The Washington Times - February 2, 2009, 01:05PM

I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve been flat on my back with a nasty cold the last few days. Can’t do anything about it, either, except to inject myself wth fluids and over-the-counter stuff. Amazing how there’s no cure for the common cold, but the Arizona Cardinals can come within a minute of winning the Super Bowl.

Anyway, I figured I’d write a little bit about the Super Bowl commercials, which for the second year in a row were less compelling than the game. Usually, it’s the other way around. The general consensus is that no advertisement really stuck out, and some of the larger companies missed the mark when it comes to trying to establish a brand identity.


Some winners and losers:


Doritos: A USA Today Consumer poll rated Doritos as having the top ad, for its commercial featuring a guy throwing a snowglobe at his boss’s crotch. What’s remarkable about the ad is that it was written by a couple of random guys who won a contest.

Coca-Cola: None of their ads were particularly memorable, and Coke could have really missed the mark if the game weren’t so competitive, since all of their commercials were in the second half. But the game action meant people were watching from start to finish, the Coke Zero ad with Troy Polamalu was cleverly done.

Budweiser: The Clydesdale ads are always fun to see, and often hit some nice emotional notes. The commercial featuring the love-struck horse chasing down his mate at the circus scored well in USA Today’s poll.

Pedigree: The ostrich running out of the old lady’s house? I laughed out loud.


Pepsi: With the exception its PepsiMax ad (diet cola for men? not bad) very few of the commercials for Pepsi’s beverage products resonated with people. Its Bob Dylan/ commercial was ok, but the 3D Sobe Lifewater commercial flopped, as did the strange bit with the “MacGruber” character from Saturday Night Live. Pepsi bought a lot of ads, but the company failed to link them all together with its new “Refresh Everything ” slogan.

Cash4Gold: On one level, it’s nice to see commercials that don’t take themselves too seriously. I got a chuckle from seeing Ed McMahon and MC Hammer mock their own financial struggles by talking about how they are selling gold for cash. But is that the message the company really wants to send? “If you’re sad and down on your luck, we’re the company for you.” Eek. Next we’ll be seeing Super Bowl ads for check cashing and pay day loan stores.

- Tim Lemke