BrandBowl Studs (and as always, a few duds)

Last night, the hubs and I planted ourselves on the couch for a good five hours to watch the Ravens beat the 49ers watch big-name brands attempt to make us laugh or cry or in the case of Go Daddy — dry heave.

Analyzing the commercials is a ritual for me. That’s why we’ve always declined invitations to SuperBowl parties. I prefer to watch the commercials in peace and quiet. But rest assured, the spread of food is never lacking. The minutes I spend glued to the TV are also spent stuffing my face with chili, nachos and this amazing caramelized onion, gruyere and bacon spread.

caramelized onion spread

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the showing of commercials this year. I remember not being wowed by any of them last year. Not that I was really wowed by anything this year, but I’m pretty confident in saying that there were some that really struck a chord.

No. 1 Budweiser “The Clydesdales: Brotherhood”

Part of me wonders if the reason why I loved this one so much is because I’m such a sap when it comes to animals. But clearly, the critics and the average consumer were fans of this too. Superb storytelling. Great music choice. And excellent job of tapping into the emotional side of well, selling beer. This is the kind of stuff SuperBowl commercials are made of, and Budweiser has consistently delivered that time and time again. While my next beer probably won’t be a Budweiser, I appreciate the brand, its storied history and its ability to make a lip or two tremble in a mere 60 seconds (1 minute, 12 seconds if you’re counting).

No. 2 Ram Trucks “Farmer”


I love the fact that this commercial doesn’t read like a sell sheet. There is nothing about torque or horsepower or that Hemi V8 engine mumbo jumbo. Yes, that’s important if you’re seriously considering buying a Ram truck. But if that’s the case, then visit their website. In this spot, Ram decided to celebrate a longtime consumer of their brand, the farmer. And it’s that celebration and appreciation of the hard-working American farmer that will remind their audience to think of Ram the next time they want to buy a truck. Spotlighting the farmer was a pretty unexpected approach, but it’s one that I liked. In a category where everyone is spewing product attributes, it’s nice to see a truck brand stand for something. And all that farm imagery? Beautifully art directed.

No. 3 Taco Bell “Forever Young”

This being my third year of analyzing SuperBowl commercials on the blog, I’ve realized that I’m partial to the deep, serious, emotional TV spots. I personally find them to be the most memorable. But this year, there were a couple humorous ones that I thought were pretty darn good. Taco Bell’s is one of them. Let’s face it. Old people doing funny sh*t is hilarious, and the whole concept seamlessly laddered up to their “Live Mas” tagline. And okay, another huge reason why Mikey and I loved this one is because Mikey is a HUGE Taco Bell enthusiast. As in, he’s on a first-name basis with the woman at the drive-thru enthusiast.

No. 4 Oreo “Power Outage” Tweet

Oreo did have a commercial during the SuperBowl this year, but the stunt they pulled in social media overshadowed the millions they spent on their TV spot. During the infamous power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Oreo made a move that proved they were quick, witty, relevant and modern. They posted this photo to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.


You may be thinking, So what? What’s the big deal? The big deal is that in this fast-paced world that we live in today, Oreo can keep up. They recognized that timing is everything, and they found a way to deliver a brand message at a specific moment in time when people were twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the lights to make a comeback. Well done, Oreo. Nicely played.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really have the patience to recap every SuperBowl commercial, but as is my tradition every year, I tweeted a lot of my 140-character criticisms during the game. Take a gander. Enjoy. And see you next year, BrandBowl.

Twitter feed 1


Twitter feed 2


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