We woke up this morning to a world without football and, more noticeably, a web without new ad teasers or automobile buzz. Car companies were the biggest winners of Super Bowl 2012, with ads from Honda, Acura, Chrysler, Chevy and Volkswagen ranking highest among game-day and YouTube views alike.
Considering these game day ads cost upwards of $3 million, the automotive industry is either very desperate or doing better at the bank than they’ve led us to believe. Not only did most car companies release ad teasers in advance of the game but Kia, Volkswagen and Honda also released extended, 90-second versions of their game day spots for YouTube. More is more. Afterall, it is the Super Bowl.
Chrysler’s simple, sentimental approach was a stark contrast from the beer-and-chimpanzee spots that prevail throughout half-time. The automaker used black and white still shots of mixed-race America and pans of hard-working Detroit to strike a chord with our pride and patriotism. Clint Eastwood was at the heart of the ad, rallying nationalist optimism for what is apparently America’s “second half.” Eastwood is a guaranteed win for most machismo football fans and while we’re sure there are many viewers who’d rather not be reminded of reality while filling up on salty snacks and terrible pop music at half-time, the ad’s sincerity was more refreshing than Pepsi for sure.
It’s fair to say that starting off last week with Honda’s Ferris Bueller reprise set the bar pretty high. The 5-second teaser for Matthew’s Day Off garnered over 5 million views on its own and was a perfect example of how successful the mini-ads for extended-length ads have been. Honda didn’t even brand the teaser and that bit of mystery effectively lit up the web with curious chatter.
We weren’t amused by the Acura ad featuring Seinfeld and Leno which just seemed like NBC had too many bored celebrities on their hands and Kia’s over-the-top ad was only a smidge of an improvement. The saving grace for their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach was it’s self-awareness made most obvious by the 5-HOUR TEASER featuring scantily-clad Adriana Lima waving a flag in slow motion. The full-length ad depicted a less-than ingenious dream sequence (rhino excluded) with every simplistic, man-pleasing staple thrown in. For us the winner of Super Bowl 2012 wasn’t the NY Giants, it was the Internet. The ads circulated virally, the half-time circus is already up on YouTube, NBC even gave streaming Super Bowl content a go. Which is why last week’s highlights were web-based viral videos.
Volkswagen’s teaser/extended ad combo was interesting, risky and almost as cute as Honda’s … almost. “The Bark Side” raised our interest in a reprise of last year’s Darth Vader hit from the auto company and it also turned out to be a very necessary tool in tying Volkswagen’s two incongruous commercials together. The Volkswagen Beetle in the Super Bowl spot motivates Bolt the dog to get up off of that thing and get in shape. It’s a classic, cute ad, which happens to be playing in the intergalactic Star Wars Cantina where a motley crew (much preferred to the aged band in Kia’s ad) is watching the game and rating the ads. The dubious Darth Vader looms nearby and doesn’t take kindly to hearing his ad come in second to Bolt the dog. The company took a leap making such a self-aware spot, but it worked in the rankings and also in the push for repeat viewings, if only to better understand the ad.
Old Spice was the funniest, most creative ad in circulation all week. In case you missed it, Wieden+Kennedy ingeniously combined two Proctor & Gamble products into one ad – twice! Terry Crews is back, he smells like power (lol) and he’s selling Old Spice in typically mundane ads for Charmin and Bounce now too! This random and ridiculous ad was by far our favorite from the web this week. Having Old Spice’s Terry Crews crash other, more run-of-the-mill P & G product spots made for an incredibly laughable and quotable advertisement. Old Spice pretty much owns the viral ad market and the added touch from Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job continues to direct Crews right into hilarity.
Chevy took the importance of virality to heart and created a teaser and web-based ad with the band OK Go in the driver’s seat. OK Go has had huge success releasing quirky music videos on YouTube. The video for their song “Here It Goes Again” had more than 52 million views and was the most favorited music video on the web before it was removed from their site. Chevy capitalized on the band’s specialized web success by letting OK Go create a music video using their car as a myriad of instruments. It’s another fun music video for the band and a fresh form of advertisement for Chevy. Everyone’s a winner.
We also have to give a mention to Denny’s restaurant who opted out of the Super Bowl and went for a cheaper and much more creative route releasing their ad this week on Funnyordie.com. Not only can you find the video on Funny or Die, but the ad is featured in banners and backgrounds of many parts of the popular comedy site run Will Ferrel’s production company. (Side note: Did you know Ferrel did a Super Bowl ad of his own? No? That’s probably because it only played in Nebraska and, even there, nobody drinks Old Milwaukee). The video is a funny spoof on Cesar Milan’s reality series The Dog Whisperer. It features Milan assisting a hungry family terrified of their hot, spitting Denny’s skillet. It’s shot in the overly serious docu-style of the show and Cesar uses the same tips he uses on middle-America’s disobedient pets and even takes the skillet rollerblading “to release some of that pent up energy.” “Is there a chance that the meal just cooled down enough to eat it?” “Not a chance,” says Cesar.
Check out the full spoof at here at funnyordie.com.