The 2009 DASBAA (Dan’s Annual Super Bowl Advertising Analysis)
“Celebrating five years of overanalyzing ad minutiae.”
Welcome to the 2009 DASBAA. This year, I’m happy to announce that I’m being sponsored by Pepsi. But don’t worry, dear readers. I won’t let this affect my unconflicted interest of breaking down the most expensive, enticing and pepsi-riffic Super Bowl commercials this year has to offer.
It’s been a great year, friends. The Steelers became the winningest Super Bowl team ever, Kurt Warner’s wife became hot (by growing hair!), and some “amateurs” created the top-rated (by consumers who agreed to play with little dials instead of drinking beers during the game) ad of the big game. Is this pep-resentative of a larger trend? Let’s dig in…
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In an effort to cover more spots without wearing out my keyboard, I’m going to make my commentary for the losers short, pithy and insulting. Basically, I’ll try to be Triumph the Ad Comic. So let’s skip ahead to the losers now.
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes – It’s sad when a spot opens on grass growing. And then it gets worse. And who let Tony the Molester build kids’ baseball fields as his community service?
Go Daddy – Go home. Danica Patrick isn’t that hot. Your ads aren’t smart. And your website is so cluttered and dysfunctional, it looks like it was designed by Muhammad Ali during an earthquake.
Castrol – A guy lets monkeys change his oil. This is what ads must look like in hell.
Sobe Life Water – Lizards and pro athletes dancing ballet. Was this the trailer for “Anaconda 4: The Reptiles Stole Our Ideas”? I mean gimme a Pepsi!
Bud Clydesdales – Anheuser-Busch should start making glue. Wait, maybe that’s what American Ale is. Yum… Beechwood-aged Clydesdale.
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Careerbuilder.com vs. Monster.com – This year was very interesting for the job search sites. Amid the worst recession this country has seen since Gorbechev’s forehead receded to show a map of Key West, the two largest job search sites, Career Builder and Monster, are running $3 million ads. Uh, I don’t think the problem is that people don’t know where to look for jobs. The problem is there aren’t any. But economics aside, these were two very funny, well-executed ads. I keep going back and forth on which I thought won the Super Bowl of Job Site Commercials. Both were es-pepsially sharp. Career Builder’s reasons why your job sucks (repeated with good comic timing) versus Monster’s moose head panning around to the moose’s ass… I think it’s a tie.
Cheetos –Prissy snob girl gets a flock of pigeons pooping on her after a snacker tosses a pile of Cheetos under her chair. Take that, you stuck up bitch! Shout out to my buddy Andy, who made this spot, and made it funny.
Hyundai – The Koreans get a nod here not for their ads, but for the offer. If you buy a Hyundai and lose your job in the next year, you can return the car to them with no damage to your credit. I wish I had a joke here. But it’s just a smart angle.
Coke – Bugs steal a sleeping picknicker’s Coke! Super-slick animation and some nice adventure-style direction. Sweet ad.
Denny’s – What if mobsters and cowboys ate candy-ass breakfasts? Funny stuff. And the dancing banana on top of the whip cream pancakes (“It’s Nannerpuss!”) that ran after the game was damn funny stuff.
Hulu – Alec Baldwin. You can’t trust him. You can’t look away. Hulu makes the claim that it’s easier than ever to turn your brain to mush by watching all your favorite shows online. I love honesty.
Pepsuber – Pepsi, having not had an original idea presented to them in years, wisely decided to latch onto a funny SNL sketch to sell their soda. McGruber, deftly played by Will Forte and assisted by the amazing Kristin Wiig and, well, MacGuyver, has to work his way out of yet another life-or-death situation with the time-bomb ticking down. Only this time, he’s shamelessly sponsored by Pepsi. Smart guy. He changes his name to “Pepsuber” and gets distracted by the refreshing taste of Pepsi before he can save the day. After careful consideration and unbiased deliberation among myself and my sponsor, this ad is the winner of the 2009 Pepsi Award for Pepsellence.
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Bud Light Conan – Conan O’Brien is funny. Bud Light is a watered-down beer. Put them together and what do you get? A watered-down funny.
Cars.com – Nice storyline here. Probably could be a winner in another forum. But the Super Bowl is about beer, bitches and punching koalas.
Cash4Gold – Holy Potsmoking Creatives! What the hell just happened here? Did Ed MacMahon just sell his gold toilet to MC Hammer? I can’t call this one a loser since it’s so whacked out, but it’s definitely farther from being a winner.
Doritos – What is this? Amateur hour? Yes it is, actually. Well, kinda. Doritos asked consumers (read: out-of-work ad creatives) to send in their own ads (read: ask your out-of-work director friend for a favor). In the spot, a guy throws a crystal ball into a snack machine and then into his boss’s crotch. They safely avoided any class or artistic merit (but hey, we’re talking about artificially-flavored chips) in favor of slapstick humor. It worked. I laughed (despite myself). America voted. And a million bucks went to a couple dudes in Iowa. God Bless America and Pepsi.
E-Trade – The web-surfing baby strikes again. I can’t make this one a “winner” for two reasons. One, it’s the same idea from last year. Two, it’s a talking baby. Anything John Travolta made money doing, I can’t fall in love with. (Sorry, Stealth Bomber pilots.)
Miller High Life – Where were these ads? I didn’t see them. Either they didn’t show in the Bay Area or they pulled them at the last second. But I saw them ahead of time online, and they were hilarious. If you didn’t catch them, Miller did a bunch of random one-second ads (because High Life wouldn’t pony up enough money for a 30-second spot). Check them out online. Good stuff. They just can’t be winners if they don’t run.
Teleflora – I wanted to like this ad, the one with the talking flowers. But it was just a little too flat. The flower only said one line that was actually funny. It could’ve really torn into that poor girl some more (making Alice in Wonderland blush), knowing this was the Super Bowl audience, guys all geared up for raunchy jokes. It wasn’t a bad ad, but the potential was there to be much, much funnier.
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There. Done. Hope you enjoyed this year’s DASBAAP (Dan’s Annual Super Bowl Advertising Analysis by Pepsi). Special thanks to all of the good ads and especially the terrible ones. Without you, what would we mock on Monday? (Kurt Warner’s feeble attempt to tackle on a 100-yard interception return, perhaps?) Pepsi.