Branding The Super Bowl Dog and Pony Show. | Bruce Turkel

Unless you’re a Seattle Seahawks fan, Super Bowl XLVIII wasn’t much of a game. I’ll bet most Super Bowl parties broke up before the fourth quarter was over. Yours probably did too.
Unless you’re a hardcore advertising fan, the Super Bowl ad show wasn’t very entertaining, either. Other than a few stalwarts and outliers, the ads were a big bore.

Budweiser is still using horses and dogs, albeit an adorable puppy this year. Coca-Cola is still trying to teach the world to sing almost 45 years after their first attempt. And Chevy is still telling stories about men and their trucks.

Final-Budweiser-Puppy

What was new this year was a circumspect attitude that prized warm and fuzzy over risqué. Also new was a strategy that mixed celebrities willy-nilly in order to appeal to all of the different demographics that watch the Super Bowl.

GoDaddy, the advertiser we could always count on for sleaze, changed its tune with two slaphappy ads that could have been shot for almost anyone. Axe, too, left its bodacious babes at home, with an ad that focused on world peace.

Bud Light shoehorned its ads full of Minka Kelly, Don Cheadle, Lilly the llama, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. And Radio Shack filled their ad with a laundry list of celebrities from the 1980s, including Hulk Hogan, Teen Wolf, Chuckie, Mary Lou Retton (!!), and Dee Snyder from Twisted Sister. Snyder, by the way, probably earned more money by appearing in this ad than he did from his entire musical career.

Final-Dee-Snyder

And talking about guys who are earning money from appearing in ads instead of doing what made them famous, Tim Tebow proved that not only won’t he be playing football, but that an acting career isn’t in his future either. Lucky thing he has a good sense of humor.

Beefcake was back with both a naked David Beckham and Chevy’s stud bull that was a good enough actor to lick his lips just when the voiceover said, “Hello Ladies.” And both Volkswagen and VaporZone made pee jokes with actors standing at a urinal.

Final-David-Beckham

Chrysler built on 2011’s “Imported From Detroit” and 2012’s “Halftime in America,” upping the antes from former spokesmen Clint Eastwood, Eminem, and Berry Gordy with — who would have thunk it — Bob Dylan.

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At $4 million a pop, advertisers really owed it to their viewers and their bottom lines to put their best work on display. Unfortunately, their ads were upstaged by the Seahawks skills and halftime entertainer Bruno Mars’ talent. That being said, Budweiser’s dog and pony show generated over 34 million YouTube views before the game even started, a number that has since swelled to nearly 40 million. That might be the most important measure of all.

Want to see what I had to say about the spots on FOX Business? Click HERE.

 

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