That was not the Best Super Bowl…for ads either

superbowl-2014-logoWell, we know from the start that was not the best game.  I would say the half time show was great and hopefully Bruno Mars gained some new fans around the world.  But for those of us watching the TV ads, they weren’t that good.  There were quite a few mediocre ones, and a few copy cats of their own campaigns but not as good as the prior year ads.  I’m a big fan of Advertising, so trust me I wanted to like them more than I did. There just wasn’t an ad that we’ll talk about for five years, not like the Betty White Snickers ad or the Dodge Farmer Ad.  If you liked the ads better than I did, feel free to tell me which ones and why.

Here are the best ones:

Coke “America”

I really liked the Coke ad.  It’s quiet, but I think it stands out among all the gag style ads where brands appear to be trying too hard.  It has sparked some controversy on-line with a few people objecting to “America the Beautiful” being sung in various languages. But Coke is as global of a company as you can find.  So this not only speaks to Americans but all those around the world looking at Coke as being that link to America.  I’d give this a solid A, mainly because I think it takes guts to do this ad.


Doritos “Finger” 

This is a very good ad, fitting with the personality of the brand, and a cute gag that is sure to make us all laugh. It also involves the brand nicely.  I’d give it an A-.  It’s cute, but we might not remember this one a year from now.


Heinz “Bottle”

It’s great to see Heinz make a move onto the big stage.  They’ve struggled the past few decades, once we figured out their taste could be duplicated. But this really ties in perfectly to the heritage of the brand, and even given a new modern twist.  It’s cute and let’s give it a nice B+.


Budweiser “Puppy”

This one seems to be winning all the on-line votes for best ad, that might be indicative that there was nothing great. I might be over-thinking this one, but doesn’t it seem a lot like last year’s Budweiser spot where the horse kept running back to the owner.  While last year’s brought a tear to my eye, this one just made me smile. I’m going a solid B.


Here’s last year’s Budweiser ad.  Don’t you think it’s similar, and better. Still makes me cry.

Budweiser “Home Coming”

This was pretty good, just not amazing. I’m not sure it tugged at the heart enough.  Feels like we’ve seen others over the years that were better. I’d give it a solid B.


The rest of the ads were C’s and D’s, maybe a few F’s.  Here’s to a better game for next year, and better ads.  I realize we aren’t going to get Dodge “Farmer”.  To me, this is one of our best ads of the century so far. Here’s what an A+ looks like.


Here’s to next year’s game.  May it bring better football and better ads.


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10 thoughts on “That was not the Best Super Bowl…for ads either

  1. I was disappointed by the Budweiser Homecoming ad. If the story was true, they got a TV commercial out of it. If only I could believe that every returning service man or woman were honored by a parade that included Clydesdales …

  2. Can we just talk about “Farmer” for a moment? You thought this was A+? I comment on ads, and also do a Super Bowl roundup, and I have this a “Wtf.” It was well-done, yes. It was compelling copy (thanks to Paul Harvey.) But did you think it was good advertising? I would love to run a recall study to see how many people even know who that ad was for.

    In the same key, what did you think of Chrysler’s ad this year? They went for that same bullseye in the heart of Americana. I just thought this ad SAID all the stuff that “Farmer” was TRYING to say.

    Your thoughts?

    • Farmer took a huge risk, going so quiet in a loud game. Farmer focused on who was for their brand. This year’s Chrysler, I meant to get to, was the third in a row with working class edge. And it was the third best, or worst, in the series. I love the Eminem ad a few years ago. This one screams “sell out”. Thanks for replying. Overall, this year’s ads were soft.

      • It did have a “sellout” quality to it, but it also had some balls, which I really responded to. BTW, you are SPOT-ON with your review of the Coca-Cola spot. It reminded me so much of the “I’d like to give the world a Coke” from the 70’s.


  3. You were right on target about the Coke / America the Beautiful ad. It absolutely did take guts to do that ad. For the same reason, it took guts for General Mills to continue the Cheerios theme. Kudos to both brands. Lastly…thanks for posting last year’s Clydesdale advertisement. I didn’t see it the first time. And it did make me cry!

  4. I thought the “Puppy Love” ad from Budweiser was outstanding. Yes, this is a recycle of last year’s idea, but if anything, this builds continuity for the brand. This is a prime example of a brand telling a compelling story and they did it very well. You remembered the ad and the advertiser. Budweiser “owned” Twitter during this year’s Superbowl.

    • Continuity is great, but you should build continuity around the “idea” not just the execution. An idea spurs on various executions that help make the idea even bigger. An execution eventually wears out…such as “whazzup”

  5. I like the Heinz ad as well. However, I really thought they should have emphasized that in order to get sauce out of the bottle better, you hit the “57.” The commercial shows people hitting the bottom of the bottle. I thought it would be a catchier branding opportunity to include the “57” trick.

  6. I enjoyed the Heinz ad as well. However, I thought they should have included the hitting the 57 trick to get the sauce out of the bottle. I felt it would have been a catchier branding opportunity.

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