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My Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of 2013

It’s time for a breakdown of my top five spots from advertising’s biggest day. This was certainly a good year for Super Bowl advertising and an even bigger year for social media during the big game. Last year I ended up picking five funny spots and this year I have a more balanced list (as balanced as a top five list can get). Brands mostly went for heart-warming over hysterical this year and many of the comedic spots were really not that funny in my opinion or they were produced a little too over-the-top.

Social media played a role in this year’s brand bowl more so than ever before. If you’re a marketer reading this, I’m sure you’re well aware of the brilliant and timely posts delivered by the Oreo social media team. When the lights went out at the Superdome, Oreo pushed out the below image on Facebook and Twitter in a matter of minutes:

This was an image with real staying power. It picked up another thousand plus retweets the day after the big game, the Facebook post got over 20,000 ‘likes’ and close to 7,000 shares and the quick and witty post picked up tons of free press. Oreo is certainly on top of its game and made sure its ‘Cream Or Cookie’ Super Bowl spot was fully supported with social media build up and timely posts sent out before, during and even after the game. Social media activity like this can only be achieved with a command center and all hands on deck. The social media activity during the Super Bowl this year was certainly impressive, but it’s time to break down my favorite ads.

#5. Samsung Mobile USA – The Next Big Thing

I’m not usually one to fall for celebrity endorsements, but these two are hilarious. Not sure how much the ad will help in its epic battle for marketshare over Apple, but it can’t hurt.

#4. Viva Young – Taco Bell Game Day Commercial

This commercial is great. I can only wish I will be this cool when I’m sitting around in a retirement home a few decades from now. Only thing bad about it is now I have that Fun. song stuck in my head, which I spent most of 2012 trying to get rid of. At least it was in Spanish.

#3. OREO – Whisper Fight

A whisper fight in a library? Brilliant. Though I’m a little surprised it hadn’t been done before. Again, Oreo absolutely stole the show from a branding and marketing standpoint. They even took this moment to launch an Instagram account. Before the Super Bowl, Oreo had around 2,200 followers on Instagram and garnered around 35,000 followers by the end of Sunday night. Props to 360i and the Oreo social media command center.

#2. Budweiser Super Bowl Ad — The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood”

This ad literally brought tears to the eyes of some of my coworkers. With several terribly awful ads from Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch InBev totally redeemed itself with this tear-jerker of an ad.

#1. Ram Trucks Super Bowl Commercial “Farmer”

This one struck a chord with me from the first frame and had chills going through my spine by the end. Growing up in northwest Oklahoma and listening to farmers talk about the weather and wheat prices everyday definitely had an influence on this year’s pick. Paul Harvey had a big part in my life as well. Seemed like anytime I showed up at my grandparents house in Alva, Okla., Paul Harvey was delivering his famous “The Rest of the Story” segments on the kitchen radio. It also helped that the commercial was beautifully done with shots from a National Geographic photographer and a renowned documentary photographer. Nicely done, Dodge.

Bonus spots:

Because of my Oklahoma roots and because the Flaming Lips are just incredible in general: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe | Big Game Ad | “Epic Playdate

Because I love awkward moments: Unattended Laundry: You needed the machine. You got caught panty-handed (Speed Stick)

Because I love Amy Poehler: Best Buy – Asking Amy: Official 2013 Best Buy Game Day Commercial

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Top Five Super Bowl Ads of 2011

After coming home from the library late in the third quarter, I quickly fired up Hulu and got caught up in the AdBowl. What a great way to watch the best ads of the night. Hulu had a nice dashboard to watch the ads with the ability to organize by most popular, most watched and order of appearance. With the ability to give a thumbs up or down to each ad and the Facebook and Twitter share buttons, Hulu was definitely a great site to analyze the ads and see what everyone else was thinking. So with that, I give you my personal “top 5” ads of Super Bowl XLV.

#5. Bridgestone: Carma

Bridgestone Tires has been running commercials during the Super Bowl since 2008 and has sponsored the halftime show the past two years. This year, Bridgestone featured two ads during the event and both have ended up in my top five. I find this ad to be clever not only because of the cute little beaver and heart-warming nature of the spot, but the ad also makes a strong point without making a big deal about it: Bridgestone tires can make a sudden stop in the rain with no problem.

#4. Doritos: House Sitting

I don’t think this one left anyone feeling warm-hearted … As usual this year, Doritos goes for humor and shock value in their Super Bowl ads. This ad is tastefully done for Doritos’ standard and is not nearly as creepy as the “Mmm … Cheese!” guy. I got to hand it to Doritos for the success of the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest now in it’s fourth year. What a great concept: Let the consumers take the spotlight and see what they come up with. Each year, consumers have delivered for Doritos and the contest leading up to the Super Bowl is a great way to build consumer relations and brad identity.

#3. Bridgestone: Reply All

This commercial is all about humor. In fact, this is the first ad I watched that made me LOL. Wow, I can’t believe I just wrote that. Anyway, the ad pokes fun at the ever so dreadful mistake of hitting “reply all” in an e-mail when the message was intended for just the sender. Who doesn’t love watching a guy flip out at the office?

#2. Volkswagen: The Force

This is just a great ad. The commercial quickly went viral on YouTube and now has over 22 million views. Not bad, even with the $6 million price tag to air the 60 second spot. The ad was talked about by seemingly everyone in the following days and Volkswagen gained additional impressions on morning talk shows and heart-warming stories about the six-year-old heart patient from Southern California. The ad itself tells little about the car and is based purely on keeping the viewer’s attention and ending with a good joke. The ad is … dare I say cute?

#1. Chrysler: Imported from Detroit

This might be the first time I have ever had a completely non-humorous Super Bowl ad as my favorite. This ad has a perfect  tone right from the start. The scars of the City of Detroit are showcased in a way that makes you feel proud to know Chrysler cars are made right here in the U.S. The tone of the voice-over (a Michigan man) carries over Eminem’s  musical crescendo in what seems to end with chills through my body every time I watch it. This commercial was severely under-appreciated on the various online voting polls, not even making the top 10 on Hulu. However, the ad is seeming to do its job after the first airing. Kelly Blue Book ranked its online traffic after each automobile commercial aired during the Super Bowl and the Chrysler 200 was the top ranking search with a 1,013 percent increase in traffic. Though the more humorous ads received more views and ranked higher, the commercial did get a lot of attention online and in the news.

Alright, there you have my “top 5” Super Bowl ads. Before I let you weigh-in on your favorites, I just want to say Coca-Cola really flopped on their strange “blockbuster” dragon slayer animated mini-movie. I’m not sure what this guy was thinking, but the ad was terrible. Oh, and what was Groupon thinking? That’s probably a topic for another day.


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