The Good and Bad of 2011’s Super Bowl Ads

This past Sunday millions of us tuned into Super Bowl XLV.  I didn’t really pay attention to football this season and so I couldn’t pick a favorite team during the game (Pats weren’t in so I didn’t really care).  While the rest of the family got excited watching the game I got excited during commercial breaks.

Was it just me or were there a lot of Bud and Doritos commercials?  I can’t remember all of them but I do remember that I found the Doritos commercial with the guy going around licking people’s fingers and pants very disturbing and gross.

You know I’m going to say that the Darth Vader commercial takes the win.  It was absolutely adorable and I can totally relate to that kid and how awesome he must have felt to be able to do something with his “power.”  It was a great feel-good ad.  Honestly, it’s the only commercial that really caught my attention and stuck in my mind.Chrysler’s commercial featuring Eminem was pretty good.  I’m sure all those Detroitans felt some pride.  I know I felt a tiny bit of pride watching it. 

I love Groupon but shame on them for producing such a commercial.  A week before the Super Bowl I had found out from Ad Age that Groupon bought a spot and so I was really intrigued by what they would do.  Groupon exploited tragedy in Tibet to promote their business.  I didn’t realize that the people in Tibet were facing such hardship and I made a mental note to do some research to see what’s going on there.  Suddenly there’s a man sitting in a Tibetan restaurant talking about the deal he got from Groupon the restaurant in Chicago.  I’ve read numerous articles about how people everywhere (and on all social media platforms) are voicing their displeasure.  It was a bad ad and Groupon released an apology statement but I must admit that they did create quite the stir with this controversial ad.  Maybe that’s what they were trying to do?  I’m sure people who had never heard of them before that commercial definitely know who they are now.
Along with Groupon, the HomeAway commercial was horrible.  It started off fine until they decided that flinging a baby across the room into a window would help.  It was not made clear that it was supposed to be a test dummy baby and it didn’t help that the dummies facial features seemed to move and make it a bit life-like.  The commercial was just plain wrong but I did look up HomeAway after to see what it was about.  I’ll admit I might use them in the future…hopefully they don’t harm babies in the process.
Most of these commercials didn’t make me want to go buy their product (besides the Audi commercial but that’s because I’m a proud Audi owner).  I can remember a few commercials but not the product they were trying to promote. 
I agree with one article written by Johnathan S. Baskin on Ad Age that said these commercials didn’t do much for the brands.  “If your answer is that advertising on the Super Bowl isn’t supposed to sell stuff — but rather participate in a big event, cause brand recognition or whatever — you’re allowing yourself to be distracted by creative. If your advertising isn’t supposed to sell, you’re not supposed to pay for it.” 
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