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Are Budget Cuts to Blame for Disappointing Super Bowl Ads?

Did anyone laugh during this year’s Super Bowl ads? Normally an entertaining sideshow, the 2010 Super Bowl ads were the lamest ads in recent memory. Sure watching Betty White get decked was slightly amusing and I always like to see The Simpson’s but none of the ads stood out as being immensely creative.

I suppose you can blame the economy once again for forcing companies to cut back on their creative budget. However, either way you are still paying professional writers to come up with scripts for these ads. This is all they could come up with? Are the writers holding back because they aren’t getting paid as much or are the managers of the brands steering the writers in a lame direction? Whatever the issue is, I’ll give you free ideas for your Super Bowl ad next year if you are having problems coming up with something entertaining.

My favorite ad was the one with David Letterman, Oprah, and Jay Leno (see below). Maybe it wasn’t hilarious but the shock value made it interesting. For Leno to show up on an ad for Late Night with David Letterman was both shocking and memorable. That’s usually a pretty good combination for an effective ad.

The other ad that I liked was the Doritos ad with the dog and the shock collar. Maybe because I’m a sucker for dogs but I thought it was pretty funny and somewhat memorable.

According to social media measuring tools, Doritos came out on top as far as generating the most tweets and Facebook activity. For me, Doritos, Budweiser, and Coke were the three brands that I remembered the most but that was more for the quantity of commercials rather than the quality of the creative in the ads.

Other Notes:

  • Was it coincidence that the year of “Pants on the Ground” delivered two Super Bowl ads back-to-back with people with no pants on?
  • Did Google really need to promote it’s search engine? Google is in the dictionary. I was surprised it wasn’t promoting any of it’s other endeavors.
  • I think bringing back Jim McMahon and the Super Bowl Shuffle sounded better in the board room than it looked on TV. Nice try I guess.

If you missed this year’s ads and would like to see them, go to http://superbowlads.fanhouse.com/. Now what do we do until next football season? Don’t even think of telling me to watch basketball.