild Hogs

This movie set to open on March 2 may indeed hit the market with the audience watching the game. Story of four “middle aged” men who attempt to find their missing youth by setting out of a motorcycle trip. 7/10

Garmin: Map Monster

Just doesn’t work. An attempt to sell a portable car personal navigation system service and not the best at doing that. 5/10

Sierra Mist Free: Hospital

Features a patient in an emergency ward wanting a drink, or Sierra Mist. The nurse ignores him and drinks his drink and then hands the bottle of Sierra Mist to the orderly. 6.5/10

Careerbuilder.com: Jungle

Now that monster.com has left the land of Super Bowl commercial advertising, carerbuilder.com has the Super Bowl left to itself. Entertaining on a number of levels. Features an office staff under attack in a jungle. They’re being assaulted with everything from flying pencils to a net that captures fleeing pencil pushers. The spot ends with everyone jumping off a cliff to avoid having to sign up for the seminar. Amusing and effective at suggesting there may be a better job out there for you and careerbuilder.com might be that answer. 7.5/10

Doritos: Cashier

Another spot created from the mind of an amateur, works rather well. This one features someone with a mustache buying different flavor Doritos. The casher reacts to each flavor. 7/10

Chevy: Car Wash

The second of user generated, so called amateur spots. This spot won Chevy’s College Ad challenge. It begins with two young ladies giving a dollar to a young man who comes up to their window. Once the young man gets the dollar, the car is surrounded by young and one very old man who ‘can’t keep their hands off a Chevy HHR. Very busy, far too busy, if you pay attention at the very end the spot features Times Square Naked Cowboy. Entertaining but does it sell the product? Not really 5/10

Bud Light: First Bump

Its back the humor, this time spoofing the practice of men bumping each other’s fist. As a white person gives a beer to a black man the white man is told bumping hands is now passé and promptly slaps the white man’s face. Slapping continues in a series of different scenes, ending with a young exec slapping his older bosses face. Funny but not quite sure, 6.5/10

AHA: Heart Attack

Another spot that was available in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. A sixty-second spot no less that suggests you head to the bestyourrisk.com to see if you’re putting your heart at risk. Interesting, given that the Super Bowl is the one day in a calendar year when people generally throw all care about their heath out the door in celebration of the Super Bowl, call this the party poopers spot. 6/10

GMC Robots

This spot likely didn’t go over very well in Detroit. The spot features s suicidal robot being laid off from a car plant. The robot goes in search of any job, can’t find one and ends up jumping off a bridge. Not sure where the humor is, not sure why an automobile company would even consider focus a spot that linked a suicide and being laid off from a job in an automobile spot. In poor taste. 1/10

Coca-Cola: Black History

The first to two spots in Super Bowl XLI that focused on the historical moment relating to the first two African-Americans head coaches leading their teams to the Super Bowl. No sound whatsoever, just Coca-:Cola bottles through the ages linked to key dates in Black history. Well done, effective and reminiscent of the Bud spots that pulled on heart strings in previous years. 7.5/10


Third Quarter

Sprint: Broadband

This one is the next in the series sprint mobile spots, and pokes fun at the erectile dysfunctional ads that dominated discussions around Super Bowl advertising. The first set featured two guys (one with a sprint mobile broadband card, and the other from a rival company). This is funny and effective, 7/10

Frito Lay: Fans

Very good, if you like heart strings spots (and yours truly does) this one was a winner on every level. Like the Coca-Cola spot during the second quarter, this one focuses on Jim Nantz doing the play-by-play from Super Bowl XLI (not the actual play-by-play, but the game between the two teams) It features the faces of African-American families, generations enjoying the moment in time. Sells the moment in time, not the product. Good on Frito Lay for doing that. 7.5/10

Coca-Cola rebirth

A nurse in an old age home offering a Coke to a resident. He takes the bottle and says “I’ve never had one”. As his open he wonders what else he hasn’t tried in his life. He gets a tattoo, runs with the bulls and is last seen taking off on a motorcycle. Amusing, fun to watch 7/10

E-Trade: Robbery

E-Trade used to be a big part of the Super Bowl sponsoring the halftime show. In a Super Bowl that several spots that might have been questionable as far as taste. This one focuses on a bank manager and his employees telling their customers to get down on the ground, they’re about to be robbed and the bank is going to take their money. Interesting, somewhat effective but might be viewed by some as tasteless, 6/10

Coke: Assembly Line

A very busy spot. Entertaining, but confusing. Spot runs for 60 seconds, and begins with someone putting some change into a Coke machine to buy a Coke. What ensues is a fairy like tale as to how the Coca-Cola bottle ends up being in the hands of the person at the vending machine. 7/10

Bud Light: Gorilla

No talking frogs, no monkey’s but this year we have talking gorillas in a zoo. One gorilla tries to convince another gorilla that he has come up with a plan to steal some beer from its delivery that day. However, when that moment comes the gorilla who is supposed to jump the Bud delivery guy is instead smiling at a woman taking a picture. 7/10

Revlon: Sheryl Crow
Great spot, now did anyone watching the game care? Stars Sheryl Crow, the commercial focuses on Ms. Crow deciding she’ll do a Revelon six week tour. Everyone is happy about the tour except for her colorist. The tour was billed as the “Not Fade Away” tour (the Buddy Holly song), by tours end Sheryl’s hair looks great, the stylist has bought into Revlon and all is well. The only issue did the spot reach anyone, done well enough that it likely did. 7.5/10

Taco Bell: Lions

More talking animals, this time its lions and they’re smelling the Taco Bell food campers have brought into what might be a jungle safari. The lions are amusing themselves by rolling their R’s and trying to imitate actor Ricardo Montalbán. Finishes with the Taco Bell tag line ‘think outside the bun’ Might have worked better if the lions had visited the campers. 6/10

Van Heusen: Wardrobe

Not sure about this one. If you take it at face value and there’s no reason to suggest Van Huesen isn’t being serious, this one brings us into the world of what it is to be a metrosexual who by definition is someone who is very conscious about his image and looks in public. A metro sexual is often associated with getting manicures, facials, & massages – not the audience a Super Bowl attracts, but given that almost everyone watches a Super Bowl who knows maybe Van Heusen found their market. Worked just as well in the context of a Super Bowl game as the American Heart Association spot did. Was it a good spot, yes, did it belong in a Super Bowl game, NO. 5.5/10

Emerald Nuts: Office

This group has offered some of the more innovative Super Bowl spots. This time we’re in an office were the employees are nodding off tired at the end of a long day, and what do they imagine at moments like this: Robert Goulet. Goulet appears next and is next seen wrecking havoc throughout the office until eat a handful of Emerald Nuts. Not bad, fun enough to enjoy. 7/10

FedEx: Shipping

Not as good, not nearly as good as the first FedEx Super Bowl spot (the best spot in the entire game), but funny at the very end. This spot focuses on a group of people discussing the benefits of FedEx ground shipping and how good the service is and how you can’t judge something by the name you attach to it. The woman in the spot then goes around the room and asks if they agree that FedEx ground shipping works. The comical connection relates to the names and how the people with those names react to the question. 6/10

T-Mobile: My Favs

Great spot, one of more amusing spots during the entire game. This one features Dwayne Wade talking to Charles Barkley discussing who is included in their T-Mobile 5 Favs list. Wade is trying to convince Barkley that he should include Wade as one of Charles My Favs. A waitress spots Wade and gushes to Wade, he’s her favorite and then looks at Barkley and asks Wade if “that’s your father” Barkley is playing the Charles in Charge rule to the fullest. 9/10

Bud Light: Movie

This one spoofs the slasher movie genre you either love or hate, but one that everyone can laugh at. A couple is driving in a car down a lonely road at night. The guy (who is driving) spots someone alone on the side of the road carrying an axe and a case of Bud Light. The girl in the car wants nothing to do with a guy with an axe. The guy wants to find out if why the guy has the axe and if he needs a lift. The guy with the axe tells the guy driving the car the axe is a bottle opener, next stop a guy with a portable saw and a case of bud. 7.5/10

Meet the Robinsons

The next big Disney movie, not sure the kids are still up late in the third quarter when this ran but it’s always a good time to remind Dad where he’ll be on March 30 when the movie opens. 7/10


Fourth quarter

Honda Full Line

Interesting selection from Honda. Two weeks from now the Great American Race will unfold in Daytona Beach and Honda will be front and center making their debut. Might Honda have considered promoting their NASCAR debut? Would that have made a statement? Instead a standard car spot, 5/10

Flomax

This spot deals with a sensitive issue, prostate issues among men. Not anywhere near the debate that ensued when the erectile dysfunction spots ran a few years back. For guys who may have missed parts of the game to go to the bathroom hopefully they didn’t miss this spot. Could have been timely, was done well and hit more their market than they imagined. 6.5/10

IZOD

This spot is yuppies meeting metrosexual’s toss in a super model and you have one of the dumbest spots to ever run at a Super Bowl. 2.5/10

Careerbuilder.com

We’re back to our jungle retreat. This time no one is seen jumping off a cliff but we do see people falling from trees, receiving a wedgie – the bottom line there’s a better job out there for you and head to careerbuilder.com. Does it work, yes, will you find a great job at careerbuilder.com, but you’ll have to be qualified. 7/10

Budweiser: Select

This spot features rapper Jay Z and legendary Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula. There are more streets, bridges and steakhouses in South Florida with Shula’s name than any other living or dead person. The two are playing some futuristic football game and the man who’s dating Beyonce and owns a piece of the New Jersey Nets beats the greatest coach in football history. Here’s betting the older generation have no idea who Jay Z is and the younger generation have never heard of Don Shula. 5.5/10

E Trade

Better than the first E Trade spot, this one is built around the concept of all it takes is one finger. The punch line suggests once you use the mouse of your computer you can offer your broker the middle finger salute as you bid him adieu. 7/10

Snapple: Green Tea

Snapple’s debut Super Bowl spot wasn’t that good, and worked for the most part. Someone holding a bottle of green tea is seen climbing up (imagine a retreat high in the Himalayans) and asks what is the secret ingredient in green tea. Punch line it was one of the bottle. 5.5/10

Hannibal Rising

The latest in the Hannibal Lecter series of movies, this time young Hannibal. The movie opens Friday, hits the right audience and was near the end of the game. 6.5/10

Budweiser: King Crab

The last of the Bud spots features a group of king crabs stealing some Budweiser from beach goers. Funny, well if you’ve reviewed more than 50 Super Bowl spots, published the biggest Super Bowl DailyDoses in the nine years of SBN’s history, the spot just doesn’t work that well. 4/10

HP Computers

The last spot that ran in the game featured the leader of Orange Country Choppers (who also appeared in the Godaddy.com office spot) Very good and creative, did a good job of delivering their message. 7/10

For Sports Business News.com this is Howard Bloom

Labels: , , ,