Super Bowl Ads: the Touchdowns & the Personal Fouls

Go Daddy French Kiss ad

Memo to Go Daddy: the Super Bowl is family entertainment. The domain registration company drew the game’s worst personal foul. Its French kiss ad with closeups of the lip lock appeared even though millions of kids watch the game. The company revels in its history of provocative Super Bowl ads. But when kids turn to their parents with that “what’s this?” look I want Go Daddy to answer them. Ads are designed to catch your attention and this one certainly does. But the conclusion people draw should worry Go Daddy — no one in company management has a clue about good taste.

Call me a sentimentalist, but the Oprah voiceover paying tribute to our troops and Paul Harvey’s poetic God made a farmer ad were touchdowns — thoughtful, emotional and visual. I liked the Skechers’ ad where the man runs down the cheetah and bumps knuckles with the gazelle. Funny, clever, with a strong connection to the product.

Volkswagen’s “no worries” ad drew some criticism over its portrayal of the Jamaican accent. The criticism is misplaced. The ad portrays the “get happy” personality in a most positive light.

Many of the ads did not stand out very much, in part because the bar has been raised pretty high for the big game’s commercials. When it comes to the Super Bowl, some of the best competition is off the field.

The writer is an adjunct media professor, former journalist and owner of a speaking, and media and messaging company.