Monday, February 8, 2010

the 2010 DASBAA

The 2010 DASBAA (Dan’s Annual Super Bowl Advertising Analysis)

“Your Yearly Source For Annual Ad Coverage Every 12 Months”

Welcome to this years’ DASBAA. It’s so nice to see all of you again. Have you lost weight? Please, make yourself at home. Try the hummus. Before you get too comfortable though, I’d like you to join me in congratulating Drew Brees on his beautiful wife. A commendable accomplishment indeed.

And yes, he led the Saints to their first Super Bowl win, causing mass chaos in the otherwise tranquil French Quarter of New Orleans. Real estate in the area has plummeted after something locals are calling a “party” broke out after the final whistle blew. Tragic.

But you didn’t tune into the DASBAA for some lame football report, did you? You want the straight dope on the inside scoop of the good word, am I right? We’re talkin’ ads here, folks! Big-time, big-money, big-audience (both in numbers and in weight), big… disappointment?

I put a question mark after that last sentence to give an air of suspense, but the truth is, I could’ve used a period. At least for overall quality, as the ads were largely underwhelming, with some notable exceptions. But the interesting moments this year came from the “controversies” and “themes”.

So let’s talk ads, themes and controversies, shall we? I’ll try to ‘Brees’ through it. (Please forgive that. I meant only to illustrate the level to which the creativity has dropped in Super Bowl ads this year.)

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The Winners:

Audi – My favorite spot and this year’s DASBEST Award Winner (yep, it took me six years to come up with that name) is “The Green Police”. This spot was very well executed (even the use of a tired Cheap Trick song seemed to work), tapped into a ripe, contemporary subject and managed to make it funny for both greenie weenies in San Francisco (went over well at my party) and Texas Two-Stoppers of Recycling (patent pending on that phrase).

Snickers – Betty White playing football. Need I say more? Okay, Abe Vigoda playing football. There. Need satisfied. This one also won the 2010 USA Today Ad Meter, which is apparently some kind of DASBEST knockoff.

Vizio – Clean, slick and ultra-recently-nostalgic. Good combo. Not sure it’s going to blow the lid off Super Bowl advertising for the next generation, but this spot was well conceived and executed. Note the cameos by an assortment of youtube stars. Hey, I remember them!

Coke – I debated demoting this one into the also-rans, since it showed very little of the edge and wit of The Simpsons, opting instead for the unbridled optimism of Coke. But at the end of the Sunday, it was a pretty fun spot to watch. And damn it, I love The Simpsons. Plus, Milhouse saved the spot at the end with “Sorry, Coke!” Ah… There’s that wit.

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The Also-Rans:

Doritos – No, these spots weren’t great. But they were made by amateurs. Good work, kids! It was fun laughing at your work, then patronizingly referring to it as “amateur”.

Bud Light – There are way too many ads here to put them either higher or lower than this. Bud Light reminds me of the comedian who can’t decide which version of the same joke to tell. So he tells them all. And it ain’t gettin’ funnier.

The Whole Tebow “Controversy” – Were you like me, bracing for some heavy-handed pro-life commercial that was going to simultaneously ruin Tebow’s pro football career before it even started and infuriate Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the same time? Instead, we were treated to a lame, seamless-white background in front of which Tebow tackled his mom for some reason. And now, the ad with the biggest pre-game hype is the one no one is talking about.

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The Losers:

Sketchers – C’mon. The one remotely interesting thing about your commercial, Joe Montana, didn’t even show up in the ad. It sounded like he just left someone a voicemail and they played it during the spot. Abysmal showing, Sketchers.

Dr. Pepper – Mini-KISS; larger-than-life-sized failure. (Side note: I actually saw Mini-KISS play in concert once. No joke. Spoiler alert: they don’t play their instruments or sing. Rock on!)

E-Trade – Talking babies! Talking babies! AAAAAAAHHHHH! I can’t get enough talking babies! I want to eat their faces! AAAAAAHHHHHH!

Sketchers – The Ad so Bad I Had to Add it twice… Dad.

Pantsless Ads Theme – Somebody had to get fired for this one. First, I watch a very unfunny ad about an office full of people with no pants. Then, immediately following that, I watch another ad about not wearing pants. And this one is by Dockers, a pants company. I can’t even remember what either ad was trying to say. I just remember feeling bad for whoever placed those two spots butt-to-butt. What a dumbass.

And finally, I’d like to extend a special welcome to members of our DASBAA Frequent Losers Program, who need no introduction.


Thanks for flying with us, losers.

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And that wraps up this year’s DASBAA. Congrats to the DASBEST Winner, and all the spots that made it all the way to the big game. At the end of the day, you’re all winners. Except you, losers.

And a special extra congratulations to Reggie Bush, who not only has a Super Bowl ring, but who also has his trophy.

Don’t forget. Next year is the 2011 DASBAA, the second-to-last edition before the world ends. See you then.


  1. What about the Google ad? I really liked it. By the way, I hate the talking babies...a lot.

  2. You're right, I should've included that one. It was a great story, simply told. The only thing I had against it was that the rowdy Super Bowl crowd might not have been the right audience for a clean, subtle spot like that.