Monday, February 02, 2015

Favorite Super Bowl Spots

61. That's the number of home runs Roger Maris hit for the New York Yankees in 1961. It's also the number of Super Bowl Commercials I viewed and rated for USA Today's Ad Meter, a consumer rating and ranking of those ads.

But only four made my list of "home runs." They scored a perfect "10" on my list. They moved me in some way, made me remember the advertiser, and even raised my respect for the company and/or product a notch or two.

A few - such as the Snickers "Brady Bunch" commercial, came with too much pre-game hype and while it was definitely a quality spot, it had been so over-exposed it didn't move me enough to bump it up to the "10" range.

There were a number of commercials that I consider to have earned an Honorable Mention by ranking a "9" on my scorecard. Like this very fine work by NoMore.Org, a group dedicated to stopping domestic violence:

Why did I give it a "9"? The website - which is the key piece of information you need to see in that ad - is all the way at the end of a sentence that is left on the screen for an all too short a time at the very end of the spot. That address should have been up front, and that kept it from perfection.

Mindy Kaling's "Invisible" ad is another one I ranked a "9" ... I thoroughly enjoyed the commercial but it didn't make a "10" because I couldn't remember who the sponsor was or what the product was. And I loved the self-parodies Pierce Brosnan and Liam Neeson did for Kia and the Clash of the Clans tablet/phone app, respectively. Very well done, funny, and memorable ... just not moving. They didn't make me want to go out and buy a Kia or start playing the game. By the way, here are some links to those ads.

The Kim Kardashian self-parody for T-Mobile simply reminded me that no one really knows why she's a celebrity. Hated it.

But you didn't come here to read about the runner-ups. Here, then, are the four ads I picked as having "knocked it out of the park" in terms of hitting all the right emotional notes, memorability, and persuasiveness.

#4: Fiat's Blue Pill

It was funny, it was whimsical, it was full of impossible physics, and the ending brought it back full circle, with a perfect little epilogue. And all throughout, the little blue Fiat logo (not coincidental, I assure you) hid up in the right corner, letting us know this was all about a car. Loved it.

#3: Budweiser's Lost Dog

This is actually another one that received a lot of media attention prior to the game, but I loved it, anyway. The Anheuser-Busch ad agency started a story last Super Bowl (called "Puppy Love") about an unlikely dog-horse best friendship. And it worked. Still does. I'm raising a glass to you, Budweiser, and I love your Clydesdales. P.S. - *hated* all your other commercials this year. P.S.S. - the band behind that beautiful cover of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" is called Sleeping At Last.

#2: McDonald's Pay With Lovin'

I recently read that McDonald's hired a new CEO to restore the company's failing reputation. If this is his first salvo toward renovating that storied franchise, I'm excited about what might yet be coming. The spot was creative, affirming, and made me want to go eat there again.

#1: Always' Like A Girl

I'll tell you what, I am thoroughly a man, but this commercial makes me want to go out and buy their feminine hygiene products just to support the flippin' company. For me, it was the most impressive ad of the evening.

So there you have it. And in case any of you were wondering, my pick for worst commercial of this year's Super Bowl (and possibly the entire decade) was the one created for LocTite Glue. It was so bad I won't even link to it.

You can see all 62 commercials (apparently I missed one), at the Ad Meter site.


Mark's Musings is published on an occasional basis but that may change without notice. Find me on Twitter at This blog is considered to be a digital periodical publication and is filed as such with the U.S. Library of Congress; ISSN 2154-9761. I also greatly enjoyed Mophie's "All Powerless" and the two Esurance spots.

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