"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke (©julenisse/Fotolia)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Talk to the Hoof: Super Spots and Nots

Monday morning quarterbacking is not just about the game. The ad gurus and pundits are all atwitter about Super Bowl advertising. Judging by the creative output during last night’s game, you’d never know our economy was in the tank.

This morning on MSNBC Donny Deutsch said he liked the talking babies ad for E*Trade. He gave E*Trade props for acknowledging tough economic times, which most other advertisers did not. I did not, like Donny, think the ad was cute. Maybe I’m just cranky but talking, singing or dancing babies have just never been cute or funny to me. Not even a little in Look Who’s Talking (okay, maybe a little in Ally McBeal). Usually they are just plain annoying, although the fact that people are talking about it makes the ad successful whether I like it or not.

I’d much rather see a talking animal, or an animal doing something unusual—like a Clydesdale fetching a huge tree branch after watching a Dalmatian fetch a stick… or, better yet, a Clydesdale escaping to rescue Daisy the Dancing Horse from circus life.

Best ad: The aforementioned Clydesdale spot. Athletic. Romantic. Heroic. Just makes me go “awwwww.” Thank you Budweiser.

Best NBC promo: The Conan O’Brien spot featuring other NBC stars, especially the Tina Fey moment: “If your Conan lasts more than three hours, call your doctor…”

Best car ad: Audi. Great chase scene featuring a Benz, BMW and completely amusing dis of the Lexus.

Runner up car ad: cars.com featuring fictional prodigy “David Abernathy” who, although brilliant in every way, still gets stressed about buying a car—just like the rest of us.

Best soft drink ad: Coke Zero “Heist” for use of the Peter and the Wolf theme (Prokofiev?) and all those cute insects stealing a bottle of Coke from an unsuspecting napping guy.

Very close runner up: I loved the Pepsi “Forever Young” anthem with Bob Dylan and Will.i.am. Very nostalgic. (Deutsch's nod for overall best ad.)

Tackiest ad: Godaddy.com "enhancement hearings" featuring Danica Patrick. The ad was a bust. (In case you missed the ad, that was a pun.)

Tacky runner up: I liked the Doritos crystal ball ad until they hit someone in the crotch. Juvenile. These two tackies like will appeal to the same audience.

Dumb and dumber: The very repetitive spot from careerbuilder.com. They punched a Koala! And Pepsuber—taking a stupid SNL skit and making it even worse. Who knew it was possible?

Biggest “huh?": Monsters vs. Aliens trailer. I just didn’t get it after all the hype. Maybe my 3-D glasses didn’t work properly--or, maybe my husband’s right and we do need a newer, bigger, HD TV—but I wasn’t blown away by this ad, and I wanted to be!

Other notable spots include GE’s Scarecrow--because I live in Kansas?; Teleflora talking flowers—because I could feel her mortification; Firestone—because Mr. Potato Head still makes me giggle; and Pedigree’s Crazy Pets ad--because, you know, I’ve got this thing for animals and who can resist an old woman chasing an ostrich or someone trying to put a leash on a rhinoceros? Good message too: adopt a pet from your local shelter.

You can see all the ads at http://www.hulu.com/

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