The Super Bowl is the one time a year that I actually watch commercials. When people are paying multi-millions for an ad… they’re usually pretty good.
Well… define good.
This year a few of them definitely drew a laugh from me: the poor executive who suggested that they stop buying Bud Light for their meetings (only to get thrown out of a window), the horse telling the story of his great grandfather first coming to the country (with his good and bad jobs), the Monster.com ad with the moose head on the wall, and yes, I even laughed at the slapstick humor of the Doritos ad with the Crystal ball- an ad that created some of the most Super Bowl commercial buzz (ironically, this ad was the first non-agency spot ever to do this- read more here).
But this year also revealed a trend toward the irresponsible and raunchy. Despites the claim of some that this year was mild and overly conservative, several ads made me look at my wife and say, “Oh no they didn’t!”
One of the most irresponsible ads was also from Doritos, showing a man crunching Doritos, and the crunch gave the man apparent superpowers, like a woman’s clothes being ripped off (revealing her in just lingerie). An ATM starts spitting out 20’s. Then he turns a police officer into a monkey.
It wasn’t the most raunchy ad, but it was definitely the ad that irked me the most. I can’t stand when the media lies to young people. Great message we’re communicating to our kids: sex and money is “where it’s at!” And cops are bad.
Even though that particular Doritos “Crunch” ad ranked high, surprisingly, audiences seemed to agree overall that the raunchy ads weren’t the best ones. GoDaddy’s sexually charged ads (or as this article calls it, “breast focused raunchy Super Bowl ads”) received some of the lowest scores from postgame ad polls. USA Today’s Ad-meter (where you can see the top Super Bowl ads ranked and actually view them) ranks these GoDaddy ads way down in 41st and 45th place. But here’s the ironic part. Even though they weren’t rated as “the best” … they were among the most watched. According to this article, even though people didn’t give them high scores in the polls, they liked the ads enought for a second viewing.
Sex sells. It always has.