The ads 2008

More important to me than the actual Super Bowl are the commercials. It’s the big night for advertising when we find out just how much creativity several million dollars can buy. Turns out, not that much. The spots have consistently disappointed for the past few years and this year was no different.

I think the reason is that Super Bowl spots are built on four things. Talking babies. Talking/dancing animals. Shots to the groin. Boobs. The problem is those spots have been done, and done, and done, and done. Are there no great ideas left? Is it a requirement that you play it safe when handed a budget for a Super Bowl spot. Note to advertisers: If you put up the cash for a Super Bowl spot and the creative team suggests any of the four above elements, kick them out and find a new creative team.

But there were a few good ones. You can view all of the spots here.

The Good Ones:

Coke – Jinx
I liked the Coke spots because they weren’t really selling Coke. They were selling happiness. Jinx was incredibly sappy and I loved every second of it.

Bud Light – Endorsement
This was the only beer spot that made me laugh at all and it was simply because of Will Ferrell doing his usual schtick and one line, “Refreshes the pallet…and the loins.”

E-Trade.com – Baby Trading 2
Ok, I don’t like talking baby spots. However this one plays up the creepiness of clowns so it gets a pass in my book.

Audi – Godfather
I like this one. Spot-on parody.

NFL – Mr. Oboe
This one had my attention from beginning to end. I like spots that tell a story. Plus it involves the oboe, which is just funny to say.

Pepsi – Magnetic Attraction
I loved the creative way they showed that you could win Justin Timberlake songs by drinking Pepsi. Hey, I’m sure it was this or Timberlake thrusting his pelvis at us in front of a giant Pepsi logo. I’ll take this.

Tide – Interview
I liked the creative approach to this one too. Very nice way of showing what a problem stains can be.

The not-bad-but-not-worth-millions-to-air spots

Fedex – Carrier Pidgeon
I miss Mr. Turkey Neck from last year.

Garmin – Napoleon
I liked it, but doubt most people will.

Diet Pepsi Max – Nod
A fairly good spot but I don’t know if promoting the fact that your product contains more of a legal drug than most is a good thing or not.

The so-bad-I’m-now-actively-avoiding-your-products spots 

Sobe Life Water – Thrillicious
Creepy dancing lizards? That’s the best you could do? That might work for Geicko but you guys just aren’t pulling it off.

Careerbuilder.com – All of them
What happened to you Careerbuilder.com? For the last few years I’ve loved your spots. This year? No. Just no. Horrible spots. I love the idea behind them. The idea that you aren’t going to be handed the job of your dreams. You’ve got to make it happen for yourself. Great idea. Horrible, horrible, horrible execution. Yeah, a disembodied heart. With legs. That makes me want to find a job through you.

SalesGenie.com – All of them
I vaguely remember a company last year doing a truly horrible spot. Maybe it was SalesGenie.com. I think it was. Either way this year they have two spots so clearly they worked. The spots are just bad. Look away. Don’t let your kids see them. You’ll be dumber if you do.

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