Analysis of Super Bowl commercials by the advertising and branding industry is great for awards. But what did actual consumers think immediately after those commercials aired, before they were given a chance to sink in of before multiple viewings a day later on YouTube?
Yesterday, during the game, we monitored Twitter for immediate reactions to each ad (watch them all here). Below, analysis of immediate reactions to each ad which, while not comprehensive, captures a good cross-section of public opinion from non-media and agency types, as Joe and Jane social networker weighed in on which brand spots resonated, which brands repulsed (or at least wasted their $$$) and which got hit in the balls.
We start with the Fox pre-game and Ritz.
Those who watched the 1,300 hours of Super Bowl pregame on Fox were treated to a new evolutionary step in sponsorship. With each successive hour, the Fox NFL set morphed its sponsor colors, like a gecko blending into the background of the ad spend on which it was sitting. NFL Analyst Jay Glazier tweeted his own picture of the set live from the event.
The Ritz sponsorship (including a spot with celeb chef Guy Fieri) elicited this general response:
Subsequent set emblems turned to State Farm and then Pizza Hut. Reactions on Twitter were summed up by Jody Hanks:
Just after the National Anthem and before the flip, LivingSocial ran its first Super Bowl spot, a commercial that... well, it brought attention to a site not many knew about:
The response to the commercial was summed up thus:
AT&T ran a 2010 commercial featuring carpoolers and slow cell service. Ironically, just at that moment, this tweet went out:
AT&T's little embarassment was nothing compared to the Ford Focus "Rally" commercial that drove to a website which crashed:
Audi continued its charge against the luxury car establishment with fairly good initital results:
Chevrolet advertised its Cruze model with a gag set in a retirement home. Response was mixed:
Then there was a Doritos Crash the Super Bowl winning commercial with finger licking:
Immediately after, aPepsi Max "Crash the Super Bowl" winning spot, one of three ("Love Hurts"), aired. It was a hit.
Except for a few people who were offended by the sight of an African American couple knocking over a white girl:
The Kia Optima "One Epic Ride" spot caught many off guard and initial tweets were all about trying to figure out what just happened. But reactions were, overall, positive:
If men getting hit in the balls wasn't funny, nobody would do it. By this reasoning it must be very, very funny because everyone keeps doing it. Pepsi Max's "Torpedo Cooler" spot featuring Pepsi cans causing blunt force trauma ended with a guy taking a Pepsi Max can to the family jewels. Keeping with the original reasoning, it had its fans:
Notably, Super Bowl 45 featured two commercials with straight-to-the-groin moments. The second was the trailer for the Adam Sandler comedy, Just Go With It:
This single tweet pretty much singlehandedly sums up the reaction to Eminem's spot for PepsiCo's Lipton Iced Tea brand, Brisk:
Why does GoDaddy.com stick with its "what happens next" teaser commercial creative? It must work, even though the vast majority of responses were negative:
The best Go Daddy commercial tweet came a full day before the commercial unveiling Joan Rivers premiered:
Bridgestone's "Reply All" commercial won over the audience with a funny but sweet premise:
The Chevy Volt commercial produced some of the fewest immediate reaction tweets. One appreciated it for the technical mastery:
After the first points by the Steelers, the Budweiser commercial ("Wild West," featuring Peter Stormare) that the brand had been teasing for weeks showed up. Few were wowed, but the unexpected "Tiny Dancer" ending charmed many:
Teleflora's Faith Hill spot was perfectly toned and delivered, and the brand was rewarded for an ad with cojones (that may get hit later with a Pepsi Max):
BMW's X3 "Made in America" ad was, apparently, educational:
Motorola's Xoom promo was interesting as a standalone piece. But the not-so-subtle twist on Apple's iconic 1984 Super Bowl spot was not lost on everyone:
The Coke "Siege" ad appears to have suffered recycled jokes from the earlier LivingSocial.com ad:
Given its online pre-game debut, the question wasn't "would the Volkswagen Passat "Darth Vader" ad would be popular," but how popular:
CareerBuilder's "Parking Lot" spot went with chimps, a theme the brand has used before and brought back this year because, hey, people love monkeys:
Snickers' XLV creative brief — "smash Rosanne Barr with a giant log" — brought a few snickers:
Just before halftime, with the Packers comfortably leading the Steelers, Fox NFL cameras cut to Packer QB Aaron Rodgers chugging Gatorade on the sidelines. Though not a formal commercial, the brand placement (featured later in a victory splash) was not lost on the audience:
Chevy Cruze's commercial for its Facebook real-time status feature by OnStar have missed its mark:
But not as badly as Castrol. The brand's "Castrol Edge" promo showed an NFL season highlight from the Steelers, except that this highlight play came at the expense of another team — another team with fans watching the game:
"I feel like an ad agency during a economic bubble." The CarMax "I feel like a kid in a candy store" commercial performed reasonably well:
Sometime during the 19th hour of Fox NFL's pregame show, the E*Trade talking baby appeared in a branded segment speaking with the Fox NFL announcers on a panel. It was not great. While the talking baby seems to still be popular, E*Trade may want to begin looking into the future:
Best Buy teamed Ozzy and the Bieb. It's a can't lose situation (unless you consider that the commercial actually had a message about a new Best Buy service which may have been lost in the stampede of tweens into the living room):
"Cram it in the boot!" Oh Mini Cooper, you cheeky Brit expat brand:
The spooftastic HomeAway.com "Test Baby" spot featured a particular gag that immediately drew laughs, and a lot of scrutiny.
Already, there's a "throwing a baby against the wall" .gif from the commercial (via).
Hyundai's trippy, Big Lebowski-esque commercial (voiced by the Dude himself) raised a legitimate question:
Note to Groupon: even if most people do very little to assist in Tibet independence, they don't like advertisers mocking it:
Even better than the original Groupon Tibet joke, this guy:
An odd, visionary Coca-Cola commercial ("Border") featuring fictional national antagonists was a welcome follow-up to Groupon's Tibet offering:
CarMax's second spot ("Gas Station") elicited mixed responses:
The Adrien Brody-as-retro-lounge-singer Stella Artois commercial ("Crying Jean") received surprisingly good feedback across Twitter, considering sincerity is not always a valued emotion in Super Bowl commercials. After the commercial aired, Honeygo Wines wondered:
Eminen returned after the second half, but not for tea. The now much angrier Detroit native helmed his second spot of the game — Chrysler's "Imported From Detroit" luxury spot that managed to play both the nationalism and class warfare cards at the same time. It was, of course, a hit:
One Tweeter merged the goings on onfield with the commercial:
At the 11:57 mark in the 4th quarter, Bud Light and Cars.com ran ads that hardly felt Super Bowl-worthy. Tweeters responded as expected:
Hyundai, it seems, saved its best ideas for last with Sonata's "Anachronistic City":
Pepsi Max's "I wanna sleep with her" commercial was a step up from "hit guy in nuts" as a creative brief:
Bridgestone again went for sweet humor with its chest-pounding beaver, and again won the admiration of viewers:
Hey, GoDaddy.com came back for another round. How did it go this time?
VW followed up its Star Wars ad with a "Black Betty"-tuned new Beetle spot. Reactions were positive:
GM's Chevy, one of XLV's big spenders, put together a very meta ad ("Miss Evelyn") for its new Camaro. Nobody missed the car:
And, it seems, the late game Verizon iPhone ad was sucessful with at least one consumer:
Kim Kardashian then appeared in a hugely hyped commercial for herself Skechers. Popular with the men? Yes. Popular with the target demo?
The final ad of the game was the Chevy Camaro presented to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as the winner of the Super Bowl XLV MVP. The shiny sports car was not missed by the fans:
What did you think? And don't miss the rest of our Super Bowl XLV coverage!