Monday, February 7, 2011

The 2011 DASBAA

The 2011 DASBAA (Dan’s Annual Super Bowl Advertising Analysis)

“Read the Review of This Review’s Review in Tomorrow’s Reviewer’s Review!”

Thanks for tuning in, ad connoisseurs. If you’re like me, you’re tired. You want a nap, but not until you’ve thoroughly scrutinized every last marketing effort from the world’s biggest annual effort in marketing, the “Super Bowl” of Ads, if you will. (Surely I’ve made that joke before. Sigh…)

On an unrelated side note, I watched Glee for the first time last night. I didn’t mean to. It just sort of happened. The show came on after the Super Bowl, and well, one thing led to another. I’ve thought about it, and decided I’m going to tell my wife. She deserves to know.

Anyway, damned if we didn’t have another really good Super Bowl football contest this year. Am I right? The Pack, or as it’s pronounced in Wisconsin, The Pyack, triumphed with a stellar performance by a quarterback resembling a young Brett Favre’s penis.

And on the ad front, an encouraging trend: good car ads. No, seriously. Read on and see if you don’t agree. (Follow along here.)

The Winners:

Volkswagen – “The Force” was such a disarmingly funny spot. A kid dressed as Darth Vader tries to use “the force” to affect household objects, unsuccessfully until Dad uses his remote to start the car in the driveway. Nothing that probably hasn’t been done before, but it was just a really charming, skillfully told story, executed well. Probably the best spot of the whole game.

Chrysler – America loves an underdog. And Detroit is America’s underest dog ever. So, congrats to the team who produced this spot. Even with the ubiquitously antagonistic Eminem batting cleanup, Chrysler’s tour of the Motor City was a tour de force.

Chevy – The Chevy spot that stood out for me was “Tommy” (which might’ve been called “Lassie”). Surprised I haven’t seen someone try this angle before, it worked so well for a auto commercial.

NFL – Best. Fans. Ever. Yeah, you get to be on the winners list, NFL, even though you lose points for excessive borrowed interest. The spot is just a series of old scenes from everyone’s favorite TV shows (Seinfeld, Happy Days, Family Guy, Brady Bunch, etc.) with the characters getting ready to watch football. But, I can’t deny a simple idea executed well, even if they didn’t technically write a spot.

The Also-Rans:

Stella Artois – Adrien Brody sings to adoring girls about… his beer. It’s the twist that wasn’t. Beautifully shot, though. And he is dreamy.

Carmax – One winner and one loser lands you in the “also-rans”. The “Kid in a Candy Store” spot was pretty great, while the “Gas Station” execution blew what could’ve been a funny idea.

Audi – I wanted to put “Luxury Prison” on the winners list, but in the end it was just trying too hard and had a disappointing payoff. The Kenny G bit was funny though.

The Losers: – Talking cars are only funny when… they’re funny. And like talking babies (you’ll notice I didn’t even mention E*Trade this year), you just can’t write your way out of a cliché. Which is apparently why the writer didn’t even try.

Snickers – Not a “bad” spot here, but you lose so many points by trying to rehash an idea in a lame sequel. Betty White & Abe Vigoda were much more worthy references than Richard Lewis (who was he again?) & Roseanne Barr. – (To be read in old-tyme Irish cop accent) Move along folks. Nothin’ to see here.

Hyundai – In this spot filled with antiquated televisions, cameras and flying machines, Jeff Bridges asks us, “What if we always settled for the first thing that came along?” Well, I think we have our answer, since the creatives responsible for this spot seem to have settled for the first tepid idea they came up with.

Bud Light – “Here we go” America, directly 18th in Reading, 22nd in Science and to 28th in Math. That’s right. I’m blaming Bud Light ads for our nation’s intellectual decline. Think it’s a stretch? Watch the “Dogsitter” spot again. And it was the #1 rated commercial of the game, according to the USA Today Ad Meter!

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That’s why next year, I’m emigrating the DASBAA north of the border to cover the most scintillating ads of the Grey Cup (The Canadian Football League’s championship game)! Hilarious depictions of bikinied girls tossing ice-cold Molson Lagers into an unsuspecting Jim Carrey’s crotch (not to worry eh, he’s covered by universal health care) as the Barenaked Ladies cover Rush’s “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”, don’t you know!

See you in 2012 then. It’s aboot time!