Last Updated on 1 March 2017

It’s listed in the official handbook of marketers, that for at least 36 hours after the Super Bowl, you must work as many references into your daily speaking and writing as possible.

I didn’t have the benefit of being able to watch the Super Bowl, so I also missed watching the commercials. Luckily YouTube AdBlitz has – I think – all of the key spots that were presented.

Since I only watched them once, and in sequence, and on YouTube… I was able to form an opinion and immediate impression.

I judge the quality of a commercial, especially during the Super Bowl based on…

    (1) Attention – Does it capture attention?
    (2) Engage – Does it entertain as it informs?
    (3) Recall – Do I remember the name of the brand and/or product being promoted?

The spots that do this best were…

Touch Downs

Tide Stain-Stick

(Actually called Tide To-Go). The talking stain was funny. Worrying of you’re making sense during an interview is a common concern. As you watched it you were drawn in to figure out what was going on.

At first I thought this was a ad. But the payoff at the end with the demonstration of the Tide To-Go product brought it all together. I didn’t recall that it was called “Tide To-Go” until I watched it again (for this post, so perhaps it would lose a point or two?). But, bottom line, I could go to my grocery store and easily ask for this product.

“Queen of Hearts” – You can feel her pain when you see the woman in the drab office, with a lobster-eating jerk boss, in a dead-end job. And then her heart rips out of her chest, makes its way to the boss’s office and quits on her behalf. The tagline “Follow Your Heart” is great.

The closing shot of the CareerBuilder logo crushing the typical office building. It worked for me. If I were searching for a job, I’d check out their site.


Either you think talking babies are funny or you don’t. I do in this instance. I think they way they put together this ad… obviously putting words to a kid just sitting there (of course digitally making the baby’s mouth move) is very clever and feels spontaneous.

I recall that it was funny. It was eTrade. That they have over 1000 sign-ups a day. Evidently it’s easy. Got my attention. Informed me how easy eTrade is. I can recall the product name.

They also captured the recent hubbub about the recent research stating how clowns are actually scary for most kids. Topical. Extra points for that. One of the spots is just below, the other you can view here.

Coke and Bud are such established brands… I can say Coke and Bud and you know what I mean. They have it a bit easier as product/brand recognition is already quite established for most Americans. So for these guys, getting my attention and engaging me are most important.


Coke did a great job with their “It’s Mine” ad. A few balloons from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade seem to come to life and fight over the Coke bottle balloon. Clever to use the popular Stewie character balloon (Family Guy) and Underdog (movie now in theaters). Priceless that the Charlie Brown balloon gets it. Charlie Brown always had trouble playing football – what with Lucy removing the ball last minute each time he’d run up for a kick. So it was ‘refreshing’ to see good ol’ Chuck be a winner.

I will also give Coke credit for the clever Jinx ad where Republican Bill Frist and Democrat James Carville – who during an interview can’t agree on anything – say the same thing at the same time, and Frist says to Carville. “Jinx, buy me a Coke.” Somehow the experience brings them together and they spend the rest of the day touring Washington DC sights and become friends. Even enemies can agree on one thing – the refreshing taste of Coca-Cola. Again, a very topical ad and clever. Also a clever way to bring the parties together. Nice work.


Bud was clever. Two of their ads feature the three benefits of Bud. (1) Refreshment. (2) Drinkability. And… (3a) the ability to fly and (3b) the ability to breathe fire. Then you see the problems with the third new benefits. Getting caught in airplane engines and accidentally burning the house down. I didn’t remember that they were for Bud Light. I guess they missed that mark with me as well.

These ads were fun, but didn’t leave me feeling better about the brand. To me Bud showed up. Entertained. But that was it. I didn’t feel better about the brand the way I did with the Coke ads.

From a marketing perspective, I thought the Jackie Moon spots that Bud did were clever. A bud commercial featuring “basketball star” Jackie Moon (the character from the upcoming movie Semi-Pro). Fun partnership.


The ads that fell flat for me were…

The car ads. I’m not in the market for a car, or perhaps not the right target audience. Two I recall… and interesting to me that they’re both targeting younger drivers.

First, the guy who wakes up in bed all greasy and the grill from his car in his bed. Nice spoof of the Godfather. The Audi R8 they showed was sexy, but I couldn’t tell you the brand or make. “Old luxury just got put on notice.” Targeting younger drivers.

Second, I thought the car commercial for Cadillac featuring Kate Walsh was provocative. Her line, “when you turn your car does it return the favor?” Clever. I recall that this was Cadillac because as a marketer I thought it was interesting that Cadillac is trying to appeal to young women (like Kate Walsh) versus older Italian men – like my dad. I haven’t seen Kate in any of her shows so her celebrity didn’t help for this viewer.

I enjoyed the ads, but forgot about them. I really liked the Bridgestone “Scream” spot, but it didn’t stick that it was Bridgestone advertising. Recall makes me think it was a promoting a car that handles well. (In re-watching the spot, YES it is obviously a Bridgestone commercial, I see that at the end… But as a consumer, I didn’t remember that.)

What about you? What’s your take?