Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Ads 2009 - Your Reaction

In just a few minutes, they'll be kicking off Super Bowl 43 in Tampa, Florida. What a truly American spectacle.

This year, thanks to advertising rates at $3 million for a 00:30 TV commercial, NBC will enjoy a record volume of Super Bowl revenues. Their haul of $206 million is a whopping figure.

I've been studying and covering Super Bowl ads for the past nine years. While the economic and trade parameters are noteworthy, what's really important to most Americans is the entertainment value. I wonder what we'll see from the likes of these advertisers:
  • Budweiser - Clydesdales and otherwise
  • GE - my former employer
  • Pedigree
  • Coca-Cola
  • Go Daddy
  • Heineken
Finally, I wonder how much the Big Three Automakers will spend on Super Bowl ads this year? And we'll see if the recession caused advertisers to pull back on production budgets (i.e., will we see lower-quality, more cheaply produced spots)?

Please let us know what you think of today's ads. What was your favorite? Which one was the worst, in your opinion.

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Anonymous said...

@thummit is keeping score for #superAds09. Real-time synthesis of Twitter sentiments, rankings of best/worst ads:

8:07 PM

Anonymous Jason Keeling said...

Ad Uses Dark Humor to Connect with Target Audience had one of the best spots, with a clear message: If you don't like your job, find a new one.

What distinguished this ad was its use of dark humor: A distressed woman screaming in her car, a co-worker's daily "hey dummy" comment, a man crying by the bus stop, along with weird day dreams of riding a dolphin and punching a Koala bear.

The repetition of these images made it memorable, and for those who were on the brink of job hunting, perhaps they may be compelled to start looking. Unfortunately for, these folks won't necessarily use their service, but instead they may use their own job-finding strategies, or even log-on to a competing site like

For All the Super Bowl Ads, Check This Link.

2:19 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Thanks for your comment. Nice work by the Thummit crew on the Super Bowl ad research, scoring and ranking. I am impressed. By the way, your results coincide very closely to what I heard from my fiends and colleagues.

I'd love to hear more about Thummit.


3:59 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Thank you for your cogent comment. What a thoughtful and thorough review!


4:00 PM

Anonymous James Nester said...

While there were a few good ones overall I was disappointed. As I watched the ads I couldn't help but think how subdued the ads seemed this year. Perhaps this is a reflection of the hard economic times we are facing. But it got me wondering if many settled for mediocrity or less than creative ads out of fear of being perceived as wasteful in this economy.

Finally, while I enjoy the crass (budweiser horse farting ad of a few years ago and that type of ad)ads at times, it appears that they are becoming more of the norm rather than the exception. Not being a party pooper here but is that the best we can do as a profession with such large budgets to demonstrate creativity? And what's that say about the target audience? Think on that for a while.

9:33 AM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Excellent point! Though I wonder if you weren't in a Steeler victory-induced stupor?

And why is "Humor" the ad mechanism of choice for 80% of the advertisers (and their creative agencies)? Have they all become lemmings, following one another off the edge of the cliff?


8:46 AM


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