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What We Learned – Super Bowl Style

The Super Bowl has come and gone with a close win by the Giants, minor middle finger mishap during half time, and enough new commercials to fill a weeks worth of American Idol. While it wasn’t the best year for the #BrandBowl, there were some lessons to be learned.

1. Dogs can sell anything. This seasons top ads had one thing in common – no, not an exceptional strategy – they all used dogs. From Volkswagon’s preview ad “The Bark Side” to the beloved Bud Light rescue dog Weego, this seasons ads created a real dog-eat-dog world. Below are some of my favorite publicized pooches.

Bud Light: WeeGo the Rescue Dog

Sketchers: GO RUN Mr. Quiggly! 

Volkswagon: The Dog Strikes Back

2. Betty White’s Still Got It: OK – this can be up for debate with some, but I still love Betty White, and her appearance in NBC’s “The Voice” spot was priceless.

NBC’s The Voice: Vocal Kombat

3. #Hashtags #Sell: #MakeItPlantinum and #SoLongVampires started off the first quarter. Tying in the Twitter hashtags boosted online traffic for the brands who used it. My favorite? #MarryBacon

Jack In The Box: Marry It

4. You Mess With American, Clint Eastwood Messes With You: Step aside Chuck Norris. Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” campaign took another one of America’s icons, Clint Eastwood, to show that halftime doesn’t mean the game is over. America, eff yeah.

Chrysler: It’s Halftime America

5. We Love Beer. This is something we all knew, but Budweiser’s “Eternal Optimism” proved it.

Budweiser: Eternal Optimism

6. At a loss for strategy? Throw in everything you possibly can. Kia included Adriana Lima, Motley Crue and Chuck Liddel. Samsung used The Darkness, Miranda Kerr and a stylus (seriously, a Stylus?) Did it work? Personally, I’ll take my iPhone any day.

Kia: A Dream Car. For Real Life.

Samsung: Galaxy Note

7. Twinkies will Survive 2012. OK – The first thing that was said when this commercial came on was “interesting choice of song” by my boyfriends dad. Little did we know that the song would just ad to the hilarity. It should be noted that I was raised on Ford trucks, but I always appreciate someone having the balls to call out their competitor.

Chevrolet: 2012

You could also talk about the (terrible, lip synced) halftime “performance,” the fact that Coke & Pepsi should just stop producing bad ads, or the unfortunate idea of leaked ads (it wasn’t nearly as fun to watch ads I’ve already seen), but I’d rather just post a few more videos. Which was your favorite?

M&M: Sexy and I Know It: How can you not chuckle at that?

Budweiser: Flash Fans: This was aired in Canada, but gained ridiculous digital recognition.

NBC Sports Network: The Next Ones: Obviously I’m going to like an ad with kids and hockey in it, but overall I’ve loved the NBC Sports campaign. And that child in the Flyers jersey is absolutely precious.

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Super Bowl XLVI Quick Preview…From The Ad Side

I don’t know who will be in this years super bowl. I had to think hard to remember the four teams left (49ers, Patriots, Giants & Ravens) OK – I had to Google to find the Ravens. But what I do know, is this years ads will blow you out of the water – or at least out of your taco dip for 1:30.

Doritos:

We’ll start with Doritos Crash The Superbowl contest. I’m sure you all remember last years darling pug and idiot owner who should know better than to anger said dog.

This year, it’s the dog who gets the last laugh in my favorite of the five finalists. Probably because I also dislike the other species.

I will have to admit though that the Baby Sling is pretty good, too. Plus, you just want to smack that chubby kid right out of his playhouse.

This competition has provided some great entertainment over the past 6 years, and this year shouldn’t break the trend. You can see all of the finalists at the link above, and vote for your favorite.

Volkswagon:

You remember last years memorable spot, right? With the little Darth Vader “starting” the all-new Passat?

Well, hold on to your seats folks. This year’s teaser follows along with the Dark Side theme. Or should I say the Bark Side.

Seriously – that’s just the teaser. And, if you watch it again, you’ll notice the pug on the left does absolutely nothing. (Thanks Chelsea for pointing this out!) I love the tie in with Star Wars, because even though I’m not a fan, I know exactly where it’s coming from.

Budweiser:

AB-InBev has been pretty hush-hush, but they have bought 4:30 worth of ads. Some will most likely focus on the launch of Bud Plantinum, but I’m really pulling for a new Bud Light campaign. Last year’s Hack Job  just didn’t win me over, not to mention lacked campaign focus with the Dog Sitter spot. Let’s hope AB can pull out a top 5 this year.

GoDaddy.com

Please, PLEASE stop letting them have space. I cannot stand Danica Patrick. But, unfortunately we’re doomed to two more ads this game day. Just keep Joan Rivers out of it this time, for all sanity sakes.

You’ll also see ads from first-year participant Dannon Yogurt, H&M featuring David Beckham, Chrysler and more. See the full list at Super Bowl Ads For Geeks.

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Hi, My Name is Peggy

Discover is ranked highest in customer service. Do I have a Discover card? No, however, they portray this market-leading quality in one of my favorite campaigns this year.

Maybe it’s my weakness for sports and men in terribly fashioned sweaters, but Peggy gets me. Discover has done a great job of combining humor with strategy. Customer service centers are typically a pain in the ass, and located outside of the US. Most people will try and avoid them at all costs. Showing this through humor works because frankly, it’s “true.” By choosing top-ranked customer service as their talking point, Discover has capitalized on something that other credit card companies avoid.

Another reason this campaign works is due to their use of sports personalities. Partnering with college football and the NHL, Discover has been able to incorporate broadcasters (Lou Holtz, Kirk Herbstreit), players (Patrick Kane, Tim Thomas) and even the occasional trophy partner (literally speaking, Phil Pritchard, the holder of the Stanley Cup). It’s hard not to love a commercial with your favorite (or least favorite) people in them.

They have also expanded on their partnership with Six Flags in a mini-series on YouTube. I won’t say the possibilites are endless with Peggy, however, they have taken claim to become one of the top ad characters of the year next to the Old Spice Guy and Flo.