Insights / advertising

Super Bowl Ads: Mason Inc.’s Take on the Great Ads and the Duds

Here we are, Monday after the big game and the talk here at the Mason office is all about this year’s Super Bowl ads. Some felt they were “OK”, whereas others had stronger opinions. Here’s what we’re saying about this year’s ads.

“I thought it was interesting that two of the older people (60ish) in the room said that they just didn’t get some of the ads. By that, they meant that they simply did not understand the concept, not that they disapproved. I wonder if in the interest of inventiveness, some of the creative types in the world are not forgetting that first people have to understand what you are talking about, and then they have to be motivated by it to either like you, be predisposed to you, or hopefully actually take some kind of action.” – Charlie Mason, CEO

Chrysler Eminem Commercial

“I liked the Chrysler spot with Eminem. I know everyone wants to be entertained with humor during Super Bowls, but I like the emotion of this spot. It seemed kind of epic to me. And although, this was a somewhat odd-couple paring, I give both parties credit for working together for the good of the cause (and money, of course), and I thought that the message was right on.” – Fran Onofrio, President

Bridgestone Tire Beaver Commercial

“For me, I liked the Bridgestone Beaver and the dogs in the Bud Lite commercial. Good stuff, but a lot of retreaded ideas. No pun intended.” – Steve Hayes, President

“My favorite was the Volkswagen Darth Vader ad, which I ADORED. I thought it was a spot on commercial, the hit their demographic perfectly. People who grew up with Darth Vader as part of their generation, coupled with their now cute families… wish I had thought of that commercial. Just perfect. And I love how the kid was cute and all you did was see their hands. And on the opposite, I hated the snickers commercial with Richard Lewis (really? Richard Lewis? REALLY?) and Roseanne Barr — Richard Lewis aged so badly I didn’t even recognize him!  They disgraced the BEST commercial of last year (Betty White) with this far stretching farce. This stinks so badly of some exec who wanted to keep the campaign going, but didn’t want to spend any $ and didn’t listen to his agency. Bad, bad, bad.” – Susan Temple, Graphic Designer Extraordinaire

“My favorite was the CarMax Kid in a candy store spot. It was a novel concept, fun to watch. I find that there are too many spots out there in general that rely on the “dumb guy” formula. No shortage of them last night.” – Richard Gamer, Creative Director

“I personally liked the Darth Vader spot. I grew up with Star Wars and it yanked at my heart. I can remember running around as a kid in my Star Wars garb trying to trick people with Jedi mind tricks and the like.  My second favorite was the Car Max ‘customer service shouldn’t be a thing of the past’ spot. They used humor in a clever way to deliver their message. Overall, I thought most of the spots were just average. Nothing really ‘wowed’ me or had me laughing. I think it’s time for the creative team at to rethink things – it’s getting a little tired. I do think that the team behind did a brilliant job of placement and it’s too bad they didn’t advertise during the game– their spot of the macho, burly guy ending up in drag was hysterical!” – Derek Beere, Brand Supervisor and Social Media

“The first commercial that came to mind was the guy licking the Doritos off his co-worker’s fingers. Perhaps it is just my type of humor that made it quick for me to recall. I found the main message of this commercial interesting….so many times other chip commercials take a different approach on the same concept. Nowadays, I think there is a strong push for commercials to be funny and entertaining even if it means putting a spotlight on the fact that your chips leave you with cheese fingers.” – Leah Raney, Assistant Brand Manager

To see all of the ads, head on over to USA Today and check in with the Ad Meter. What are your thoughts?