My favorite Superbowl XLIII Advertisements

Superbowl XLIII LogoGenerally I’ve watched the Superbowl more to see the ads than to watch the football game itself (I’m a lot more enthused about World Cup soccer than American football, personally), but I have to admit that this game, the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the Arizona Cardinals, was darn exciting!
Nonetheless, I’m hardly a football commentator, so instead I thought I’d talk about which of the rather large number of TV ads I liked.
Here’s my short list: GE: Wind Energy, Hulu: Alec and Huluwood, GE: Scarecrow, Coke: Heist, Bridgestone: Hot Item, NBC Heroes: Football, Teleflora: Talking Flowers, Pedigree: Crazy Pets, Doritos: Power of the Crunch, and Doritos: Crystal Ball.

Coke: Heist advert

Of these, if I had to pick one or two that were my favorites, I’d choose Coke: Heist for its creative brilliance, GE: Scarecrow for its creative use of a very well-known visual metaphor (The Wizard of Oz), and Doritos: Crystal Ball for its wry surprise twist and splendid situational humor.

Escape to Witch Mountain

I was also surprised about the movie previews for both G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Race to Witch Mountain, they’re both films I’m definitely going to want to see in the theater after these exciting trailers.
I’ll also add that there were a few ads that I thought were particularly ghastly, particularly given that one hopes entire families watch the Superbowl, not just adults, and they were all pretty much from NBC itself. Specifically, there was a spot for NBC’s “Medium” show that had an image of a man holding a dead child (looked like an 8yo girl perhaps?) that was just the wrong imagery for a family sporting event on TV.
It’s bad enough that we have to put up with what I consider oft-inappropriate sexual and violent imagery on TV programs (for example, I turned off the Rose Bowl after an ad for My Bloody Valentine 3D, a film that does not need to be advertised on a daytime sporting broadcast!) but images of death – especially the deaths of children – are way over the top. Sorry, NBC, this was a big, big fail to me.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed the ads, and while I read on Twitter that many parents were upset with the GoDaddy ads for being clearly both stupid and sexist, I just thought they were dumb. I am sure that the imagery of a buxom model will be far, far less upsetting to my child than the advert for The Medium would be.
Anyway, congrats to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a great, great Superbowl game, and to the Arizona Cardinals for one heck of an attempt. They came really, really close to winning their first Superbowl game ever.

Tip: if you seen an “unavailable” error from Hulu on the adverts, it might be because their server is overloaded. It’s also a problem – for Hulu, not me – if you live outside of the United States of America. Sorry, that’s their limitation, not mine!

3 comments on “My favorite Superbowl XLIII Advertisements

  1. The Coke “Heist” commercial was SUPERB — my 2nd and 3rd place choices are “Stick” and “Crazy Pets”.
    The Dorito’s ads were completely lost on me….I found other spots over-sexualized…and the Mr/Mrs Potato Head commercial (purposefully not reinforcing their company name) to be rather offensive to women.
    There are some advertising firms/departments that hit it out of the park (yeah Coke!) and others that seem to forget the demographic makeup of SuperBowl viewers in 2009 includes men and women…..adults and kids.
    Thanks for the post –and the twitter commentary along the way.

  2. Great recap… the Heroes/NFL one was my favorite… but I did love the CGI work in the Coke:Heist one too. It just didn’t really make me want to buy Coke.
    My number one parameter is “creativity” my number two “execution” but number three is even more important: “objective reached” – which I can’t say many of them managed this year.
    Can’t imagine too many people are thinking “Breasts! Yay! Now I want to register my domain with instead!”… nor does the butterfly/insect heist particularly make me thirst for a particular beverage.
    If the ad doesn’t actually sell your product? You’re in entertainment, not advertising. :\
    But 100% agreed on the violence thing. Unnecessary.

  3. Please do not use Hulu, not even if they pay you. Hulu simply sends an error message to users outside the U.S. This bkog post is just a series of big back boxes telling me to go away.

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