K-Fed-Up With Superbowl Ads

I'm from New England. Yes, I am a Pats fan. Sniff sniff. However, I was still a trouper and geared up for the ads. After all, aren't they the Holy Grail of advertising? Well, to sum it up -- I think they pretty much sucked... again.

Just think about it for a moment. Advertisers paid CBS Corp. as much as $2.6 million for a 30-second spot to air to some 90 million people. It's the most viewed program of the year. Wouldn't you think this would allow advertisers to push the edges of the creative envelope a bit?

Sure we have the usual suspects that we expect to see, Budweiser and Coke at a minimum. It almost seems un-American not to watch them. Coke had a heartfelt (but boring) tie-in to Black History month. Bud had its classic Clydesdale horses.

Actually the biggies seemed to play it safe. Interestingly enough, we had some amateurs. Frito Lay ran a competition for a Doritos ad. It was the first time an amateur ad was created and aired during a Super Bowl. Called "Live the Flavor," the ad was created by 21-year-old Dale Backus. If you missed it, check it out on Yahoo at This is user-generated content at its finest, folks.



A University of Wisconsin college student named Katie Crabb won a contest developed by GM. Her concept became a reality in the Chevrolet ad of all the guys stripping off their shirts at the sight of the HHR going down the street. Katie, I don't know you -- but kudos. You showed Madison Avenue a thing or two.

The NFL even jumped on the UGC bandwagon. They took a spot by fan Gino Bona of Portsmouth N.H., a light look at the anguish fans go through at the end of the NFL season.

I'm sure you heard all the hoopla about the K-Fed (Kevin Federline) ad for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. This thing created buzz before it even aired. K-Fed appears all blinged out as a fast food worker. While cooking French fries, he looks up at a TV screen, where he appears in a hip-hop music video. The punch line is that he's day-dreaming. The ad ticked off the National Restaurant Association, which said it was a direct insult to those who work in the restaurant industry. Federline apologized. saying he was making fun of himself. OK, I think -- who cares about K-Fed anyhow? I think it is a terrible brand association on behalf of Nationwide. He certainly isn't the ideal poster child for protection. Yikes.

Moving on, Bud Lite made many laugh with its spots where an auctioneer said wedding vows in warp speed. In another, a guy loses points with his girlfriend for picking up a hitchhiker with an ax. Turns out it was a bottle opener. Wacky.

Just when we were getting used to the CareerBuilder monkeys, the company ditched 'em. This year was some sort of weird jungle war scene or something. I didn't get it. After all, it took me a while to like the monkeys too.

I was impressed that Revlon had an ad targeting women. After all, don't major advertisers realize how many of us are watching the game too? They used Sheryl Crow singing "Not Fade Away" while on tour.

So I'm missing some, I'm sure. What did you think about the ads this year? Am I alone by being unimpressed with the pros and intrigued by the amateurs? Post to the Spin blog and check 'em out at: CBS Chevrolet contest: Doritos contest: NFL spot:

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