Outside of Indianapolis and Chicago (maybe Tennessee and Louisiana, too),
most of the U.S. will have forgotten who won Super Bowl XLI by Monday
evening.  Nationwide, most of the ads were forgotten by the time
viewers fell asleep Sunday night.

Last year, I focused on integrated marketing; here’s my 2007 Super Bowl ad review.  In general:

  • Consumer-generated ads weren’t any better or
    worse than the "regular" ads.  Ad agencies need not fear consumers
    taking over the world of 30-second spots – but that’s not what social
    computing is about.  On the other hand, agencies should be worried if a commercial produced for $12.79 gets the same response as one that costs $1.2 million.
  • Integrated marketing didn’t show up, again.  The
    only advertiser guaranteed to drive traffic to their site?  GoDaddy.
    Biggest misses?  FedEx uses another grey-on-white 1 second end-cap
    logo.  Impossible-to-remember vanity URLs like rocksolidretirement.com and snackstrongproductions.com.  HP lists a vanity toll-free number (800-525-MYHP).  I hope this is part of an A/B test and I was in the phone number region, not the website region.
  • Guerilla search ads?  Non-existent.  Lots of cheap keywords out there like "map robot" for TomTom, "chest hair" for Philips, or "promotion island" for Monster…

But enough about how bad the ads were in general.  [Along with the
halftime show.]  Many ads stood out in specific categories:

Most violent.

  1. King Pharma, BeatYourRisk.com
  2. Bud Light, Fist Bump/Slaps
  3. CareerBuilder.com, Promotion Island

Before the game was even over, Stuart Elliott at the New York Times had published an article
about this aspect of the ads. The violence was another reason Coke’s
GTA ad – which you’d EXPECT to be violent – went over so well.

Most use of sex.

  1. GoDaddy
  2. Chevy’s Consumer Generated Ad
  3. Snickers, Chest Hair

The wardrobe malfunction from three years ago has killed sex appeal in advertising.  These advertisers were not afraid to go back to the well – for better or worse.

Most emotional appeal.

  1. Coke, Time Line
  2. NFL, Brett Favre
  3. Budweiser, Fake Dalmatian

No tug at the hearstrings on the level of Campaign For Real Beauty this year, but a nod to Coke for the strapline "especially today."

Most use of facts.

  1. Toyota, Tundra actual demonstrations (and an interesting contrast to their recent ads)
  2. Revlon, Sheryl Crow on tour
  3. Salesgenie.com (j/k)

Toyota could have taken Mitsubishi’s classic "See What Happens" spot to a new level – but didn’t.  Still pretty cool stuff, though.  Wonder what Plan B was if the truck didn’t stop?

And my favorite ads, purely by personal entertainment value:

  1. Coke, GTA.
    This ad was originally produced for cinema and launched in August 2006.  Maybe not
    true machinima, but great that they used the same style.  Follow the link to read the backstory on the W+K blog.
  2. Garmin, Maposaurus. I’m not going out to buy a GPS, but I was laughing.