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My 2011 Super Bowl commercials report card

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Now that the big game is over I’ve been able to put the disappointment that my beloved Steelers lost the game aside, I figured out where the dogs where hiding from me yelling at the TV and I used my DVR go back through all the commercial to put together my own best and worst top 5 Super Bowl commercial lists for this year.

Top 5

1 – VW The Force
I know this didn’t rank very high on a lot of critics lists but this was my favorite for a lot of reasons. First was that if you are going to spend all that money on a big pop culture license like Star Wars then get your money’s work and make a big impact. The 14+ million views on YouTube make me think I’m not alone in thinking that this commercial reached a lot of people. Second was that it connected the core human truth that every little boy wanted to be Darth Vader or to be able to use The Force at least once in his life. And finally because I love the fact that it didn’t a single word to tell the story.

2 – Best Buy – w/ Ozzy & Bieber
I can’t believe that I actually like anything with Justin Beiber in it but that’s one of reason it ranked so high for me.  Anyone who can make an adult male like Justin Beiber deserves an award. Plus it actually focused on selling their buy back program through the humor.

3 – Chrysler “Imported from Detroit”
The opening was a blatant play on patriotism but I like how it transitioned into a defiant stance on putting Detroit back on the map.  ‘Imported from Detroit.’ was a nice tag line finishing touch.

4 – NFL s/ sitcom families
This was unique because unlike every other commercial it wasn’t selling anything and a nod to how football effects our culture by using other cultural references. So it was fun to see which teams all the sitcom characters rooted for and personally I loved that Homer Simpson is a Steelers fan.

5 – Motorola’s tablet
I liked that Motorola stepped up and took a shot at Apple and they did it by making their own version of 1984. It showed off the product and created intrigue to find out more about their product.

 

Worst 5

1 – Stella w/ Adrien Brody
Tell me again why you think having Adrien Brody singing to crying women in a French jazz club is going to make any man want to walk into a bar tomorrow and order a Stella?

2 – GoDaddy
Not even Joan Rivers could save GoDaddy as this showed us that they are still the trailer park of advertising – cheap and no one wants to go there unless they have to.

3 – Sketchers Kardashian
This probably should have been a tie with GoDaddy but their track record of horrible ads edged them ahead of this one. Why Sketchers wanted to remind us that their spokeswoman made a sex tape is beyond me. I also hated it because this type of work is why so many people think in-house creative teams are some kind of second class creative citizens who are only capable of this level of lame ideation.

4 – Teleflora
There is always at least one commercial a year where they think they can get a laugh out of the ‘men are stupid’ card and this was it this year. Plus whoever talked Faith Hill into doing this spot was a gold tongued devil because this really hurt her clean cut, wholesome brand.

5 – Bud Light Hack Job
It seemed like Bud Light really mailed it in this year but ‘Hack Job’ was the worst of the bunch. Their play off home improvement just wasn’t funny with creativity that paled by comparison to their house made of Bud Light commercial from last year.

So tell me if you agree or disagree with my list in the comments.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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