Monday, February 3, 2014

Superbowl 48:

Okay, so I was disappointed in this year's Superbowl. I think it would have been more exciting if it were a rematch between the Seahawks and the 49ers, especially with the Richard Sherman drama. The commercials seemed to have the overall theme of nationalism. Some of them I enjoyed, but there is such a strong feeling of American tradition in the championships of sports, from the World Series to the Olympics, that this connection does not need to be overstated. Yes, I'm proud to be an American. Yes, I agree with the values that have made this country great. I am thankful that many people of many different cultures may come together in acceptance as free people and call this land home. I don't necessarily need ads telling me this every single commercial break, unless it's done really beautifully.

Here are my favorite 5 spots:

1. Chrysler featuring Bob Dylan "America's Import":

Global Hue made this spot featuring Bob Dylan, a switch from Wieden+Kennedy (Portland, OR) which produced the last Chrysler Superbowl commercials, "It's Halftime in America" and "Imported From Detroit". Some may worry that it is a rehash of the past two spots highlighting the strength of America, specifically Detroit, in trying times, but the writing still comes off beautiful. This edition reviews the originality and creativity of America, and who better to narrate but this icon of American folk music? I know a lot of fans are viewing this as a sellout, but I still enjoyed it.

2. Budweiser, "Puppy Love":

Directed by Jake Scott and developed by Anomaly (New York, NY), this is possibly the public's favorite pick. It's heartwarming and has the iconic Clydesdales, true to the brand.

3. RadioShack, "The Phone Call":

Directed by Frank Todaro and produced by GSD&M (Austin, TX), this spot shows that RadioShack isn't afraid of admitting truth and poking fun at itself. I love when brands can do this- recognize a valid public observation and work to make it better. This commercial is fun and as over-the-top as the 80's itself. Totally radical.

4. Coca-Cola, "Going All The Way":


Directed by Jake Scott and produced by Wieden+Kennedy (Portland, OR), I liked how cute this spot is, because Adrian appears to be the underdog and ends up having fun as he goes the extra mile to Lambeau Field. I also enjoy the nod back to the iconic Mean Joe Green commercial ('79) with the "Hey, kid". (Did anyone else catch that?)

5. Maserati featuring Quvenzhané Wallis, "Strike":

Directed by David Gordon Green and produced with the help of Wieden+Kennedy (Portland, OR), this spot features the young actress from Beasts of the Southern Wild. I enjoy the beautiful nature shots in the beginning, progressing into views of humans designing, crafting, and engineering, as if preparing something vital and unbeatable. It reveals the new Maserati Ghibli, and although it is a lovely-looking sportscar, I find it a little off paired with the beautiful writing. Maybe it's because I can't imagine this girl choosing a $67,000 Maserati over her father's humble fishing boat in Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Here are several more commercials I see worth mentioning:

Coca-Cola, "America the Beautiful":

Again by Wieden+Kennedy, this showcases the diversity of the United States standing one as a nation.  It is filled with wonderful memories of camping, roadtripping, swimming, enjoying family, and skating, among other things. "America the Beautiful" is played in the background, but edited to capture different voices and languages throughout.

This proved to be controversial. Twitter blew up. Conservatives were outrages that they would take a fundamentally-Christian patriotic song about unity and break it into different languages. Glenn Beck weighed in on it being a dividing factor between racism and progression toward immigration-- so black and white!

This commercial was designed with a message that everyone can enjoy Coca-Cola, and this nation is built on diversity. We are united as a nation and should celebrate and accept differences. It is what makes us different and stronger for it. I liked the commercial, but I think Coca-Cola can do better, too.

GoDaddy, "Bodybuilder":

This caught me by surprise since Danica Patrick is playing a different role, uncommon for the usually sexual Go-Daddy spots. She outruns bodybuilders to the tanning salon- haha! I like their diversion from the sleazy commercials they are common for. Made by Deutsch (New York, NY), it's still entertaining and it reaches a wider audience.


Oh Esurance, you are smart on this one. Not only did they buy the cheaper spot, but they used it to the advantage by offering to give away over a million dollars if viewers would tweet about it. Made by Leo Burnett, they set off a mass promotion on Twitter that landed them a trending spot (in fact, it's still going now, 24 hours later). Well played, Esurance. You won king of social media this year. And who doesn't like to look at John Krasinski? He's one of the most handsome, down-to-earth, funny and sweet guys to have as a spokesperson.

Honestly, overall, I was a little disappointed in the ads and the game this year. There were some good parts, but I found the whole thing underwhelming. I wished that there were more ads that assumed a clever audience rather than elaborate on themes we already know. I wanted more play and strategy with social media. It's the Superbowl! Go all out! I hope that next year will make up for this year's shortcomings.