PR in Sports

Looking at the World of Sports from a PR Perspecitve

Winners and Losers of the Super Bowl Sunday Ad Blitz

with 22 comments

I’m sure everyone and their brother will be recapping Super Bowl commercials, so I’ll join the fray. But, since I spent most of the weekend shoveling 30 inches of snow and need to get some rest, I’m just going to post a few categories with some real quick thoughts. Here’s my losers, winners, best and worst social conscience spots, the battle of the job search sites, worst celebrity endorsement and the biggest loser!

I’ll be honest, with my 2 year-old running around, I didn’t see them all, so feel free to throw your two cents in. I would love to hear your winners and losers in the comments.


3 – I’ve just never been a fan of the series of spots that depicts a genius that has accomplished amazing feats, yet we’re supposed to relate to them because they struggle to buy a car, just like us common folk. I know that’s the point of the spot, but it just misses in my book. I don’t think people relate.

2- Dodge Charger: Sexist? Possibly. Just a complete miss? Definitely. I know may of the wives out there are no longer fans of Dodge. The car every guy is dreaming of is a Dodge Charger? Really? I know they’re supposed to think their cars are cool, but the spot just missed in my opinion.

1 – Dr. Pepper Cherry: Was there something I didn’t get? KISS, little people and the launch of Dr. Pepper Cherry? This spot was a colossal fail and a complete mess.


3 – Taco Bell: This was one of the worst spots, by far. So, how did it end up on my winners list? First, this was a pretty down year for Super Bowl spots. Second, has anyone in your office not mentioned it? That’s what I thought, it was just so memorable because it was so bad. I’m almost thinking about going to Taco Bell, almost!

2 – Snickers: Who doesn’t love Betty White? One of the first commercials out of the gate, and Snickers had us thinking this years group might surprise. Disappointingly though, this was one of the highlights. But, nothing beats Betty White talking trash during a sand-lot football game! This spot also generated plenty of Twitter buzz after its airing.

1 – Google: Google was a big winner Super Bowl Sunday. This spot nearly shut Twitter down for a several minutes, and unlike the spot, Google’s was totally relateable to the average person. Simple, yet a huge win for Google!

Social Conscience Spots

Loser – Audi: Being “green” is great, saving the planet is great. But, this spot just came off as preachy with the potential to turn people off.

Winner – Focus on the Family and Tim Tebow: Some may hate this, but for all the controversy this spot caused, Tim Tebow handled this very well. Abortion is a very sensitive topic, but unlike Audi, this spot was very subtle and didn’t try to slam their cause down viewers throats. The spot was simply used to drive viewers to the Focus on the Family web site to learn more of Tebow’s story. Agree or disagree with him, Tebow handled this spot and controversy in a very classy way.

The battle of the job search web sites

Loser – A beaver playing violin? Enough said!

Winner – Casual Friday taken to a whole new level. I know we had a few too many old people in underwear during this years Super Bowl, but I found this spot hilarious, especially for anyone that works in an office.

Celebrity Endorsement

Worst – Skechers Shape-ups/Joe Montana: All this money for a Super Bowl spot and Sketchers uses a voice-over Joe Montana? And for this product? Sketchers spot could have been in the “losers” group, but it was so bad, I felt it needed its own section.

Biggest Loser

Social Media: Not so much social media, but the lack of forward thinking from brands in this social media age. I fully expected to see a handful of brands using their spots to drive conversation on Twitter in a creative way, drive traffic to their Facebook Page or even a forward thinking integrated social media campaign. The only sign of Twitter I saw was in the Vizio spot promoting their new Via technology featuring internet apps.

Well, that’s my real quick look at the Super Bowl spots after the game. I’m sure I missed some things, so again, tell me where I’m wrong, right or what your thoughts are in the comments. Would love to hear them!

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22 Responses

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  1. I wasn’t too impressed this year…but my absolute favorite was the Brett Favre for 2020 MVP!

    Careerbuilder comes in a close 2nd…their SuperBowl commercials have been great the past two years…this year’s still didn’t top the “if you hate going to work……and you daydream of punching small animals” commercial of 09. LOL I still get a kick out of that one!

    However, I didn’t appreciate two back-to-back commercials with guys with no pants!


    February 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

    • Hi Deandra,

      Thanks for commenting! I wasn’t too impressed overall either, but I agree with you on the Brett Favre spot, thought it was great and should have had it on my list. Lots of people seemed to be complaining about all the spots with pantless men as well :). I also thought there was more of a sexist overtone to a lot of the spots this year, more than usual and I’m not usually one to notice that.

      Overall, it you could definitely see toned down trend this year, most likely due to the economy.

      Brian Gleason

      February 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

  2. I am completely guilty of not watching the Super Bowl. I was actually filing our taxes instead, would have much rather been watching the Super Bowl.

    However I did see a commercial this morning that caught my attention, so I thought I weigh in on that. Did you see the Stouffer’s commercial for ‘lets fix dinner’ (

    Great stuff, connecting their product with a bigger picture, showing the buyer the benefits of something more than just eating good food, and creating a challenge around it and making it interactive. I don’t see where others can see the progress or a forum to connect, but I am thinking you may have to register to see those.

    I think this is a great campaign, and that they have the right idea. If you are going to pay money for an advertisement, it should be tied in with a bigger overall picture.


    February 8, 2010 at 10:47 am

    • Thanks for checking out the blog Therese! Was the Stouffer’s commercial during the game? I must have missed it. I’ll definitely check out their campaign. Thanks again!

      Brian Gleason

      February 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

  3. I think the one I hated the most was right at the beginning of the Super Bowl. Started off with a retelling of the great Jordan/Bird McDonalds ads of old with LeBron and Dwight Howard….but at the end they look at Larry Bird and ask “who’s that?” Seriously??? Who’s that??? IT’S LARRY FREAKING BIRD that’s who!!!

    Also, how can you possibly not want to buy something that is promoted by a beaver playing a violin??? For shame on you for that pick!


    February 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

    • I didn’t care for the McDonald’s spot either. The great part of the old Bird-Jordan spot was that it was a series throughout the game. It pulled you in and left you wanting more. This just seemed like they couldn’t come up with anything new, so just threw out a remake of what worked in the past.

      Of course, I’m with you on the Bird, or “Basketball Jesus” as The Sports Guy call him, diss.

      Brian Gleason

      February 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  4. you forgot the best one of all: The Mark Sanchez-CBS “heart” ad……. just featured Mark standing there talking to the audience with his heart beating in the back ground tell me how much he loves me…….


    Google was definitely a huge win. It was so well done—deceptively simple. Too bad Bing didn’t run ads as well because google would have kicked their ass!

    Stiletto Sports Jen

    February 8, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    • Thanks for commenting Jen! The Sanchez spot was a smart and well thought out, I agree. Just ran out of room on the list 🙂

      That might have been the knockout punch from Google!

      Brian Gleason

      February 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

  5. No I do not think it was a Super Bowl commercial, sorry I am a little off topic there.

    I actually came to your twitter account because of my interest in working with Medifast; this then lead me to your blog and when I read your post I still had the Stouffer’s commercial in mind from earlier this morning, so I thought I would mention it.

    I was actually doing my taxes last night, although I would have much rather been watching the Super Bowl.

    I plan to look up the commercials from the Super Bowl later, I assume they could be found online somewhere.


    February 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    • No problem, always happy to hear of successful campaigns out there, whether during the Super Bowl or not. I’ll check out that campaign, and thanks for following on Twitter and commenting here!

      Here’s a link to all the spots on YouTube:

      Brian Gleason

      February 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

  6. Just got finished checking out the commercials on the web (being as here in France the SuperBowl is commercial free. Bummer….) and I was dissapointed in what seemed as a lack of effort to follow through on good ideas or just a lack of overall creativity in the commercials. Was there a writers’ strike or something? Doritos usually have great ones, but only managed, in my opinion, just one solid one, Doritos Ninja. Snickers saved itself with Betty White and Abe Vigoda, and Bud Light seemed to finish a bit weak on good ideas. Even the Clydesdale commercial was stale. Bret Farve did though show he realized how idiotic he was in flip-flopping each year with his commercial. As for the newage “Bird vs. Jordan” McDonald’s commercial with LeBron and Howard, doesnt there have to be a rivalry, more than 5 years experience (and a few championship rings) to qualify to take over this commercial? lol Im just sayin’……


    February 9, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    • Big Wayne, what’s up buddy? Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting. Hope all is well over in France!

      I agree with most of your thoughts. I did enjoy the Doritos commercial with the little boy telling his mom’s date to keep his hands off his mom and his Doritos, and I like the auto-tune commercial from Bud Light. Would have like the auto-tune one a bit more if they could have convinced Jay-Z to come in and smack T-Pain at the end:)

      I also didn’t care for the McDonald’s commercial. I’m thinking Wade would have been a better fit than Howard, but in the end it was just a cheap remake that didn’t work. I agree that overall the entire package of commercial was underwhelming and poorly thought out in general.

      Great thoughts Wayne. Hope all is well!

      Brian Gleason

      February 9, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  7. I definitely agree with Google’s ad. Bridging their technology prowess to a emotional connection should really resonate with non-techy consumers who are less impressed by Google’s technology.

    Scott Harris

    February 9, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    • Hi Scott, great point about Google bridging the gap between the techy folks and the non-techy consumers. They definitely brought Google to a level that is relateable for everyone.

      Brian Gleason

      February 9, 2010 at 11:11 pm

  8. What about the Doritos ad with the little boy? That was my favorite by far! Even the Doritos ad with the killer Doritos weapons was great… definitely a great year for Doritos. The Audi ad was great too – I envision a future where the green police does exist 🙂

    Re: the Dodge Charger ad, it seemed like several commercials this year were about being a man’s man, very masculine and what not. I believe they put 2 of these ads back to back which was a poor idea.

    John S

    February 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    • Hi John, thanks so much for stopping by the blog and leaving your thoughts. I definitely missed on the Doritos ads, loved the one with the little boy. I also feel I should have included the Bud Light auto-tune spot, I enjoyed that as well.

      I disagree on the Audi spot, and think the idea of a “Green Police” is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard, but to each his own I guess. It just came of as really preachy, where for example the Tebow spot took a more subtle approach. Agree, the vibe of sexism on some of the spots was partly do to a few being run back-to-back.

      Thanks, and hope you’ll continue to read!

      Brian Gleason

      February 13, 2010 at 12:17 pm

  9. I agree about the Tim Tebow commerical. From an advertising point of view it left the audience wondering what exactly this commerical was really talking about. For the viewers who did not know what Focus on the Family is it may have left them curious. Therefore, the viewers who had enough curiousity would then visit the website, which is the whole point to this advertisement.

    On the other hand, the tackling of Tim’s mother could also distract the audience. When I first watched the commerical I had no idea what was being advertised.

    In the end, this advertisement has caused so much controversy that it is doing the job in the end. The whole point is to get people to talk about the ads and receive more media time. This commerical has successfully done this.


    March 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm

  10. I’m glad that you didn’t give any credence to the Brett Favre Hyundai commercial. His situation is so overplayed, it is just annoying…but many people loved it.

    Sports Posters

    March 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm

  11. There were a couple good commercials,but in my opinion, the quality has gone don a lot of the past few years.

    Thanks for the post, Good Info!

    Faith Richards

    March 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm

  12. I agree with the quality of commercials and overall humor being deflated slowly year by year. Pretty soon all commercials will rely on dumb, pointless gags that are too strained to find funny and too whacky to effectively promote any product. Companies need better PR people to promote themselves!

    Josh Gould

    April 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

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