Super Bowl Commercials: A Look Back at 2012

The Super Bowl of 2012 (or XLVI, if you’re counting) was once again a showcase of the most innovative, creative and inevitably underwhelming advertising that millions of dollars can assemble. Conversations and opinions on the bunch formed in the days leading up to and following that Super Sunday. Now, here is another one – a tad late. Also, two teams played football.

Our first impression was, overall, quite positive. And after ruminating for a week or two, well, still the same. Of course, there were a few facepalms and disappointments (we’ll get to those), but let’s start with the winners.

Honda CR-V: “Matthew’s Day Off”

Technically, this isn’t the version that ran on TV and – as is the trend – it was released online prior to the game. Nevertheless, Honda capitalized on the incredible amount of nostalgia most of us have for Ferris and, for all intents and purposes, won our hearts with this one. Despite featuring a significantly less-cool ride – however appropriate for its current day subject – this extended spot garnered 14.5 million+ Youtube views and an estimated $2.24 million in earned media. Hey, that’s almost 30 seconds worth!

Fiat: “Seduction”

This gem surfaced almost three months prior to its Super Bowl appearance. But we all know a handful of blogs aren’t going to provide quite the same impact. The spot’s mysteriousness (What is this for? Who is that woman? And what is she saying?) grabbed its audience and while the product wasn’t as impressive as we were expecting, it doesn’t matter. We remember Fiat. Nice touch on the back-of-the-neck tattoo, too.

Will Ferrell for Old Milwaukee

Despite only airing in North Platte, Nebraska (on affiliate KNOP to be exact), Old Milwaukee’s almost anti-commercial was a minimalist achievement. From the tiny media buy to the low production value to the nearly nil dialogue, it all feels like a fitting climax to Ferrell’s campaign for the beer. Even if the North Platte choice isn’t crystal clear, it is a unique strategy worth applauding.

Bud Light “Weego”

The recent switch to a double-headed agency team, McGarryBowen & Translation, has already resulted in elevated creative (for Bud Light Platinum, see below). No more emasculated dumb guys getting hit in the nuts! Introducing cute, smart, little dogs fetching beer. Well, one dog. And Bud isn’t exactly blazing trails with the idea, but at least they are giving their viewers’ IQ a little credit.

Not every winner can get covered here, so let’s get to the ones that either disappointed or were the commercial equivalent to Donald Trump, a Kardashian, or little girls on TLC – best if they’re not given an audience…

Doritos

The two crowd-sourced “winners” (slingshot baby, a-dog-a-guy-and-a-dead-cat) were actually well-received, each topping separate USA Today Ad Meters – apparently that still means a lot? The million dollars does. The main gripe here is that whatever entertainment value these spots may have had is negated by the hackneyed stock music Doritos provides to its participants. Solution? Automatically disqualify anyone who uses it.

Bud Light: Platinum

Not much to say about the ad; it was forgettable. What exactly is Platinum? It’s “top shelf” Bud Light. Translation: Another gimmick beer. Exactly what we don’t need more of.

Volkswagen

When you have the history that VW does, and you’re following in the foot steps of last year’s runaway success, “The Force,” there is a 99% chance of a letdown. This year’s SB edition was lazy. Oh look, another dog – this one without all the cuteness and beer fetching. Although the barking teaser was clever, can someone explain the connection between canines and Star Wars?

GoDaddy.co(m)

Another year, another lame attempt to seduce us with domain name registration from GoDaddy. Company spokesperson Danica Patrick delivers perhaps the least convincing pitch involving the words “hot,” “body paint,” and “dot co,” so head over to GoDaddy for the unrated content and oh, who gives a shit? [Paragraph content also unrated]

Until next year, when someone will spectacularly blow four million dollars

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