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NUmedia: Superbowl XLIII Ads

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Given the intention of this blog, I'm pretty well required to write about what we all saw last night. But rather than over analyze with an ad meter or wax philosophically on the record breaking cost of the ads ($100K per second, if you're counting at home) I've elected to offer a few quick takes and consensus from my pals in the industry. But I would like to note that the Super Bowl is the ONLY time DVR is used to watch ads rather than avoid them. It's a fun night for me, all the way around.

Doritos- I'm a homer- so be it. But the Herbert brothers from Batesville, Indiana, who won the Frito-Lay contest to have their commercial aired during the Super Bowl, came through. Funny, memorable, and very reflective of the YouTube age in media. We loved it. It may not be graduation day for UGC (user-generated content), but the agencies that spent as much in production as they did on air-time are kicking themselves.

4.8 out of 5

Career Builder- Almost hit a home run. Call it a triple. The composition was great. The record numbers of people searching for a job need a laugh. Though I think they went one iteration too far with the closing shot of "speedo guy". We all agreed that it failed to top the stuffed koala for laughs and the ad should have ended there. Instead they went for one more goof- then today launched online ad campaigns featuring the less memorable "speedo guy". The koala with glasses probably makes a better mascot. But, I'm still talking about the ad itself the next day.

4.4 out of 5

Budweiser- Everyone loves the Clydesdales. Except me, I suppose. I had quite an affinity for them pre- In-Bev. I enjoyed the first ad, with the Clydesdale retrieving a tree branch, but didn't think it was memorable. The second ad- where a clydesdale loses his mare darling to a traveling circus- was too long, didn't offer the best production values and frankly was too convoluted to run in the second half of the Super Bowl. But they have their icons, America wanted to see them, and they delivered. Kind of. They failed to score highest on the "Ad Meter" for the first time in a decade, so I must not be alone.

3.0 out of 5

Bridgestone- Great job. Animated Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are immediate attention grabbers. Healthy dose of humor, relatable, and unlike any other on this list, they actually showed their product in use.

3.8 out of 5

Hulu.com- Call this one the critic's choice. I'll drop what I'm doing when Alec Baldwin's on screen. (Thanks to 30 Rock, not his phone etiquette.)I love the self-deprecation of an online video provider showing users' brains turning to goo. Good use of their own badging as well, matching the green goo to the Hulu logo. They went a bit too far with the concept, I think, when Baldwin revealed himself to be an alien. But that off-the-wall gimmickry does play well to with their target. I don't know how many new users they will garner, but their core audience is more rabid today and the casual user surely logged on to see what they've missed. And since NBC is a shareholder (as is FOX), I'm sure they got a pretty good deal.

4.6 out of 5

Honorable mention to Hyundai, for finally setting the public straight. It rhymes with Sunday, people.

You can watch the ads and see how the rest of America reacted at USA Today, here:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/admeter/2009admeter.htm

Or you can just watch the ads, in hi-res 480p, here:

http://www.hulu.com/superbowl

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