Monday, February 3, 2014

In Super Bowl ads, a little Interspecies romance scores big, and VW engineers get their wings.

The ad about a spunky little puppy and the Clydesdale horse it loves gave A-B another win this year. It is a great spot, even if it is a kind of ‘sequel’ to last year's, which was about a savvy horse that kept returning to its trainer.

For the 26th consecutive year, USA TODAY's Ad Meter reached out to consumers to vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercials. This online audience of 6,272 preregistered panelists voted from across the country. The game featured nearly 50 commercials that cost advertisers a record $4 million per 30-second slot. The audience was estimated as high as 100 million viewers.
Complete list of Ad Meter Results:

As in the beverage category, it seems like new ideas are few and far between in the car business. Only one car ad made the top ten, and it wasn’t the Chevy Silverado ‘romance’ spot with the stud bull. It was something from Hyundai called ‘Sixth Sense’ and it scored a 6.87. I’m not sure why.

Best car ad of the bunch was VW’s “Wings” spot, which outscored everybody in the category except for that ho-hum Hyundai execution. It's no surprise to me. Here was an ad that actually reinforced the brand positioning by reminding us of the ‘German engineering’ that goes into every one of VW's cars, and what it means (durability, value) to the consumer. Wow, make a statement about the stuff your car is made of while being fun and entertaining? This is not brain surgery, people. 

Chrysler’s ad with Bob Dylan was impactful and memorable because of the surprise factor. It was kept under wraps. The other carmakers could have saved their money. Kia, Maserati, Toyota, Honda, Jeep, Audi, and even Jaguar with their first Super Bowl spot fielded pretty unremarkable work.

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