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Super Bowl XLV Ads: Show, Sell or Shock?

Super Bowl ads have become an event all in themselves over the years. Unexpected hilarity, moving stories, elaborate CG effects all are pieced together to make impressions on viewers. But does their strategy pay off? The digital water coolers are crowded the Monday morning after the Super Bowl with various reactions and impressions. These commercials that have people talking are typically the winners. Why? If the brand is lost or forgettable, it’s safe to say that it will be. I’ve ranked a few standout commercials in 3 categories based on their impact. Show, Sell or Shock.

"Doritos: Cheese" - Show

This was one of the few commercials that personally made me LOL and in the end resonated with me because I remembered it. It doesn’t make me run out to buy a bag of Doritos, but creates mindshare.

"Volkswagon: The Force" - Show

This had to put a smile on George Lucas' bearded face. The cuteness factor scored high helping the Volkswagon brand stay with plenty of viewers. Having a son who is fascinated with light sabers right now, this definitely made a connection with me.

"Chrysler 200" - Sell

One of my favorite commercials of the night. It pointed out flaws, showed how desperate the company has become, but reaffirmed it’s passion and tradition to both Detroit and the American Auto Industry. A bold and powerful spot.

"Groupon: Tibet" - Shock

This one left me with my jaw on the floor. The shock value alone is worth discussion - which I believe ultimately is what Groupon is going for. In order to see the true flaw of this spot, you have to read Groupon’s blog post re: this campaign. “Our peculiar taste in humor made it really hard for outside agencies to come up with concepts we liked.” - Groupon Blog Groupon is fundamentally misunderstanding their target audience and that they are after the masses, not Groupon employees. Below are the bullet point version of my take-aways from “Brand Bowl 2011”.

  • Christina Aguilera flubs National Anthem - admits she’s human
  • The Force is strong with Volkswagon
  • Chrysler is back with the new 200
  • Black Eyed Peas failed to impress during halftime show - Where’s the love, sound engineers?
  • Groupon.com Tibetan insensitivity - yikes
  • Green Bay wins Super Bowl XLV 31-25

Complete commercial listing via YouTube In the end, it all goes back to the old debate of “Is bad press, good press?” Maybe. Have any Super Bowl ads to add to the list? Let us know on our Facebook page, Twitter feed or in the comments below.