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Super Bowl's best, worst ads

If baby boomers were one of the target audiences for the Super Bowl ads this year, it must have been the baby boomer male companies and ad makers were pitching to. Ads for beer and cars seemed to predominate.

Of course, upcoming movies and NBC shows were also heavily advertised.

Steve Johnson rated the ads as follows for his blog on the Chicago Tribune:

  • The Best –, with an Honorable Mention to Career Builder.
  • The Worse – Teleflora, with an Honorable Mention to Doritos.
  • Best Proof That 3D Is Not Advertising’s Future – “Monsters vs. Aliens” movie ad.
  • Best Animal Ad -- Budweiser’s Clydesdales.
  • Should Have Been in 3D – Coke.
  • Best Deadpan in Super Bowl Ad (Ever) –
  • Most Cringe Inducing – Cash$
  • Nice Try, But… – H&R Block.

USA Today rated these ads for how they matched recessionary times:

  • Bud Light: Corporate bean counter proposes no Bud Light at meetings to cut budget – 7.49
  • Career When you know it’s time to get a new job – 7.37.
  • E-Trade: Babies discuss "brutal" economy and E-Trade -- 7.27.
  • Old job gets the wrong end of the moose – 6.95.
  • Denny’s: Tweaks rival’s fancy pancakes, offers everyone free Grand Slam breakfast – 6.62.
  • Cash4Gold: Ed McMahon and M.C. Hammer trade gold mementos for added cash – 5.58.
  • Hyundai: Assurance program lets buyers return car without credit penalty if they lose job – 4.68.

I thought the Super Bowl ads were often too violent. Bill Swain, writing for Associated Content, agrees:

Super Bowl commercials have become as much a part of the celebrated game as the actual game itself. Super Bowl XLIII was no exception to the rule; although the year 2009 might go down as the year of violent commercials and lame remakes. Almost every commercial, from Cheeto's with the attack of the birds, to Doritos with their crystal ball and the Diet Pepsi commercial with the lightning had violent overtones mixed in with bad comedy.

A recent study by Common Sense Media – a group that provides ratings and reviews of TV shows, movies, and video games to parents – reported half of the commercial breaks during NFL telecasts show at least one advertisement featuring sex, drugs, or alcohol.

Almost 500 of the ads showed an increased form of violence, including murders, explosions, and gunfights. The CSM staff watched 50 NFL games this season and logged more than 5,000 commercials.

Among the study’s findings:

  • 40 percent of games showed ads for erectile dysfunction drugs.
  • 46.5 percent of the sexual or violent advertisements were promotions by the broadcast networks for their own programs.

CSM wants ads of this type to be shown when children aren’t watching.

Meredith Lopez, blogging on the Huntington in the article "SuerBowl? Yes Please! Sexist Ads, No Thank You!" wants football ads cleaned up so kids who watch football will receive a better image of women.

What bothers me is the prevalence of sexism in football ads. In the 21st century, how can anyone be O.K. with this? How do these ad companies – and the companies they represent – even do it? Sexism in ads, to me, is not only offensive, it's beyond outdated to the point of being pathetic. Do we really still need half-naked women in bikinis to increase beer sales? Or dancing supermodels in mini-dresses to sell some vitamin drink?

I agree. 

I’d like to see better quality ads on TV that are less violent and sexist.


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