This year, the game was better than the ads. Again. You want to know why? There will never be an ad as good as 1984 again because there are no more secrets (that remain secret) before being told only once.
Blogs usurped the payoff around the big game this year. You could head online and find out the latest about any and all ads. We created buzz bigger than 1984 for ads that never stood a chance.
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically since Apple ran 1984. Marketers were smarter this year and cashed in on the buzz, pre-game using very integrated campaigns. You can read more about the theory here. But the bottom line is, the buzz built up before the game becomes so great, no ad creative can live up to expectations.
Super Bowl 39's Goofus & Gallant Awards: And the winners are: no surprise really.
GoDaddy gets the Goofus. The ad was bad on several levels and simply inappropriate.
The Gallant goes to Anheuser-Busch. They introduced new products, made us laugh, promoted designated driving and thanked American troops. They own the Bowl for a reason. We expect a lot from them annually and they did not disappoint.
Plenty of honorable mentions, including: FedEx. Olympus, Toyota Prius, Mastercard and Nationwide.
Volvo Goes Boldly
Volvo's first Super Bowl ad was done superbly. They had pregame buzz and the ad was still a surprise with Branson appearing in it. The de rigueur URL at the end sent it into orbit. Online or offline, every element supported the larger campaign. Volvo even bought keywords on Feedster around "super bowl" + ad.
We see success in the ads that do not merely rely on a :30 spot. There is an integrated campaign supporting it online and offline and a ton of planning behind those many dollars spent. And they all start with a brand. No brand was ever built with a Super Bowl ad. To which I say, "Go home GoDaddy."