The night the lights went out in NoLa

04.02.2013

There was a temporary blackout during the third quarter of last night’s Super Bowl. But for the Advertising Bowl, the lights never really came on.

There was the usual dreck from Go Daddy, incomprehensible spots for Doritos (Goats? Men in drag? Thankfully, not together.) and super-sized portions of sanctimony from Jeep (a salute to the troops ended up being more about Oprah) and Ram (an ode to farmers voiced by Paul Harvey. Paul Harvey? Is he still alive?). There was the curious “Don’t worry, be happy” vibe from Volkswagen, a whispered confrontation for Oreos and Calvin Klein’s paean to the male form and underwear. And considering the national zeitgeist, did we really need the trailer from “Fast and Furious?” Should this movie even have been made at all?

Creative touchdowns were few. My faves in no particular order:

Budweiser’s “Brotherhood.” Straight out of “Warhorse” and I loved it. (But then, I watch the Puppy Bowl too.)

Coca Cola’s “Security Camera” sees the world differently—the essence of creativity. (The “Coke Chase,” not so much)

The Rock saves the day…but only after getting some milk.

Tide. Never underestimate the power of a woman’s intuition. (“Go, Ravens!”)

Unlike most of the planet, I don’t preview Super Bowl spots. I like to watch them during the game, as they were intended to be viewed. It’s the only way to truly evaluate their effectiveness—versus other commercials in the pod, competing brands, categories, stories and production values. The high point of my day, though, came well before the game with a love letter to New Orleans (“Let the good times roll”) as told by the cinematographers at stillmotion.

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