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The Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII

John Ondo - Columbus FilmmakerFor the third year I’ve been tweeting live during this year’s Super Bowl, following the social media and sorta watching the game. Well not so much the last one. This year brought some very interesting strategies to bear. Several spots like the Maserati Ghibli sedan ad,which aired one time in the coveted first game break slot, was then matched with a group of targeted ads about the car on Twitter. In the past two years I’ve seen many spots with the “sex sells” theme mainly targeted toward men by using women in bikinis and short skirts. This year the big sexy spots were all targeted for women with men revealing more than normal. Everyone has a favorite commercial or two. There are no right or wrongs. What I look at is which ads did the best job of creating something original, that will cause the brand to be remembered and reinforces the brand of that product, things I discuss in my book “How to Avoid a Media Meltdown“.

John’s Top 3 Commercials of Super Bowl XLVIII

#3 Radio Shack “The 80’s Called”

This spot works on several levels. First, Radio Shack wants to shake up it’s brand and show they are now more like an Apple Store. How do you do that in an ad? In this case you make fun of yourself. Second, the spot crams so many pop culture icons from the 80’s in a short time you have to go back and watch the ad again. The spot created a buzz on twitter and was very strong with the Radio Shack branding.

#2 Doritos “Time Machine”

Every year Doritos makes the cut. And they did again. Time Machine is the classic recipe Doritos works with. A clever script with a twist and the central prop is the bag of Doritos. When its done, its funny and you remember what product the spot was about.

#1  KIA “The Truth”

Luxury was the theme of this commercial. Now think about this. We are talking about KIA. A car company that was laughed at like a Yugo a few years ago. Now they are using Morphius and the Matrix references to say that they are beyond other luxury cars. That you need to set yourself apart.  The connection to the brand was solid and it set KIA apart. Of all the excellent ads that ran, I thought if I wanted a luxury car this one made the best case.

Toyota had a great commercial with the Muppets, along with Honda’s commercial with Bruce Willis and SNL’s Fred Armisten were my runners up. Bud Light had a super two piece ad featuring an all star cast. Budweiser won the pre game promotion with the “Puppy Love” spot but I found it un-original and just a new version of last year’s spot with the horse and the trainer. And who didn’t laugh at the Stephen Cobert’s, two part, Pistachio commercials? But I think they didn’t position the brand, they just made me laugh.


Coke’s “America The Beautiful” polarizes social media in minutes

The commercial that may get the biggest publicity tomorrow morning I believe may be the Coke “America the Beautiful” spot. It was a very moving spot featuring the song performed in several different languages and reflecting several different cultures of Americans. Within minutes of the ad airing, Twitter was divided between people who loved the spot or hated it. Many groups including Italian Americans protested being left out of the commercial. On top of the language controversy, moments later NBC News released that a Gay Rights group claimed the ad also feature the first gay couple ever in a Super Bowl commercial.  So Coke may have created a Trojan Horse. A very pretty patriotic commercial that in fact may get a lot of play on the online and on television as being divisive. It would be ironic that the company that created the “I’d like to teach the world to sing” unity commercial in 1971 may have intentionally designed a Super Bowl ad to promote itself by creating controversy and free publicity.

I also want to mention my hats off to Go for running strong funny commercials without sexual overtone. I believe the Super Bowl is a great family event and I’m glad that most of the commercials this year were family friendly.

Who wins?

Depends on who makes more money from the message they placed in the Super Bowl. It was 4-million dollars for :30 seconds. So one thing is for sure. FOX may have covered it’s expenses for what was a horrible game.

How to Avoid a Media Meltdown - OndoJohn Ondo is an award winning Producer/Director, Media Consultant & Author. His production company, Ondo Media, creates the finest in video & film productions as well as social media and web strategies. Based in Columbus, Ohio, John Ondo can be followed on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and our Ondo Media Vimeo site. You can also get his book “How To Avoid A Media Meltdown” at Amazon.Com or at the Ondo Media Bookstore.

John also serves as a board member and supporter of the Central Ohio Chapter of the March of Dimes.



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