You knew we couldn't resist our own opinions on the Super Bowl spots - especially when the game was so bad people were going to the bathroom during the game. So we recruited some fellow Egotists - The Minneapolis Egotist from the midwest, The NY Egotist from the east coast and The London Egotist from across the pond - to give us critiques of the big game commercials. Got your favorites (or most hated)? Leave your picks in the comment section.
Budweiser – Puppy Love
SF: Come on. You’ve got puppies, horses and beer. Who doesn’t love those three? Yes, it’s taking the easy road and the creatives didn’t have to say a single thing about the product, but this is a spot your mom will be talking about.
LONDON: Budweiser and their Clydesdale horses are the closest thing a US brand has to genuine heritage. So they wheel them out every year to remind us. Even us Brits are starting to get that. But who's the target here? Beer-swilling jocks or soccer moms? This is so saccharine, it's making us gag. Does it position Bud to the ladies as the beer of choice for the sensitive wife-beater?
NY: We’re Budweiser. We love puppies, and the men and women of the U.S.
Military, and patriotism, and ‘Murica, and whoever else might want to get drunk and make out with twins after playing Arnold in a game of whatever.
MINNEAPOLIS: Conceptually and creatively this is an absolutely terrible spot; but, it pulled at the heart strings of middle America. (We know because we live here.) The brief must of said, "Make Midwest mom fall in love with Bud."
Bud Light – Up For Whatever
SF: This wouldn’t be the first time Bud Light has spend a shitload of money on something that won’t sell any more beer. But this is probably the most expensive time.
MINNEAPOLIS: Hilarious. The teaser certainly had our Super Bowl party guessing and the copy line pay off at the end made this spot one of the front runners of the night for us. We were surprised to see something we like from the often "safe" Budweiser brand.
Budweiser – A Hero's Welcome
SFIt wouldn’t be a Super Bowl without a Bud spot pandering to our troops. It’s great you support our armed forces. A Super Bowl commercial isn’t the place to brag about it.
MINNEAPOLIS: Again, like the Puppy Love spot, this one was clearly intended to pull at the heart strings and nothing more; however, it was considerably better because of the real event, the authentic reactions, and the longer form video online.
Maserati – Now We Strike
SF: Um… huh?
NY: Maserati just lost to Jaguar worse than the Broncos lost to the Seahawks.
MINNEAPOLIS: Although serious spots often get talked over at every Super Bowl party, we did enjoy the craft of this spot and, when viewed in silence after, it does have a nice bit of power to the pay off.
Audi – Doberhuahua
SF: Funny. Original. Well produced. Tied to a consumer benefit. People will remember this one.
MINNEAPOLIS: We have to say that this is the clear front runner of the night on our end. Weird, funny, and great production value. Not only is it funny; but, it had a clear pay off and connection to the product.
NY: A crazy dog? You’ve got our attention. Now what was it you weren’t willing to compromise on? We missed that part.
Axe – Make Love Not War
SF: Where’s the juvenile humor? Where’s the hot, barely legal chicks? We’ve got to say, this was refreshingly mature for Axe.
NY: Axe used to be for douche bags. Now Axe is for sensitive douche bags.
MINNEAPOLIS: We loved this spot. Axe has become so formulaic that they've become completely forgettable. They have to switch up like Old Spice to stay fresh and they've done it in a dramatically, cool new way.
Beats – Goldilocks with Ellen
SF: After a campaign starring Kevin Garnett, Collin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman that’s as intense as you get, throwing Ellen in a Goldilocks spot just seems like pandering. Oh yeah, and it was terrible.
MINNEAPOLIS: Not as funny as we were hoping a spot starring Ellen would be and as a result it wasn't very memorable. However, they did clearly communicate the benefit of the product. The question is, will anyone remember it since the ad wasn't that terribly memorable?
NY: Good use of Ellen, but not as good as her American Express spot.
Butterfinger – Therapy
SF: Horrible. Not funny. In fact, if we weren’t so drunk by the time this spot came on, we may have thrown something heavy at the TV.
MINNEAPOLIS: One of our least favorite ads of the night. It had a fun concept; but, such bad execution from the actors and editing that it didn't come off that terribly funny to us. We are curious to hear what our readers thought though.
Carmax – Slow Clap
SF: Holy shit, someone got paid to make this?
LONDON: The idea was that it had a twin commercial featuring puppies. It implied there was a puppy Superbowl. Is that true? What happened to the Lingerie-Bowl? So, while the puppy version was a bit of fun, the main ad was just a bit part player. Slow claps, we get that - kudos for going to CarMax - but no reasons to believe, just clapping.
MINNEAPOLIS: There were a few moments in this spot that felt funny; but, we were so focused on who was going to clap next that we forget what they were marketing by the end of the spot.
NY: The claps are slow. Just like the spot.
Cheerios – Gracie
SF: In 2014, this inter-racial spot should not be news. It should merely be a cute commercial and nothing more.
NY: D’awwwww… interracial marriage. D’awwww… more puppies. Next.
MINNEAPOLIS: As we've posted about previously, this spot is memorable not for the content of the spot itself; but, because a middle America corporation had the balls to stand up for what they believed in when faced with clear bigotry. They get a standing slow clap from us. (Maybe the Carmax ad was clapping for this?)
Chevy – Romance
SF: We almost wrote this spot off as another boring Chevy spot. But the end made us, and all the people at our party laugh. So consider this one a win.
MINNEAPOLIS: We were surprised to see Chevrolet make a truly funny spot that felt current. Nice work. Maybe they're improving their spots?
NY: Bull pimps drive Chevy trucks.
Chevy – Cancer Day
SF: Way to co-opt cancer to sell a truck. We’ve hit an all-time low.
NY: Get it? They’re on the road?
MINNEAPOLIS: We spoke to soon. Now the same company is using cancer to sell trucks and created a poorly done ad to do it.
Chobani – Ransacked
SF: This one was a good idea… when it was explained to us. Everyone at our party looked around and asked what the hell Chobani was.
MINNEAPOLIS: Fun work and good pay off. By this time though our party kept asking what was up with all of the brown bears in ads this year?
NY: Bears are jerks. At least they didn’t sap it up with puppies.
Chrysler – Dylan
SF: Bob Dylan – Car Salesman. An entire generation just got kicked in the balls.
MINNEAPOLIS: We were surprised to see Bob Dylan "sell out" for a car ad. Yet, we were even more surprised to see such a powerful figure make the least powerful of the iconic Super Bowl spots that Chrysler has become known for. Def a good spot; but, after the "Imported from Detroit" and "Second Half" spots (which set an impossibly high bar) we expected a bit more.
Coke - Going All The Way
SF: As we said last week, this one missed so many details, it seems like the people who wrote it had never even seen a football game. The whole payoff was just so… obvious.
MINNEAPOLIS: A cute spot; but, a bit confusing when he keeps running and running and running. They should of cut it down a bit and got to the pay off quicker.
NY: Not the greatest Super Bowl spot we’ve ever seen, but cute. We like it.
LONDON: All football and no Coke. Just felt schmaltzy and lazy. A pack shot with puppies and some tinkly piano would have done the same job.
Coke – America is Beautiful
SF: Just singing a patriotic song and showing some pictures of diverse people does not a concept make and does not a soda sell.
NY: Heartwarming. Sentimental. Corny, but Coke can get away with it.
MINNEAPOLIS: We love the idea behind this spot of showing the beauty in the diversity of our country; but, we don't think the production value, editing, or final product in general really paid it off. By the end it felt almost like we were looking at a well done stock video site.
Doritos – Time Machine
SF: Eh. Kind of entertaining. But honestly, we just saw this ad 3 minutes ago and couldn’t tell you the connection to Doritos at all.
MINNEAPOLIS: Loved it. A funny amateur spot.
NY: Time Machine –
This was funny. Like just about every other Doritos commercial we’ve ever seen. At least they’ve got the common courtesy to try and be original with
GoDaddy - Quitter
SF: We had high hopes for this one. Seemed like an original concept that had potential. But the payoff went nowhere. We had no idea who she was, what job she was quitting or why. Big miss.
MINNEAPOLIS: We LOVED the teaser for this ad and this was the one we were very excitedly looking forward to seeing; however, the pay off felt very bland. Maybe because it felt so staged and the woman had a soft smile while quitting through a puppet? If this person was overjoyed, more authentic, or had just the tiniest smidge of bitterness it could of come off so much cooler and memorable.
GoDaddy – Spray Tan
SF: After years of ripping GoDaddy’s sophomoric spots, we have to cheer this one. Funny stuff that communicated a real benefit for small businesses.
MINNEAPOLIS: Loved it. We have to admit though that many people at our party didn't get it because they didn't know what GoDaddy actually did or that the audience was meant to infer that it was the spray tan owner's website that got the stampede of body builders to her shop. If they had added a quick shot of her website going up, this spot would of been golden
NY: We hear GoDaddy’s grown up so we’re expecting… heyyyyyy… all they’ve done is replace naked chicks with naked dudes.
H&M – Beckham
SF: Every single woman - and ok, we’ll admit it, every single guy – stopped what they were doing to watch this. Now it’s halftime and people are still talking about it. That means it was good, right?
MINNEAPOLIS: An attractive, famous, half-naked man running around in his fashion underwear. Yes, people stopped and watched. And yes, many women, and some men, will remember this and rewatch it later...
Heinz – If You’re Happy and You Know It.
SF: Oh good god. It's their first foray into Super Bowl advertising in 16 years and Heinz Ketchup does a spot with humming, incorrect ketchup application and a fart joke with an old lady.
NY: Reminded us of a Coke commercial. Pretty sure that was the brief.
MINNEAPOLIS: Our team hated this ad because it was going after the lowest hanging fruit of an idea. Yet, we have to admit that our party got a huge laugh from this and talked about it throughout a few ad breaks. So it probably was a winner and as much as we don't like admitting it.
Honda – Bruce Willis
SF: Client: “So we’ve got Bruce Willis and Fred Armisen signed up… figure out something to do.”
NY: They should’ve kept zooming out and shown more celebs hugging. Expensive, but it’s a Super Bowl commercial. Blow that shit out, yo.
MINNEAPOLIS: Funny. It's always a challenge to find a funny, memorable way to talk about safety and Honda did it. Our party especially loved the use of their hashtag #HugFest.
Hyundai – Nice
SF: We’ve rewatched this 4 times and still have no idea what the point was.
MINNEAPOLIS: We think we might be missing something in this spot. We have to say it is among the worst because we aren't quite sure what they are trying to say.
NY: Nice rhyming. Nice spot.
Hyundai – Dad’s 6th Sense
SF: Our favorite spot of the Super Bowl so far. Funny from start to finish with a great, clear benefit.
NY: Last year it was refreshing to see dad as a good guy. This year, we’re happy to say it’s just a normal thing.
LONDON: This was the best of the lot. No superstars, no exotic locations, no spending dollars just to make a splash, this had a genuine idea in it - and as such, stood out from the rest. The way they captured near-misses so convincingly was as impressive as the insight. But then the other Hyundai commercial (Elantra: "Nice") was shit. That did have an actor we recognized but the only ideas we could spot were having words that rhymed and a hashtag. Gotta have a hashtag.
MINNEAPOLIS: We love that the ad was effective in communicating the cool new technology of the vehicle and in pulling at the heart strings a bit by playing off of the father son bond. Yet, there wasn't a laugh out loud or "ahhhh" moment for us. Not extremely memorable except for the car's cool new tech (which probably isn't a bad thing).
GoldiBlox – Intuit Winner
SF: After the whole Beastie Boys fiasco, we’re surprised to see them use another famous 80’s song. But congrats to the Oakland company for winning the Intuit contest and getting to the big game.
MINNEAPOLIS: We love that GoldiBlox keeps turning out nicely done ads that simply celebrate the idea of girls getting together to create things that are driven by science and physics.
Jaguar – Rendezvous
SF: Big budget, amazingly well-produced spot that sets up a fun idea for Jaguar – It’s good to be bad. We liked it.
NY: Are the bad guys always played by Brits? We don’t care. Great spot. Good branding by an otherwise stodgy car company.
LONDON: Good heavens. An idea! Maybe were pre-disposed to like this one but it had real insight, wit, style and actors that can act. An enjoyable romp. A truth well told.
MINNEAPOLIS: There is some great production value to this spot and there is a fun idea to the ad; but, we couldn't help wondering if using the image of snooty, full-of-themselves British men would sell an American on buying one of their cars.
Jeep – Built Free
SF: This spot would have been much better without the disclaimers on the bottom saying “Do Not Attempt.”
MINNEAPOLIS: We thought this ad was ok. It felt like they were mashing up the work of Jeep's old stuff by W+K and the Levi's "Frontier" campaign in this spot; but, something about it felt really flat in spite of the fact that they were trying to be philosophical.
NY: No real idea? Write your way out.
Kia – The Truth
SF: When the best pop culture reference you can muster is a movie from 1999, you probably should have kept concepting.
NY: Nothing says cutting edge like referencing a 90’s sci-fi movie.
MINNEAPOLIS: Man, this is really dated. We love the Matrix; but, talk about creating an ad that the new generation has no idea what you are talking about. After all, this movie is about 15 years old.
LONDON: Wow - Laurence Fishburne looks 'healthy'. Why's he playing Morpheous 11 years after the last film in the Matrix franchise? What's the Matrix got to do with anything? And how huge was their budget? Is it a tax-avoidance thing?
M&M – Kidnapped
SF: Really? You created an elaborate teaser campaign for a horrible joke about getting put on ice cream?
MINNEAPOLIS: The teaser and payoff were cute and funny; but, as always with M&M they weren't very "laugh out loud."
NY: Unexpected. Made us laugh. That’s what we like on Super Bowl Sunday.
Microsoft – Empowering
SF: We were all set to mock another crappy Microsoft ad. But… daMinneapolis. This was good. And human. And emotional.
NY: Who loves our troops more? Budweiser? Or Microsoft?
MINNEAPOLIS: Although it is mostly just a mashup of found footage, we really liked where they took this spot and the feeling that it left you with.
Oikos (Dannon) – The Spill
SF: Creatives: “So here’s the idea – we get together the cast of Full House to make a blow-job joke.”
MINNEAPOLIS: We still can't believe this is real. We almost always love sex humor; but, this spot, that had heavy handed innuendos of blow jobs mashed up with the warm, nostalgic feelings of "Full House," felt awkward and weird.
NY: John Stamos is getting a little over the hill to be a lead.
Paramount Pictures – Transformers
SF: Marky Mark and robotic dragons. We’ve seen gas station restrooms more appealing than this.
NY: This franchise should be extinct.
Soda Stream – Scarlett Johansen
SF: If you enjoy ScarJo giving 25% effort and being fake sexy, you might have liked this spot. If you don't enjoy lame jokes about going "viral" and punch lines that don't punch, you probably hit the john when this one came on.
LONDON: Soda stream ran out of budget and ideas when they signed up Scarlett Johansson. No one's come out of this well - least of all the viewer.
NY: Whoa. So hotttt. We’re all rushing out to get a Soda Stream right now. We just hope there’s still some left. Just kidding.
MINNEAPOLIS: We thought this ad was suppose to be banned until we realized that they removed the reference to Coke and Pepsi at the end of the spot. With that removed, what is the point of this spot again?
SquareSpace – A Better Web Awaits
SF: This does not make us like Squarespace. This makes us not want to sleep at night.
MINNEAPOLIS: We enjoyed this spot; but, it might be because our team loves Squarespace. What do you think?
NY: Looks like this was a fun shoot to do casting for. If we were the target audience, we’d consider Squarespace for our website. But we’re not in the market.
T-Mobile – No Contract, No Problem
SF: This is the best thing Tim Tebow has ever done within the course of a football game.
NY: Way to use the NFL’s most popular benchwarmer in a Super Bowl spot.
T-Mobile – Still No Contract
SF: We take that back – THIS is the best thing Tebow has ever done. Who knew he could be so funny on purpose? This is one of our favorite spots of the whole game.
MINNEAPOLIS: Like a few spots tonight we liked the idea behind the spot; but, the execution was off and it was devoid of laugh out loud moments.
Toyota – No Room for Boring
SF: The title of this spot is the most ironic thing we saw all game… other than “Peyton Manning, MVP.”
MINNEAPOLIS: Any spot with Animal is a spot we like. That is all.
LONDON: We love The Muppets. We like Terry Crews (we only know him from the Old Spice ads). We don't mind Toyota. But what does any one have to do with the other? Car crash.
NY: We dig the Muppets crossover. Cute. Family friendly. Terry Crews though. Where’d he come from?
Turbo Tax – Prom
SF: WTF was that?
NY: It’s amazing what some good copywriting can do. Great spot. Best writing of the night.
MINNEAPOLIS: We loved the storytelling in this spot and the strong tie to the Super Bowl; but, the connection back to the product was tenuous at best.
VW – Wings
SF: Fun, memorable, and a clever way to tie in the 100,000 mile claim. This one should do well in the post-SB polling.
MINNEAPOLIS: We loved the idea behind this spot; but, it isn't truly laugh out loud funny until the last few seconds. Hell it was the man's reaction as the rainbow shot out of his butt. This ad proves that casting the right talent really does still count.
NY: We like the wings. The wings are funny.
London: Well conceived and fantastically executed. Wit, craft and a great way to deliver a potentially dull message - our cars run and run.
Pistachios – Colbert
SF: Colbert made these spots somewhat palatable. But he’s still not getting us to buy nuts.
NY: Forgettable first spot. Wonderful second spot. Overall? Meh.
MINNEAPOLIS: The first ad felt a bit bland especially considering the fact that it was starring Stephen Colbert; but, the awesome media buy and the pay off of the second ad made this one of the front running spots for us. Who doesn't love seeing Colbert crack open his own head?