A good ad grabs our attention, draws us in, make us laugh, cry or think. And most importantly, an effective ad indelibly brands your mark on our brain while making us want to buy now.
Super Bowl ads often skip the branding and selling and stick to entertaining. It's such a shame to waste your ad budget on anything less than all three.
Here are my Monday Morning Ad Exec picks of Super Bowl advertising winners and losers. I'd love to read about your favorites in the comments.
Best of Show:
Google. In a sea of loud, colorful, over-the-top ads, Google's spot was a study in subtlety – selling all the the cool tools Google builds into it search engine without ever stepping away from the story. I was speechless. A flawless, amazing ad. I wanted to send flowers to the CMO and creatives that produced this spot.
Entertaining and Effective:
Snickers' Betty White spot made laugh while communicating Snickers brand benefit.
FloTV's Injury Report, Dodge's Drive What I Want and Dove's Man Life spots all empathized with the every man who's home life is run by women.
NFL Networks' Slo Mo spots with Arcade Fire celebrated the thrill of the game (not sure it sold the network).
Vizio's Internet Inside ad did a nice job of communicating all of your favorite parts of the internet are now available inside your TV with character from classic viral videos.
VW delivered a fun spot with there's a little Slugbug in every VW we make.
I have to admit I'm a sucker for the Cars.com Boy Genius campaign that's run for a few years.
Boring yet Effective:
I think Hyundai is going to be the big sales winner from tonight's Super Bowl. The Sonata campaign was well orchestrated, well produced and sold the car.
Entertaining and a Complete Waste of Your Ad Budget:
Kia crafted a fabulous piece of entertainment about classic children's toys coming to life for and awesome adventure. Unfortunately, no one will remember it was for Kia. What exactly was the ads message? Room for your kids AND their stuffed animals? Fail.
Bud Light, once again, made several entertaining ad spoofs this year without selling a single bottle of beer. These could have very well been Miller Lite ads.
Expensive. Ineffective. WTF?
Bridgestone may very well be the least effective advertiser on the planet. The Shamu spot was part Groundhog Day part Hangover and no part tires (I thought it was a Chevy Silverado ad). The second spot looked like a trailer for a MadMax/Back to the Future mashup or an ad for spandex. A mightily expensive FAIL. No one will remember the Bridgestone name or that they actually sell tires.
Of special note is the inverse relationship between the production budget & effectiveness in the Bridgestone vs Google spots. Not sure if we should blame the agency or the client. It takes BOTH to create ad magic.
Audi, one of my favorite brands, delivered a stinker with Green Police. No one will remember the car.
Career Builder and Monster both sold the idea of getting a new job without selling the idea of why to use them (in an economy where most consumers are afraid of losing their job). HotJob, Linkedin, Craigslist and the local paper classifieds will benefit for free.
Emerald Nuts continues to astound me with their ability to squander money, bore and confuse me and forget to sell.
Boost Mobile Super Bowl Shuffle was a complete train wreck. I wasn't even sure it was for Boost Mobile.
Not sure anyone will remember Coke advertised during the Super Bowl. Being average, forgettable or boring may be the biggest sin in the world of advertising.
Intel's human soundmark is the best in the biz. Their ads? Meh.
Doritos crowdsourced ads are not very good but I think their overall Super Bowl contest is a win.
Seeing double: Multiple ads featuring animals in hot tubs with models, little people, underwearers, beavers & tackling.
GoDaddy continues to go remarkable bad (but it drives traffic and name recognition). I've about ready to stop using the service because their ads and service are so bad (Read about GoDaddy's checkout upsell process. Domain names for $1855 http://j.mp/9tguBm ).
See all the ads on YouTube's AdBlitz: youtube.com/superbowl