The Super Bowl of Selling

The Best and Worst Ads

by Jessy Krupa

4 February 2013

Did the big game deliver? What was the best moment? What was so quirky that you kept on thinking about it? And what was a complete waste of everybody’s time?

Roughly 111.3 million people watched last year’s Super Bowl, so advertisers were confident enough to pay $4 million dollars per ad. Why? Because it isn’t just football fans who tune into the big game: an estimated 54% of those millions of eyeballs tune in just for the commercials.

Ads that feature big-time celebrities, ridiculous special effects, or are just plain funny are what people expect. But did the big game deliver? What was the best moment? What was so quirky that you kept on thinking about it? And what was a complete waste of everybody’s time? Read on to find out, and then post your own opinions below. 
Several movie spots made their debut last night, including World War Z, Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Disney’s Oz: The Great And Powerful, and The Lone Ranger.

CBS took advantage of any available advertising space by plugging all their series, especially their upcoming police drama Golden Boy.

This year’s biggest trend was online participation, with a Lincoln road trip commercial that ends at their official website and a user-voted ending to an Audi prom night commercial.

The most overrated example of this was a three-way race for Coca-cola. Website visitors could vote for the cowboys, showgirls, or “outlanders” (Mad Max rip-offs) to get a sip. Surprisingly, the showgirls won because a quacking duck clock distracted the guys. Seriously. 

Another trend was the slightly disturbing air of darkness to the night, with Stevie Wonder as a Voodoo magic man for Budweiser and Willem Defoe as the devil in Mercedes Benz’s “Sympathy for the Devil” spot.

“It’s only weird if it doesn’t work” seemed to be the motto for most of this year’s ads, don’t you think?

Unfortunately, there was a lot of sleaze to shuffle through this year, with the annual female-bashing attempts for attention from and a spot for Gilden that dealt with a man retrieving his shirt from the sleeping partner of a one-night stand. Yuck!

Did that make anyone want to go out and buy a T-shirt?

Don’t think these ads were all heartless, however, as Dodge Ram brought us a stirring tribute to the American farmer.

There were also huge, big budget ads that took a lot to sell a simple idea. The best example of this was an epic family day with The Flaming Lips for Hyundai.

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article