What's a Super ad? Depends whom you ask
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A commercial made for the Doritos "Crash the Super Bowl" contest has won $1 million for its creator -- but it wasn't the one made by a Saxonburg native.
"Man's Best Friend," a spot in which a Great Dane uses the snack food to bribe a man into staying silent about a missing cat, sat atop the USA Today annual Super Bowl Ad Meter in the early going, and that was enough to qualify Jonathan Friedman of Virginia Beach, Va., for the big prize from Frito-Lay.
Meanwhile, Joby Harris, who grew up in the Pittsburgh region but now lives in California, saw his "Bird of Prey" entry beaten out by Mr. Friedman's entry and one called "Sling Baby," in which a baby and grandma take Doritos from a bully. Only two spots of those made by the five finalists were aired, based on online votes over the past few weeks.
While Frito-Lay ties its assessment of the most popular Super Bowl ads to the USA Today poll, there is actually no official determination of what were the best or most effective commercials during the annual footballapalooza: Everybody seems to have an opinion or rating system.
AutoTrader.com looked at online searches following the airing of commercials during Sunday's game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots. The automotive website counted more than 30 car ads between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Hyundai performed the best, based on the website's measurements, although Chevy Sonic and Toyota Camry also saw traffic spikes. A sexy Fiat 500 spot also seemed to get results.
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, meanwhile, argued CareerBuilder.com should not have used baby chimpanzees and Hyundai should not have used a real cheetah, but PETA liked Kia's use of technology to create virtual animals.
Academic types at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois ran their eighth annual review of Super Bowl spots. Ads were ranked on characteristics such as positioning, linkage and net equity, probably not the kind of issues considered by the average viewer munching on wings and chips.
The students and professors thought an M&M's commercial with a new brown character was executed well and could build the brand. They also liked a Skechers ad that the PETA folks couldn't stand.
Doritos and M&M's both did well in Boston-based ad agency Mullen's "Brand Bowl," which ranks ads based on action on social media site Twitter, including the sentiment of comments. Mullen has an office in the Strip District. The Kellogg School panel only gave Doritos a "B."
Even so, it seems a good bet the snack company will be inclined to bring the contest back again next year since the consumer-made spots continue to perform well on the ranking that it chooses to follow.
First Published February 7, 2012 12:03 am