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Super Bowl Ad Recap: Hits & Misses

Written on
Feb 3, 2014 
Author
Richard L. Tso  |

ADOTAS – Yes, the Seahawks just played the best game in the history of the franchise and won the Super Bowl last night. While this year’s Big Game was far from being the intense nail-biter the nation was anticipating, the advertising this year took center-stage and didn’t disappoint.

Audi, GoDaddy, Doritos, Toyota, Coca-Cola, Hyundai and Budweiser aired some pretty creative pieces during the game that created many LOL (and a few WTF) moments. Here is my shortlist of the best and worst we saw last night, some complete with hashtag fails.

Super Bowl Commercial Hits:

1. Audi A3, “Doberhuahua.” Played with the idea of a couple, each preferring the companionship of two very different breeds of dogs. The guy loves a Doberman while his girlfriend wants a Chihuahua. When someone suggests the option of breeding to two into the ultimate creation, chaos ensues, and the man imagines a hugely aggressive hound with a tiny body. Even famous musician and ASPCA spokesperson Sarah McLaughlin has a cameo but gets attacked by the hostile cross-breed.


2. Volkswagen, “Wings.” A man and his daughter hypothesize about the engineers who helped build and test their vehicles and the camera follows all workers who sprout wings on the assembly line. The punch line comes when the daughter cracks a joke about rainbows shooting out of the engineers’ butts and then all you see is a bright rainbow light emerging around the edge of a worker, who sports a big-eyed, surprised grin.


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3. Coca-Cola, “America Is Beautiful.” The leading beverage company launches a sweet commercial filled with song and the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” are sung by different people around the nation with different ethnicities and backgrounds in different languages. The campaign concludes with the hashtag #AmericaIsBeautiful.


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4. Doritos,  “Time Machine.” An adorable kid makes a makeshift time machine out of an old refrigerator box and charges an adult guy to go inside of it to get sent to the future. The only cost to get the machine up and running is a bag of Doritos pushed through the payment slot. As the machine snaps to life, the man becomes convinced that it is actually working with a funny surprise ending.


Here are the Misses:

1. Carmax, “Slow Clap.” This ho-hum commercial attempts to take the overused dramatic trope of using the slow clap as a way to congratulate people from making the right car purchase as they drive away from the car lot.


2. RadioShack, “The ’80s Want Their Store Back.” Okay, this throwback snoozer features a slew of popular ’80s characters like Hulk Hogan, Slimer, Alf and Chucky calling RadioShack and saying they want their store back. They storm the dated shop and steal all the goods, tearing it apart to reveal a nicer and more modern store.


3. Budweiser, “A Hero’s Welcome.” This patriotic commercial was great in concept and the premise was sound. A carriage pulled by several Clydesdales rolls into a small town and brings home 1st Lt. Chuck Nadd home from serving for our country. What made this commercial make our “miss” list is a major hashtag fail, at the end, displaying “#Salute a hero” on the screen. Sorry, there are no spaces in hashtags.


Church of Scientology, “Spiritual Technology.” This is a Scientology commercial. Nuff said.


What’s your opinion? Leave a comment below.





Richard L. Tso is a reporter for Adotas and an avid writer covering the intersection of technology and advertising, fashion and music. With over 12 years of experience in the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations industries, Richard has held executive positions at global agencies and technology companies and is founder of the interactive communications firm Pseudosound Consulting LLC. A classical cellist and painter, he believes that sometimes sound carries more weight than words. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

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