When we heard Sunsilk tapped design firm Desgrippes Gobe, Paris and BrandThinkTank to compose its Super Bowl spot -- which features images of Madonna, Shakira and Marilyn Monroe -- we pictured something deliciously Warholian and mod. We thought it would make sensuous sport of our eyes and ears.
Instead there was this.
We watched it twice to be sure of its suckage. We are now certain. The pictures and music should flow, but the ad feels like it missed a much-needed appointment with the cutting room. It's all too much like a YouTube mashup.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty put together this spot, "Dalmatian," for Miller Lite. Feast your eyes on some feel-good dalmatians chasing a branded truck which, just for the heck of it, takes a friendly jab at Bud Light.
Exciting, right? Oh, wait. No.
There's something apocalyptic about this Monster spot by BBDO, NY. Called "Daybreak," the premise is you shouldn't have to fight Monday. To illustrate that, a bunch of people knock down their satellite dishes, grab trashcan covers and run out to do battle against the sun -- only to walk off in defeat when the sun rises anyway.
The ad made us sad. Can't a comparison be made against this futile race to beat sunrise, and the lame way we trudged (hung OVER) into the office and passive-aggressively trawled eBay for the first three hours of the morning?
The ad debuted in early January (another debuted during Lost last night), and is part of "Your Calling is Calling." Maybe we find the spots such a consistent bummer because that slogan sounds so promising. Shouldn't Sally Housewife be cupping her ear to the kitchen window and listening for the sunny Higher Calling (inevitably, her dormant talent as a Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist)?
So there's this BBC show. It's called Neighbours and it's changing stations to channel Five. To make the transition as smooth as possible, Five tapped VCCP, which came up with this sunny little print and bus campaign.
All the characters are featured in ha-ha-you-love-us! fashion, under intersecting street signs that read "Same Ramsay St." and "New home." We were like, Hey, this looks festive. Neat wallabee.
Then we thought, Why are there so many parrots in this picture? The enigma drove us to Google, where we found this.
Suburban parrot diaspora. Only in the wild and wacky UK -- or, in the case of Neighbours, Australia, apparently.
It's a Super Bowl buzzkill, courtesy of Partnership for a Drug Free America. In this spot, a languishing drug dealer tells you he's going broke because your kids are getting high out of the medicine cabinet.
Mom and dad, better watch the fill line on that Robitussin.
The ad is credited to DraftFCB, NY. This is the first time in four years the White House has produced a Super Bowl spot. Election time's coming, the GOP clearly needs a new topic -- what beats the war on prescription medication?
Hi, I'm American Airlines. I've got some wad to blow on a :30 Super Bowl 2008 spot, but oh, I can't be bothered to put together anything new.
Ooh, wait. What about this old thing? It'll fit right in. It's got an annoying co-worker, a team-building exercise (Super Bowl ads are big on bandwagon!), some awkward humor, and a pungent element of escapism. Hey. Think someone might confuse it for a Bud Light ad?
It's perfect. Thanks, TM Advertising! Bet you didn't know this little gem would play a starring role in the biggest ad play of the year ... did you?
Lou D'Ermilio of Fox told Bloomberg they've sold out their Super Bowl spots earlier than in any of the five years Fox has hosted the game.
He won't say who scored the last :30 buy or for how much (it was probably just GoDaddy angling for more airtime), but the spots started at $2.6 million and later sold for up to $3 million. 90 percent of them were sold before the writers strike started in early November.
In 2006 TNS Media reported a record average asking price for Super Bowl ads at $2.5 million. At this point, $2.5 mill for a :30 spot must look to advertisers like $2.50 for the price of gasoline does to a northern Californian.
To prep us for our own game day (February 3!), SOLdesignfx for Allstate sent us a parable about an undervalued kicker who wins the game. Oh, and you also get to see the Allstate guy with the soothing voice. We haven't seen him since Allstate got all badass.
Sadly, he isn't featured in the other two ads -- "Statue," where two wankers hold their breath for a bronzed Bobby Bowden, and "Diner."
It's the traditional insurance ad premise: the unexpected can happen. Swaddle your peace of mind in the loving arms of Allstate.
"A Magical Amount," by Arnold and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, starts out like a typical Truth ad: cigarette traps, a bullhorn and a bamboozled-looking group of people. Then a unicorn showed up, and there was singing, and...
Wow, just ... wow. Seriously. Wow.
You really have to watch it. The premise is tobacco companies don't want to kill you, but don't want to prevent addiction either, so there's a "magical amount" of nicotine in cigarettes. But tune out the arsenic talk and the animated oxygen mask, and you'd swear it was a superb cereal ad.
Match.com swears if in six months you don't live out a love story with someone from its site, you can have six more months of free service to make up for it.
Not all tell-worthy stories end happily though. Sometimes you get locked out or hosed -- which, now that we think about it, isn't nearly as bad a fate as this one.