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The Best (Singular) and Worst (Plural) Super Bowl Ads

Published: February 5, 2007

Author: David Rodnitzky

The general consensus among my Super Bowl watching group was that the ads this year were “pretty lame” and I’d have to agree with that assessment. My quick review of the best and the worst ads (and I’m judging this based on how memorable they were and whether I think they will have any positive impact on the company’s actual SALES) is below. As I reviewed the list I realized that the list of the “best” in my mind is a list of just one ad. The worst list is a bit longer . . .

The Best Super Bowl Ad:
CareerBuilder.com – Life in the Job Jungle.
These ads were funny but they also sent a clear message – if your job really sucks, CareerBuilder has a huge online database of jobs. Best of all, CareerBuilder positioned itself as the biggest job site online, which may be true in terms of the number of jobs posted, but I doubt is true in terms of number of page views or unique visitors. Still, the majority of Super Bowl viewers don’t follow Comscore rankings like I do, I suspect, so they wouldn’t know any better anyway.
The Worst Super Bowl Ads:
Coke – We Invented Civil Rights.
I’m talking about the ad that showed all the various historic civil rights moments over the last 100 years – like Rosa Parks refusing to leave her seat and Jackie Robinson joining the Dodgers. The tagline was something like “We’ve been with you from the beginning.” To me, this is like Al Gore claiming to invent the Internet – totally implausible and insulting to the people who actually did invent the Internet, or in Coke’s case, to the people who got sprayed with water cannons in the 60s.
SalesGenie – Thank You West High Audiovisual Department.
If you’re going to buy a Super Bowl ad, at least spend some money on a nicely filmed commercial. This ad looked like it was made at the local community center on some betamax cameras that were stolen from a Smithsonian exhibit on the 1980s.
Doritos – We Bring Ugly People Together.
An ugly man and woman making love in the checkout lane of your local supermarket makes you want to buy chips? I think I might avoid Doritos from now on, if for no other reason than to avoid an uncomfortable advance from the ex-cons working at Safeway.

Finally, I did manage to see one of Ford’s commercials for the F-Series. Loyal readers will recall that I wrote about Ford’s campaign a few weeks ago. In a nutshell, my assessment of this commercial was “blah”, meaning that it had no impact on meaning either positively or negatively. For $2.5 million, it seems like that’s not the reaction you would want.

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