With 30 second spots being sold for the best part of $3 million, its no wonder Superbowl adverts come under such scrutiny. As over 100 million Americans tuned in to the NFL season’s climax over the weekend, they were treated to the usual smorgasboard of big name, big budget commercials. Below are some of the highlights from the biggest date in the advertising calendar….
1) Volkswagen, ‘The Force’
The Ad of Superbowl 2011 according to popular consensus, and you can understand why. Oozing cuteness, a teenybopper dressed as Darth Vader attempts to use The Force on a variety of household objects (dog included), but to no avail. Lightly tugging at heart strings, the ad nicely attaches a warm family feel to what is a decidedly uninteresting Volkswagen Pasat.
2) Motorola, ‘Empower the People’
In 1984, Apple stole the Superbowl show with their now famous advert reimagining Orwell’s 1984. It portrayed the launch of Macintosh as an act of revolution against a tyrannical Big Brother figure determined to retain monopolised power (rather unsubtly symbolising Microsoft’s technological dominance at the time). Last weekend, in Motorola’s knowing recreation of 1984, Apple was Big Brother, ruling the Tablet world . A dry and apt dig at Apple’s dominance - notice the iPod look-a-like headphones blocking the masses from the real world - this ad hits the mark.
3) Chevrolet, ‘Miss Evelyn’
Watching this year’s Superbowl, you’d never have guessed the pains America’s car industry has endured over the last few years. Car adverts dominated the screens, with close to ten separate brands paying top dollar for primetime slots. Yet, as is so often the case with commercials from this industry, a combination of trite “humorous” narratives and generic closeups of bodywork saw most ads fail to inspire. This offering from Chevrolet, however, was a welcome post-modern prick to the car advertising’s overinflated pomposity, tongue firmly in cheek.
It wasn’t all rosy. Here are a couple that failed to sparkle…
- Coca-Cola’s fantastical animation must have cost a fortune, but didn’t really contain that spark to embody their ‘open happiness’ tagline
- GroupOn’s faux-charitable adverts already seem misjudged given the critical reaction from some quarters
- Best Buy’s inclusion of Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne has caused a bit of a stir, but to me seems just a lazy use of celebrities with no obvious brand fit.