The Super Bowl Ads: Not so Super

Did anyone else have the feeling at the end of the Super Bowl that we got ripped (and I don’t mean what you drank during the game)?  Since I’m a somewhat creative thinker, I tend to be a little more critical of visual media than most.  But you don’t need a degree in visual communications to figure out that this year’s Super Bowl ads were disappointing to say the least.

From a fire-breathing date to hot air balloon battles to a talking shirt stain, there were some humorous spots during the Super Bowl, with my personal favorites being the E-Trade series (not original, but a little different spin on the talking baby), the FedEx carrier pigeons, the Planters cashew unibrow lady and the circle of death spot.  Other ads worth noting were the Bud Light Clydesdale training (what’s a Super Bowl without a Clydesdale ad?), the Bridgestone tire screams ad, the Sobe Life Water Thriller spot, the Amp Push It “battery cables on the nipples” (ouch) spot, the Pepsi Justin Timberlake straw-sucking ad and when isn’t Will Ferrell humorous in a discusting hairy-uncle sort of way?

As far as the Super Bowl ads that I considered a waste of 2 point some million dollars were the entire series, the ad did lure me to check out the online video but you saw all there was worth seeing during the Super Bowl, the Taco Bell Fiesta Platters spots, and a host of other not-worth-mentioning ads. 

Then there was the Gatorade ad with the dog slurping the water.  What was that?  In my opinion, if you’re going to spend  over 2 mil on a Super Bowl ad, your creative team had better come up with something more than 20 seconds of watching a mutt drink water.  Did that cost more that $20 to shoot?  My guess is the largest expense of the ad was the bottles of Gatorade sitting in the foreground at the end of the commercial. 

The Audi Godfather ad which was one of the first ads to run was decent, if not a little too dark.  The R8 looks like a sweet ride, but the tone of the commercial right for when it ran.  I think they could have done a better job showing the car since that’s what the ad was about. 

Overall, there were some decents ads, but I think some advertisers blow their whole ad budget on the cost of airing the spots and don’t leave anything to hire a decent agency to create the ads.  Some of the advertisers barely advertise on mainstream television, so why are they airing spots during the Super Bowl (  Maybe it’s an executive ego thing, just to say they advertise during the Super Bowl, I don’t know.  That’s just my take on the 2008 Super Bowl ads.