A Copywriter’s Blog

The most popular Super Bowl ads, according to USAToday’s readers, as of this morning:

Screen Shot 2012-02-06 at 8.12.19 AM

You’ll note that three of the top 5 ads contain dogs, one contains a baby, and the contains anthropomorphic chocolate. Which makes me think about this Fed Ex spot from 2008:

I thought overall the ads were a hell of a lot stronger this year. There were a few notable exceptions. VW might have looked better if they hadn’t felt the need to end their spot by reminding you how much better last year’s spot was. or whoever that was sucked. And GoDaddy still wanted to make me and everyone I know secede from the human race. But then, they pride themselves on being such enormous douchetools that even the average frat boy feels the need to apologize to any girls around when their spots air. So good for them, I guess. Anything about Bud Light bored me.

But aside from those, I thought we had some actually funny, decent, ads. Hyundai had a great start. Audi made me angry right up until the last 10 seconds, when they made me laugh. The Tax company that talked about feeling free while a kid ran around trying to find a place to take a leak was priceless. For the first time in a good three or four years, I felt like people might be able to talk about a few of the ads the next day. Rather than just the 2 that didn’t suck that hard.

I am sad I never saw this ad for FirstBank air, although it was leaked a few days ago. Must have been a local buy, but I really like it anytime someone sets themselves apart by spending all the money for an ad buy and then doing nothing with it. Intelligently, of course.

FirstBank – Super Bowl Commercial from TDA_Boulder on Vimeo.

Check ‘em all out here.

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Obligatory Super Bowl Ad Post Ben Levy 7, February

I had a whole post ready to go so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it after watching the ads during the super bowl. And then I realized: I clearly have to post about the ads that ran during the super bowl. Oh well. Here we go:

Things I do not want to see in next year’s Super Bowl:

Talking babies. (E*Trade)
It was cute at first. It was. But we have YouTube now. And you are essentially a YouTube meme that has run it’s course. Stop now and I won’t have to make fun of you as badly as the others on this list.

Clydesdale (Budweiser)
You’re done. It’s been a good run, but I think you’ve run this campaign into the ground. It’s gone lame. Stop beating it. Your ads hurt more than these cliches.)

I hate you. I have always hated you. You have never given me a single reason to not hate you. I will continue to use you for hosting. Please understand that this is IN SPITE of your shitty, misogynistic, ads. May the people responsible be caught by angry feminists during their time of the month.

More of this please:

I seem to be one of the few people on the planet who was aware of this campaign before tonight. It wasn’t new, but it was great. And one of the few ads with great writing (more on that later).

Your commercials are utterly retarded. Completely stupid. Infinitely infantile. And I laughed at almost all of them. Don’t ever change.

At least a few of your spots were UGC (User Generated Content, for those of you who aren’t in the biz). That’s a powerful thing, because it meant that once you picked it, it was done. Your corporate office couldn’t come in later and alter a line, add a scene, re-shoot the whole thing. What you pick is what you get, and I think that makes your Super Bowl spots better than a lot of the others. That doesn’t mean you should chuck your entire ad staff and just have consumers produce your ads. It does mean you should let your ad agencies create an entertaining spot and then get the hell out of the way so they can do their job.

The Dorito Gym Ninja was possibly my favorite this year. Because it was just fun. I think most of the Super Bowl spots are suffering from taking themselves too seriously. Any spot where someone gets a snack chip shuriken to the neck is clearly above such problems.

In Closing
Overall, this year’s offering was pretty crappy. Particularly from a copy standpoint. A few spots had good writing- Dodge Charger, Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret- but this is the Super Bowl. They should have had great writing. And much, much better tag lines.

Listen corporate overlords: it is not enough for your Super Bowl spot to be in the Super Bowl. Things are harder now. The stakes have been raised. You’re competing with YouTube. Just because you spent a hojillion dollars and sacrificed three virgins to a two-headed goat in order to get your media buy does not mean it’s automatically a great ad. It also has to NOT SUCK. The Doritos Ninja was like a 30-second comedy bit. The Google spot was essentially a tiny movie. They weren’t just ads. They were entertainment. That’s what you all need to be.

What I want for next year is less suck. More sense. Better writing. Get on it.