Feb. 6th, 2007

XLI Candy: Three We Liked. Three We Hated. Three We Were Kinda “Meh” About.

Man, what a steaming pile that Super Bowl was. Eight turnovers!? Eight!? And would it be possible for someone at CBS to spend $0.99 on a frickin’ squeegee for the camera? (It’s called "rain" fellas. They have a lot of it in South Florida. You might have been better prepared.)
The ads? In keeping with the theme of this game, they were soggy, sloppy, and barely – just barely – capable of holding our interest.

But there is good news – only 10 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Three We Liked:

Career Builder: “Promotion”


Sticky Note Guy? Dude With Notebook on Head? Fighting to the death in the Promotion Pit? Oh hells-to-the-yes. Let’s take a simple idea: “This site is where all the good jobs are,” and blow it out in a humorous, eye-catching manner. Their other spot, “Training Session,” was terrific, too, but the audio was a bit muddy. GRADE: A
P.S. Where was Monster.com this year?

E-Trade: “Bank Robbery”


A very clever, well-cast, well-executed idea: Your bank is robbing you. We won’t. Dramatic and traffic-stopping. We expect no less from E-Trade.  GRADE: A-

NFL: “It’s Hard To Say Goodbye”


A lot better than the game. Great soundtrack, funny visuals (We especially enjoyed the pressure washer being applied to the Body Paint Guy,) and huge extra points for the last-minute Brett Favre reference. Nice touch on the logo-as-heartbeat outro, too.  GRADE: A-

Honorable Mention: Bud Light “Guy With Ax.” GM: “Robot’s Dream,”  Garmin: “Mapzilla.”

Three We Hated:

Blockbuster: “Mouse


Are you #^&*ing kidding us!? You guys spend $2.6 mil on the media alone, and the best idea that excretes from your boardroom is to dust off the guinea pig (who wasn’t funny the first time around,) and have him “click” a real mouse? (get it? “click?” “mouse?” ) You know, Blockbuster, you actually do have something to say: “You can walk into our stores, you can’t do that with Netflix,” and yet you ignore it for…this? Who’s in charge over there, Rex Grossman?  GRADE: D-

Coke: “Coke Side Of Life/Motorcycle”


OK, new rule: Soda Companies Are Prohibited From Doing The “Hip-Old-People” Thing Ever Again. 
No more rappin’ grannies. No more skateboarding granddads. Just stop. This idea was hackneyed in the 1980’s – it’s just tragic now. Also, you didn’t fool anyone with the retread of the Grand Theft Auto spot. Not only is it no longer topical, the use of the retread tells your audience – “Welcome to the Coke Side Of Life, Where We’re Too Damn Lazy To Do A New Ad.”  GRADE: D

SalesGenie: “Doing Great”


This ad is so bad, it’s good. We’re talking, Mentos-In-The-UnIronic-Years-Bad.
The “I’m Making Up For My Tiny Genitalia” car?
The blonde who says “how a bout a ride!” wink-wink-nudge-nudge?
The boss inviting him to dinner?
You have to be kidding. You guys are kidding, right? Wait. You’re not kidding? Well, we suppose if all you have to sell are “100 sales leads,” (and none of them are the Glengarry leads, we checked,) then you’ve got to work with what you have.

But the piece de resistance?

Motley, only fools work hard. I work smart.”

That’s the line your agency used, isn’t it.

GRADE: F. Or A. We’re not quite sure.

DISHONORABLE MENTION: All the Doritos stuff, particularly the Fat Obnoxious Cashier. Also, Chevrolet.

Three We’re Pretty Much “Meh” About:

Nationwide: “K-Fed.”


Losing the element of surprise by leaking this early probably didn’t do this spot any favors. It ended up, like its star, overhyped. It was pretty decent, really – terrific production values, topical, and Mr. Federline clearly has a healthy sense of humor about himself. But we don’t think it’ll sell much insurance. Still, pretty good effort. We just weren’t bowled over. Meh.  GRADE: B+

SIERRA MIST: “Beard Comb-Over.”


Great visual. And at least there weren’t any rappin’ grannies. But – Sierra Mist peeps? Here’s a free tip from the Mortar: Michael Ian Black = Kiss Of Death. He’s like the fat girl at the party who keeps getting drunker and sluttier in the vain hope she’ll become "fun." You just know she’s going to barf on something that you don’t want barf all over and in the end…everyone just wants the pain to stop. GRADE: B-   

BUDWEISER: “Dalmatian”


Enough with the frickin’ Dalmatians, already.  Let’s agree on a ten-year moratorium on spotted dogs, ok? It was cute about five years ago. Now it’s just predictable and boring. And that "Crab" spot? Great print idea. Not thrilling on TV. Kind of like the game. GRADE: C-


  • Sarah Thompson
    Feb. 6th, 2007

    I am so with you on the squeegee issue! What good did a huge plasma television and HD broadcast do when the lens was all foggy? I mean the TV quality was like we were back in 1977 watching the Raiders beat the Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Whoever was in charge of that should have been canned.

  • Ryan Riley
    Feb. 7th, 2007

    These selections are spot on, but I think we left one ad off the hated list. This Snickers spot not only disgusted the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, straight men and women alike cringed at the near mechanic make out and even more so with the coup de grâce macho showdown. As our account exec Suzanne would say, I think I just puked a little bit in my mouth.
    Mars has since pulled the ad.

  • Feb. 9th, 2007

    This is how “smart” SalesGenie (infoUSA) works: their ad was done in-house.
    I think Herb Tarlek wrote it.

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