Friday, February 13, 2009

Jaded by Advertising

After the Super Bowl madness, I havn't been inspired to post at all. It's like the best has been done already.

Feel free to request ads to be reviewed, but otherwise I'll be taking it slow until I get some initiative to post again...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl 43 Is Over At Last

Super Bowl 43 Commercials

After 23 blog posts today, I can thankfully say that Super Bowl 43 and all of its commercials has ended. It was a crazy day for me. I dreaded the jingle before breaks, because I knew it preceded several commercials that would require excessive blogging. Timeouts are the worst.

But in the end, it was a good experience and I learned how difficult it can be to keep up a "live" blog.

I'm glad Hulu is hosting all of the commercials on their site this year. It gives me, and you, easy access to the spots. I apologize for having to sit through the ad before the actual ad, but that's how the world works sometimes. I'll try to get reliable Youtube videos posted by the end of this week.

I'm in the process of providing more insight and reason for Guru Grades for all of the Super Bowl ads. Also, stay tuned for the Super Bowl 43 Commercials Round Up, where I will give a general summary of my favorite ads, list your favorites from national polls such as USA Today, and go over anything that I missed in this post.

Hope you enjoyed the game and my coverage! Please subscribe if you liked what you saw.

Super Bowl 43: Bud Light Lime

Remember when Coke and Pepsi battled against each other with their vanilla and lime flavored drinks? Well now beer giants Miller (Miller Chill) and Budweiser (Bud Light Lime) are doing the same thing. Let's just hope they don't come out with vanilla flavored beer.

Previous efforts have been made in beer commercials to portray the temperature of their products, but it usually involved freezing the environment or making things cold. In this spot for Bud Light Lime, a young gentleman has an orb of warmth around him that seems to melt down and beautify everything in range.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Pepsi MacGruber

I don't watch Saturday Night Live, the show that has created the MacGruber character. It's a spoof of the 1980/90s TV series "MacGyver," a show about a resourceful secret agent who could use everyday objects in unbelievable ways.

The video posted above was not the ad that aired during the Super Bowl, although I think it should have been. It's much better than this one:

Maybe somebody can educate me on the ways of MacGruber aka PepSuber? Is the real MacGyver always in the skits? Does it always end in a deadly explosion?

Pepsi's self mockery of their new "Refresh everything" slogan is a poor attempt at satire. It seems to me like Pepsi is trying too much to capture the hope and excitement of Obama. Their new logo looks just like the Obama logo, their first ad of 2009 preached ideas parallel to the Obama campaign, and one of their newest commercials features Will.I.Am, a celebrity who is tighter with the Barack Obama movement than Oprah Winfrey. Now, Pepsi is reaching out to SNL with hopes to generate the kind of laughs Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impressions did during last year's presidential election campaign.

I love Obama just as much as the next guy, but this is getting ridiculous. I guarantee that the creatives responsible for the rebranding and marketing of Pepsi are democratic Obamaniacs.

Guru Grade: 3 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Hulu

Making a surprise appearance, Hulu delivers their evil plans, claiming to be "An evil plot to destroy the world." Playing off of the notion of world domination by huge internet moguls like Google, Hulu explains how TV programming softens up the brain, so the content on their site can further melt it down to a consumable pulp. Conspiracy theorists everywhere are going crazy now that Hulu has exposed themselves as aliens planning to decimate the human race through television programming.

Alec Baldwin delivers the 30 Rock-styled humor.

Also, I don't know what I would do without Hulu for showing you guys all of these Super Bowl ads! They've been a great asset, and I really do love the content they provide. I, for one, welcome our video hosting overlords.

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Coke Zero

Troy Polamalu stars in this ad, mocking the orignal 1979 football spot with Mean Joe Green.

A few days ago we were treated to a preview of this spot, which made it look like Coke would stick to its traditional roots and redesign the ad in a similar fashion. Instead, the "Hey Coke Zero is infringing upon Coke because it's exactly the same" campaign makes a lame reappearance. They should have just remade it properly instead of turning a classic into a shoddy parody.

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Frosted Flakes

This stop motion spectacle initially caught me off guard. With the opening dialogue concerning "growing" while simultaneously showing images of seeds maturing, I thought we were going to get a shpeel about going green. Instead, Kellogg's tells us how vital life skills, such as self confidence, friendship, and values, can "grow" on the field. Interesting.

I'm getting flashbacks of Planet Earth as I rewatch this ad. Kelloggs' community building efforts are displayed by symbolic frame-by-frame imagery that represents the important ideals that active athletic fields can teach our children.

To find more information about where you can build, the ad directs you to

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Super Bowl 43: encourages you to search their site for a new job if your boss puts his moose's ass in your face at the office.

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Universal

Universal encourages you to unleash your inner super hero.

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Super Bowl 43:

NBA star Carlos Boozer shares some insights with some curious kids.

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Hyundai

Hyundai has multiple spots in this year's Super Bowl, mostly for their new Genesis.

Favorite line: "Hyundai. Like Sunday."

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Teleflora

Teleflora gives you a reason why you shouldn't send flowers in a box. They tend to get cranky, apparently. Valentine's Day is fast approaching and the Super Bowl was the perfect time for advertising a flower company.

Something that the average viewer may not have picked up on: The colors in the office scene are dulled down to a tainted greyscale and then the hue and saturation are really pumped up when we see the Teleflora man delivering the vase of flowers. This is a common tactic used to subconsciously influence your emotions at different points during the commercial. Also notice that the box's text was very similar to a leading flower selling competitor...

Agency: The Fire Station

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Cheetos

Chester the Cheetah inspires a young lady to do the right thing: send some birds to attack a chatty dumb Paris Hilton type.

Chester appears as a moving stuffed animal instead of the usual cartoon type. With this rendition of the snack icon, I get the feeling that his beard is an outgrowth of wisdom and knowledge. This version of the cheesy mammal exudes a sage predisposition... I hope there are more ads to come in this campaign.

Cheetos does a great job of transforming themselves from the paper bag lunchtime commodity to the sophisticated snacking solution.

For a total mind numbing experience, check out

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

Super Bowl 43: H&R Block

There are only two things in life that are certain. Death and taxes.

Guru Grade: 5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Cash4Gold

Yes, it's true. Somehow these scammers managed to get a commercial in the biggest venue of the year. People must be in dire straits if so many are selling their valuables to this sketchy company.

Think about it: You put your gold in a bag and mail it to this factory, where they determine how much money to pay out. As far as I understand, there is no guarantee that you are getting the right value for your possessions.

Props on getting two relatively famous stars to endorse this glorified infomercial.

Ed McMahon and MC Hammer show you just how stupid Cash4Gold really is.

Agency: Euro RSCG Edge

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Toyota Venza

Toyota's lame (but shiny!) ad for their new vehicle, the Venza.

"You've been influenced by many, but defined by none. The masterful fusion of functionality and design. Presenting the new Toyota Venza. It exemplifies all of you. So ask yourself, are you Venza?"
No, no I'm not. It exemplifies all of me? Then why is the grill of the car just like that guy's mask? Just because you have the movie-man voice, doesn't mean you can say whatever you want and make it seem logical. Another boring car commercial.

Guru Grade: 4.5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Budweiser

Here are a few ads with the beloved Clydesdales:

The great American Lager, or the great American Logger? HA. The Budweiser dalmatian gets shown up by the brute Clydesdale, who looks to be getting jealous of the dog's fetching skills. Who's laughing now, pup?

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

In this commercial, we see a foreign horse owner take away his white-haired "Daisy" from a mutual love affair with a Budweiser Clydesdale. A music montage featuring Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" captures images of the horse running through fields, a river, a golf course, a busy city, and canyons in order to find Daisy the Dancing Circus Horse at the carnival where she is being displayed as a centerpiece. In the end, they make a romantic escape together. Clowns rejoice!

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

Budweiser's last spot in the big game showed a fictitious history of how one horse came to do what it does (pull carriages of beer?) Via Jake, we get a narrative of his heritage, which begins in Scotland in 1933 and continues through time, past the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island during the early 20th century, through failed professions such as heavy lifting, horse racing, and towing buggies until finally settling on the Bud trade.

There are a number of gorgeous visuals in this ad.

Getting a little repetitive, aren't they? Budweiser used to claim the top honors for Super Bowl ad greatness, but this year they have been dethroned by the Doritos make-your-own ad contest. Shameful.

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Castrol Oil

Monkeys. Gay Monkeys.

Buy a case of Castrol and monkeys in baby blue jump suits will show up and work on your car? Sounds like a deal to me. These grease monkeys are cute, but their relevance to the brand didn't extend beyond the mechanic slang joke.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Guru Grade: 5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Bridgestone

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head get animated in this spot for the tire giant.

Guru Grade: 6 / 10

In this ad, a couple of moon rakers get their Bridgestone tires stolen from them as they cruise around in space to House of Pain's "Jump Around."

Guru Grade: 5 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Bud Light

We all need to cut back during these rough financial times. What does this office member recommend? Ditching the beer. He gets thrown out of a window, appropriately.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

My favorite late night host stars in a spot for Bud Light, which he thinks will only air in Sweden. Vroom vroom party starter!

Guru Grade: 7 / 10

Slapstick humor, chilled. Skiers discuss "drinkability" at the lodge as Bud Light continues their virtual white board campaign.

Guru Grade: 4 / 10

Super Bowl 43: Audi

Jason Statham, (star of the Transporter series and other high octane action films) tries out a Mercedes and a BMW (and takes a hopeless look at a bystanding Lexus) before deciding that the new Audi Supercharged A6 is the perfect getaway car.

This commercial was an attempt to recreate famous Hollywood chase scenes, and the production style effectively mimicked that feel.

Guru Grade: 7.5 / 10

Click to see the full credits

Client: Audi
Agency: Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco
Co-Creative Director: Paul Venables,
Greg Bell
Associate Creative Director: Erich Pfeifer,
Tom Scharpf
Copywriter: Crockett Jeffers
Broadcast Production Director: Craig Allen
Producer: Emily Moore
Production Company: Smuggler
Director: Ivan Zacharias

Super Bowl 43: E*Trade

This pre-game spot features the return of the E*Trade baby! I found the mature blabbing infant to be pretty funny, but his blatantly obvious endorsement of TaylorMade golf supplies made the baby come off as a cheap gimmick. I'm hoping the golf company paid a good chunk of that $3 million, because it's more of a commercial for the new R9 than for E*Trade. Ya shankapotamus...

Guru Grade: 5.5 / 10

Premiering in the second quarter, these talkative tykes discuss how E*Trade can help out during the recession. The song that is being sung is Mr. Mister's "Take These Broken Wings."

E*Trades sticks with the same campaign as last year, but it seems funnier now since the economy is tanking. Financial topics are "hot" whether they're positive or negative, and these little E*Trade babies are the perfect mascots to help us laugh and cry through our poor times.

Guru Grade: 6.5 / 10

To view "outtakes" of these spots that didn't make it to the big game, click here. I think most cuts were better than the two that aired.

Super Bowl 43: Gatorade

Gatorade, not to be outdone by all the other major advertisers, has released another black and white ad from their "What's G" campaign. This one leaves Lil Wayne to rest his raspy vocal chords, as we see influential athletes voice their stance on what really is "G." This commercial is Gatorade's official claim to the What's G ads, as they display their new packaging as well as a new website,

If you're an athlete, you know the true feeling that Gatorade is trying to capture. It's a hidden emotion that drives you to play. A reason for the pain of defeat and the ecstasy of victory... Dang, they should hire me for these lines!

Featured athletes include Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Jabbawokeez, and Peyton Manning.

Guru Grade: 8 / 10

Click to see the full credits

Client: Gatorade
Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles
Global Director of Media Arts: Lee Clow
Executive Creative Director: Rob Schwartz

Group Creative Director: Jimmy Smith
Associate Creative Director: Jayanta Jenkins
Management Supervisor: Jiah Choi
Agency Executive Producer: Sarah Patterson
Agency Producer: Lisa Effress
Production Company: Pony Show Enterainment
Director: Spike Lee
Executive Producer: Jeffrey Frankel,
Susan Kirson
Line Producer: Fern Martin
Editorial Company: Venice Beach Editorial
Senior Editor: Dan Bootzin,
Rick Shambaugh
Producer (Editorial): Hunter Conner
Post Production: The Mill
Post Executive Producer: Ben Hampshire
Post Producer: Ari Davis
Lead Flame Artist: Chris Knight
Flame Artist: Ross Goldstein
CG Lead: John Leonti

CG Artist: Steve Beck,
Jaime Fernandez
Mix: Eleven
Executive Producer (Eleven): DJ Fox-Engstrom
Mixer: Jeff Payne
Composer: Mark Batson

The Super Bowl 43 Commercials

Follow the links to watch the ads!!

Pre-Game Ads:

-Pepsi Max Ingredients (bottom of page)
-Doritos: New Flavor Pitch
-E*Trade Baby Golfer
-Samsung/NFL Super Ad Contest winner, Reginald Castilla's "That's How I See It"
-Hyundai Contract
-State Farm: Lebron James Plays Football
-Universal Inner Super Hero
-Hyundai Genesis Coupe

1st Half Ads:

-Bud Light Meeting
-Audi Jason Statham Chase Scenes

-Pepsi Forever Young Refresh Anthem
-Doritos: Free Doritos
-Bud Light Conan O'Brien only in Sweden
-Toyota Venza
-Bridgestone Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head
-Castrol Grease Monkies
-Doritos Power of the Crunch
-Go Daddy Shower Scene
-Pepsi Max I'm Good
-Pedigree Strange Pets
-Budweiser Clydesdale Jealousy
-Budweiser Horse Lovers
-Gatorade Talking Heads David Abernathy's Life
-Hyundai, Like Sunday, Outrage
-E*Trade Singing Baby
-Bud Light Skiing
-H&R Block Death and Taxes
-Teleflora No More Mean Flowers in Boxes

Halftime Ads:

-Sobe Lizard Lake
-Sprint/Nextel Roadies
-NFL Network Deals with Carlos Boozer
-Universal Inner Super Hero

2nd Half Ads:

-Coca-Cola Avatar
-Bridgestone Moon Riders
-Denny's Gangsters Moose End
-Budweiser Jake the Clydesdale
-Career Builder Tips
-Coca-Cola Heist
-Frosted Flakes
-Miller High Life 1-second ad
-Hyundai Contract
-Coke Zero with Troy Palamalo
-Cash4Gold with MC Hammer and Ed McMahon
-General Electric Scarecrow, If I Only Had a Brain
-Pepsi and SNL's Macgruber
-Bud Light Lime
-Go Daddy Enhancements

Postgame Ads:

E*Trade Baby Golfer
-Denny's Nannerpus

Today is Game Day

Super Bowl 43. The commercials are just hours away now, and I wanted to post in order to lay out my game plan for the day.

-If you havn't yet, check out my Super Bowl Commercials Preview. Many of todays ads have already surfaced and been graded by yours truly.

-Pre-game coverage starts at 4 p.m. Eastern, and the game will begin at 6 p.m. (approximately)

-I will start watching at 4, and my commercials coverage will begin as soon as I see something noteworthy.

-$206,000,000 of ads to cover. That's a lot of business.

Enjoy the game and come on over here to see the stuff you may have missed during your bathroom break or beer run.