AOL just now released its results for the top-ranked ads in its 6th Annual AOL Super Sunday Ad Poll, sponsored by Verizon. Here's the top five:
1. Budweiser Clydesdale/dalmatian ad
2. Bridgestone squirrel spot
3. Coca-Cola's Balloons
4. Life Water's Thriller
5. E-Trade's talking baby spot
"Advertisers bring their 'A' games to the Super Bowl commercials, and Budweiser scored an impressive victory this year as the best of the best," gushed GM Derrick Heggans of AOL Sports. Nothing new there.
Gotta say we're glad the Coke Balloons spot made it into somebody's top five. But what'd we tell you? There's no beating Rocky. Maybe next time, Charlie Brown.
Oh how the morning after brings clarity to the prior evening's dalliances. After having obsessively consumed over 40 ads, analyzing them and then writing about them all within a three to four hour period, we sat down this morning with a cup of coffee and did what ad people to the morning after: we watched the game again. Or, to clarify, we fast forwarded through the game and watched the commercials
We laughed. We smiled. We grinned. We even enjoyed that Will Ferrell commercial. And, we bathed in the beauty of Coke's beautiful balloon ballet. In the heat of the battle, people can be harsh and in some cases, we were. But from the perspective of the average viewer not hunched over a computer or in front of a conference room screen, most of the ads weren't so bad.
- The Pats have spoiled what may have been a historic football streak. Can you say performance anxiety? Somebody could have made a killing selling warm crying towels in the locker room after game time.
- No matter how exciting a game is, shouting "GO BARACK" in the AdGabber Super Bowl chat room will result in a half-hour-long political death match.
- "Plaxico Burress" sounds like it belongs on a big pharma's drug pipeline.
- Bud Light failed to impress. Well, this was all right.
- The question of the night: Who thought the SalesGenie ads were racist? We didn't much notice -- but then again, we were also sharking Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts after that racist tee fiasco.
- eTrade spots: Latent trauma or the quiet mark of an Ally McBeal fan?
- Coke dives into the Super Bowl -- traditional Pepsi territory -- and accomplishes two goliathan tasks: mending American politics for :60 over Jinx (have you got a better idea?), and recapturing America with "Balloon". The AdGabber chat room is screaming (or rather, furiously typing) "Charlie Brown! Did you SEE CHARLIE BROWN!" for the next 10 minutes -- a cheer only seconded by "BANANAS!" when, for some reason, the Super Bowl camera guys take a few wistful shots of some browning bananas on the sidelines.
Good game. Last-minute crowning glory for the Giants? Very The Art of War.
"It was the art of bad football," snarled twinzdad6 from the AdGabber chat room.
OK, we're not complaining but if half time Super Bowl acts keep going in the direction they have been, they're going to have to resurrect Chuck Berry. At the risk of igniting the firestorm we did last year when we seemed to be the only people who had unkind things to say about Prince's halftime show, we're going to go easy this year. And with good reason. Tom Petty did a fine job.
Petty performed all his usual classics on a very cool looking stage shaped and designed like a guitar. We actually enjoyed the show. See? We can be nice sometimes.
By now you've heard the spot GoDaddy's Bob Parsons wants you to see won't air during the game. The spot(s) that will air feature a crowd of people at a party scene. In one, White Light, Candice Michelle makes her appearance in a doorway to a transfixed audience. In another, Spot On, Danica Patrick teases the crowd to check her out online in her "OMG! Fox Rejected Commercial!" So after the game, if you care, that's where you can see Danica and that whole beaver thing.
We're going back to sleep now.
Slapping down the UK's Advertising Standards Authority which didn't like a recent ad Ryanair ran in three newspaper which featured an image of a model in a school girl outfit with the copy, "Hottest. back to School Fares," Ryanair head of communications Peter Sherrard said, "This isn't advertising regulation, it is simply censorship. This bunch of unelected self-appointed dimwits are clearly incapable of fairly and impartially ruling on advertising."
Sherrard went on to site the common practice of British newspapers which feature topless women within their pages on a regular basis and stated the airline would not withdraw the ad as requested by the ASA which received 13 complaints.
Advertising Age's Laura Martinez comically comments on the launch of a line of jeans from Fiorana which are cut to accommodate the stereotypically Latina butt such as the ones attached to Jennifer Lopez, America Ferrara or Vida Guerra (OK, she's Cuban but still).
Fiorana President Mike Braden tells us, "The Latina body is different in waist and hip structure. When wearing Anglo cut jeans, there is always a fit problem around the waist area." Martinez ponders the point by wondering why she, who is of Latina descent, does not possess the bootylicious qualities Braden seems to believe all Latina women possess.
What the hell is going on with the Wall Street Journal? Pity the poor media planner who once was able to make a media buy that pretty much insured they'd reach some financially savvy folks who were reading the Journal for its razor-focused coverage of financial matter. But, then came the Weekend edition with its fluffy entertainment news. And then there was the Personal Journal which covered...who knows...fixing your kitchen sink? Now, thanks to Rupert Murdoch, the paper is getting a sports section.
WTF? The Wall Street Journal writing about sports? WTF? Sure the paper's readers interests beyond financial but how much blandification can a media property take on before it becomes just another daily newspaper that's so broad it appeals to no one and suffers dramatic circulation declines like every other paper in the nation? It makes no sense. But, hey, we're not Rupert Murdoch so we could be wrong.
You can look at this Firebrand video promoting its Road to Monday Super Bowl program this week as being somewhat comical in its efforts to portray the insanity in which we all engage regarding Super Bowl ads. Or you can look at it as a lame effort, cheesily produced with the unattainable goal of getting people to actually care about advertising. Of course, if there were any time of year the average Joe would care about advertising, it would be surrounding the Super Bowl.
CEO Alan Siegel of Siegel & Gale put together a manifesto of what brand messages each of the Election 2008 candidates are conveying. Among other things, John McCain is read as the "straight-talking rebel."
Oh, we cannot emphasize how painfully we winced when we heard "The MAC is BACK!" pouring out of New Hampshire. Can't politicans just leave rap -- and any music, really -- alone? Bulworth was a movie, not a career blueprint.
Hillary Clinton, Siegel adds, undermines her "Leading Brand" role by attacking "Challenger Brand" Barack Obama.
How very Coke vs. Pepsi. Just one more reason to avoid frothy drinks and frothy speeches. Read full text below.