Superbowl XL and commercials

Posted By on February 6, 2006

John Madden and Al MichaelsI’m at a quandary as to comment on the actual game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks? Do I opine on the performances, or lack there of, from either team — or just focus on the individual achievements? I suppose I could eulogize about Seattle or reflect on the mediocre performance of the superstar status players? Maybe neither team really has superstar players? Seeing the emotional Bill Cowher with his family and their exuberance was perhaps a highlight of this game, but in my opinion the 21 – 10 Steeler victory was less than stellar. The game wasn’t a standout Superbowl and the slow pace wasn’t helped by the several required referee booth reviews. At time I even felt that the ABC announcers Al Michaels and John Madden were stumbling for call analysis as close decisions were decided at a painfully slow pace. (Congratulation to John Madden; he was just voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame) All in all, it was a tepid end to a long NFL season.

Although the game is why most of us watch the Superbowl, the halftime show and commercials are becoming as important for some as the game itself. (they are a marketer’s delight) I found myself checking out each commercial, wondering which would capture the conversation around the watercooler on Monday morning?

Early results suggest that the winner might have been the “pre-hysterical” (as Professor Bill Ward states) FedEx spot featuring a caveman crushed by a dinosaur.

FedEx Caveman should have used FedEx
Anheuser-Busch who generally spends the most on Superbowl ads came close with its “secret” spinning wall refrigerator and the Bud Light spot with men on their roofs excaping their wive’s was also near the top. Since I was watching with a couple of teenagers, the Clydesdale football game with a “streaking” sheep seemed to rate pretty high as well.

Bud Light and the ‘Magic Fridge’

Husbands excape to the Rooftop for a Beer

Budweiser’s Clydesdales and the streaking sheep

My wife appreciated Unilever’s Dove ad, where young girls struggle with self-image issues, but her favorite product Diet Pespi, IMHO had a couple of the ‘loser’ ads as did Burger King. I’m not too convince the marketing for Ameriquest was poignant as I kept trying to figure out what there ads had to do with their business, but I did get a charge out of the mother and daughter in a hospital room visiting dear old dad as the buzzing fly was zapped.
Ameriquest Bug Zapper Ad

Dotcom’s still bought a few ads — I think most liked the chimp ads. probably did the most ‘risque’ ad of the bunch when it produced a spoof on the Janet Jackson Superbowl fiasco. I’m not sure what it has to do with their product, the oxygen mask for an aging executive was a great touch. – Aging board member needs oxygen

Gillette could have done something more creative to introduce their new five-bladed razor; it is basically a rework of a two, three and four bladed razor ads of the past — whoopee. Motorola stumbled as well in my opinion in marketing their PEBL phone … what’s with the meteor becoming a pebble? Celebrities were used in a few ads, including one for the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug Aleve which used Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy. It was so-so.
Aleve with Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy

The motor city did their part as the Detroit, auto companies, General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Corp., had pretty good ads. Ford promoted their ‘green’ ad with “Kermit thee Frog,”while GM went creative with a baby Hummer H3. Honda and Toyota were there, but were lukewarm as I know they had ads but can’t hardly recall them. (Ridgeline and Civic I think???)
But the winner is … according to me 🙂 … drumroll please …. the Sprint ad demostrating the crime deterrent of its phones. I thought it was hilarious.
Sprint/Nextel crime deterrent

All in all … Superbowl XL could have been better … but then that would have required the Bengals to have won a couple of more big games. Congratulations Pittsburgh.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog