Scoring the 2007 SUPER BOWL ADS: Five Star Players and a Couple of Goats.
Like last year, the winner of this year’s Ad Super Bowl had to be Anheuser-Busch with five great spots and a few that were merely very good. A line from the “Classroom" spot gets our vote for Most likely to make it into popular vernacular: “Gimme a Bud Light, Feller.” This one was multicultural without being politically incorrect. Just fun. And how many product mentions do they get into this spot? Nearly a dozen, and without being offensive. Brilliant.
Another example of a star player was Bud Light’s “Axe” spot. This one was solidly in the vein of “True” comedy from start to finish. “I’m sure there’s a reason for it” is a savvy way of saying guys dismiss anything for a Bud Light. The spot gets even better when the guy actually stops and asks the hitchhiker about the axe. Of course, it’s a bottle opener. Great spot.
E-trade had several good spots but the standout was “What you can do with one finger.” This one had the perfect VO, great editing, direction and camera angles PLUS it used fun choices as examples before the punch line. Even when it comes to telling your expensive broker where to go, all it takes is one finger. Entertaining, persuasive, and a good use of humor.
What’s the big controversy over Nationwide and K-Fed? It’s very funny and a great follow up to last year’s Fabio spot. Things CAN change overnight and Federline being self-deprecating enough to appear in this spot makes him infinitely more likeable.
There was a lot of attention on Doritos “Create your own ads” contest this year. One (“Cheesy”) uses a cool freeze frame art/animation technique and is fun until the woman ends up on her hands and knees. Instead, the “Checkout Girl” spot (Giddy up!) was a great way to showcase all the flavors and even slides in comments on each. It’s nice that they didn’t use a skinny model as the checkout girl. This is a very original and professional looking spot and gets better and better until the crammed-in ”obligatory crunch bite.”
Bottom Feeders: the Top Five Losers
King Pharmaceuticals “Gotta have heart” was heartless! Awful. I was hoping the black limo would be the product to the rescue, but no, more horrible abuse and the poor heart guy is thrown into a wall and lies in rubble as the tagline comes up. Hardly inspires confidence in product or hope it will come to your aid.
In the Mars Snickers spot, we were told we could vote on multiple endings at afterthekiss.com. The one that wins after the exclamation “Quick do something manly” (ripping out chest hair) wasn’t very good but slightly better than the other endings offered online (drinking motor oil, a third mechanic asking to join the Love Boat and a smack with a wrench in the gut). There was only one product shot (incorporated early) and men kissing is not going to inspire a lot of guys to buy Snickers – especially with the product shot looking like a turd and the tagline of “Most Satisfying.”
Coke had a few good spots (the take-off on Grand Theft Auto was one and Black History month tribute another), but the animated Coca-Cola marathon about what happens before the bottle drops in a vending machine was wildly over-produced. It seemed to be trying for enchanting, but just came off as creepy.
All in all, not an outstanding year for Super Bowl ads, but it’s great to see ad contests anyone can enter—and even better seeing the results. “Checkout Girl” was as good (if not better) than any Doritos ad I’ve ever seen--as was the NFL spot of dejected fans saying goodbye to the season. In all this push to recruit "home-made" ads, it’s apparent that there was plenty of creative talent on the sidelines this year.