When in doubt, include a dog…in your advertising!

Now that it’s business as usual following Sunday night’s amazing Super Bowl game, its hard to resist engaging in the talk about the TV ads. If you’re like me, I couldn’t resist checking out what Advertising Age had to say Monday morning and through out the week. (Click here to see any of the ads again.)

What’s interesting is that the ‘experts’ favored such ads as the Audi ‘Chase’,   Hyundai’s ‘Assurance’, Coke Zero ‘Mean Troy’, CareerBuider’s ‘Tips’, Coke’s ‘Avatar’ (by the editors of Creativity).

Bob Garfield’s favorites were Monster.com, Coke Zero: ‘Mean Troy’, Denny’s mobsters and hulu’s ad claiming to be able to ‘rot your brain more efficiently than TV’.  And perhaps that Cash4Gold would most likely have the best ROI despite being one of the worst pieces of ‘creative’…

Hopefully, its unanimous that teleflora.com was just down right mean.

While the prediction was that Super Bowl advertising would be overshadowed by the economic downturn and not be edgy–of the 33 brands, by Bob Garfield’s count, only 4 made reference to it:  Bud light, e-trade, Hyundai’s ‘Contract’, and Cash4Gold.  Interestingly, media-research firm Innerscope concluded that the most “emotionally engaging” ads–surprisingly or not–were those that in one way or another channeled concerns about the economy.  That CareerBuilder and Cash4Gold ranked highest in the firms subconscious scale (they gage a person’s emotional response through biometric vests) only speaks to what many already know; people are worried about their finances! (The Top Five Most ‘Emotionally Engaging’ Super Bowl Ads)

But none of the experts chose the TV ad that consumers rated the most-liked or most-recalled…According to Nielsen TV ad ratings, the number one ad liked and recalled most by consumers was the Budweiser ‘Clydesdale Stick’ ad where the Dalmatian and the Clydesdale play a game of fetch.  The second ad most liked was for humor-filled Doritos. So what does that tell us? 

BTW, Super Bowl XLIII 2009 was the MOST WATCHED TV program in history, with 151.6 Million viewers tuning in for all or part of the game, and an average viewership of 98.7 Million.  At $100K per minute or $3Million for a :30 spot, this translated to just over a $30 CPM.

And at $3Million for :30 seconds, there were no  pharmaceutical DTC takers in this year’s Super Bowl…This isn’t surprising given most DTC ads are :60 so a $6MM price tag for one spot is steep…or that the visability of the Super Bowl was definitely not the politically correct place to be this year…or that the Super Bowl’s creative stakes by and large preclude Rx product advertising at least in its current form…

Which were your favorites? Worth the steep price?  It’s hard to imagine more than a few brands were able to extract $3mm+ worth of engagement…and I couldn’t agree more with Bob Garfield…too many Super Bowl commercials are “too clever by half”…the brand message gets completely lost…taco bell being a prime example.

Until next year…