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The Super Bowl Commercials This Year Leave Fans Hoping for Better Next Year

February 12th, 2013 at 9:46 AM
By Mark Ortiz

As like in years past, the NFL Super Bowl has become a spectator sport to many others than just the die-hard football fan. And one of the biggest draws that the Super Bowl presents is the commercials associated with it. No other program on television has a viewing audience strictly based on the commercials that accompany it. No other program even boasts a commercial driven advertising campaign like the Super Bowl. Not the Oscar Awards, not the Presidential Debates, not the Daytona 500, not the World Series, and those are major events in our society. Still not a single one has advertisers clamoring to get a spot on the list of break in action pitching opportunities. So much has been made of the Super Bowl commercials that there are full articles and news programs dedicated to covering them. And while this site won’t go through and rank or critique all of them, it’s only fitting that some coverage is lent to the Super Bowl commercials.

First of all, one has to determine what makes a Super Bowl commercial a hit. Because for as much as these ads cost, they should really be attention grabbing. There are three main areas that a commercial should cover if they want to be considered a successful Super Bowl ad. One is comedy; this has been a tried and true method for advertisers in the Super Bowl commercial department. If the commercial is funny, most watchers will tend to lean toward giving it a thumbs up. Secondly, put a baby in the commercial. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support for babies in the Super Bowl commercials. Whether it’s a talking baby or a baby put in the most ludicrous circumstances; they always seem to be a hit. Lastly, if the commercial has any legendary performers in it, there is all likelihood that it will be successful. And that counts for football legends, music legends, movie legends, or any person that has attained legendary status in the realm of entertainment that they had specialized in.

This year’s Super Bowl commercials have been hit with a less than positive vibe, mainly because most of them did not follow the three key ingredients. Sadly there was only a handful that did. And many of the leaders of past Super Bowl commercials did not have the quantity of ads that they have had in the past. For instance, E-Trade only had one commercial this year, in years past they were hugely successful with their ads featuring a talking E-Trade baby. Their commercial this year was funny, but they left fans wanting more. And Bud Light, the staple for comedic Super Bowl commercials only had two this year. And both of those were premised on the same joke, the good luck-bad luck of New Orleans Voodoo starring Stevie Wonder. They were just too similar to be deemed as successful as years past.

The two best commercials, albeit from a completely bias standpoint, was the two ads that featured San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott. Anytime the two of them are featured in anything it is going to draw rave reviews. The Dorito’s goat, the VW rasta guys, the Oreo’s whisper fight, and the Kia space babies all get honorable mention. They were funny, original, and the premise was the perfect dose of outlandish. The support our troops Jeep commercial and the Ram Trucks farmer commercial were also high on the list. Anytime the ad pulls at the heartstrings with an American soldier or an American working man, the turn out will be very well received.

The ones that didn’t make the cut are almost too many to list, but there are some standouts. The four that showed no innovative thought process at all were the Becks Sapphire, the Bud Black Crown, the Calvin Klien, and the Lincoln MKZ commercials. They were basically just product placement ads that anyone can see on any daytime television program. Not near the caliber that the Super Bowl calls for. And there were some that just didn’t get their meaning across. Like the Pepsi Next party commercial, sure it was a party, and it was intended to be funny. But what was with the guy dumping milk all over himself? That left viewers scratching their heads. And what of the Pistachio’s commercial featuring the Korean hip hop singer PSY rewording his hit song to dancing pistachios? That was a little much, it wasn’t funny, and it was basically a rookie advertising move. Latching onto a current mainstream hit instead of actually being creative is not something the Super Bowl commercial enterprise needs. Lastly, the Taco Bell commercial featuring a retirement home break out by an older cast was very funny, and it could have stood to be ranked higher. Only one problem, the song in the commercial was converted to Spanish for some reason, and it too is a hit song in America. The Spanish version left a resounding "why" to the whole commercial.

All in all, the commercials in this years Super Bowl can be only viewed as a draw. Some were good, more were bad, but in the end, really good ones outweigh the bad ones. And those are the ones we remember anyway. 

Tags: Football, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers

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