285. The 2010 Underpants Bowl. (A growing list of released or teased 2010 Super Bowl Ads.)
Feb 1, 2010 at 01:59AM
jj
Last year at about this time we had a blast on Graphicology, running our first live-blog of the big game's ads. We had five Creative Directors from across the US giving real-time reactions to the work and commenters from all over the world. I had planned on doing it again this year but being nine hours ahead in Dubai coupled with somewhat spotty internet access made me reconsider. I simply didn't want to put on a second-rate show.

This year I thought I would post all the spots that are released early here on the blog, with some additional information so you'll be more than ready to fill out your USA Today (or YouTube) score sheet when the time comes. Long gone are the days when the Super Bowl ads were primarily watched for the first time on game day. Sadly. Advertisers trying to get more media traction in advance leak their spots earlier and earlier every year. There are some holdouts but this has been the trend ever since your mp3 player held only 64 songs. I'll keep updating this post until game time should more creative break early.

Cars.com
Car.com follows up last year's spot with a familiar theme, that of an endlessly capable man living a life full of accomplishment under pressure only to find that even he needs help when shopping for a car. Due to inferior narration (last year's spot was well narrated either by Kevin Spacey or someone emulating Kevin Spacey), inferior scenarios, and a somewhat slow beginning; this spot feels very much like the unoriginal idea it is. We have seen it before and done better by cars.com themselves just 12 months ago. Agency of Record, DDB Chicago, is responsible for the creative.


VW
VW isn't technically releasing their spot early but they are building a tease factor over the last few weeks. On their YouTube channel they are running a short film about the inventor of the game, Punch Bug (Where you see a VW beetle and slug someone in the arm.) I've included this film below. After scouring through press releases I also learned that their Super Bowl spot would be focused on an update of this game that ties in with their Vee-Dub nickname, Punch Dub. It will feature Tracy Morgan (plus a surprise guest) and no doubt a bunch of people getting hit when all the new VWs pass by. I like how they are handling their creative, not releasing the spot but still building anticipation. This is how it should be done. Could it be that Deutsch LA is capable of doing what Crispin+Porter couldn't for VW? The brand is definitely one that has lost its way, but this looks like it could be a good beginning. Let's see how it all shakes out this week.

The Inventor of Punch-Dub:

And Check out this local promotion that uses what looks like an official punchdub days logo:


Bud Light.
Bud Light is a usual suspect in the annual best Super Bowl ad polls. They usually go for that college-age man demographic with somewhat sophomoric humor. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. This year they'll be running no less than five minutes of advertising (That's ten spots at around $3 million per though they probably got a better deal.) From Adweek, "Bud Light's lineup from St. Louis agency Cannonball includes spots with guys who attend a women's book club only for the beer, a guy who builds a house out of Bud Light cans (shown), and guys whose voices turn electronically musical to get the party started. The spot likely to have the broadest appeal is a spoof on Lost, a smart pop culture tie-in that plays to the highly anticipated Feb. 2 return of ABC's hit show. On Bud Light's island, the survivors of a plane crash ignore the discovery of the plane's radio system to celebrate a washed-up beverage cart filled with bottles of the beer." This year is said to also include the following spot called, Clothing Drive, featuring a lot of awkward men-in-skivvies. (This will be a theme this year, more on that later.)


Careerbuilder.com
How do you reward your agency for producing one of the best from last year's game? You fire them. Or that's what they Careerbuilder.com did to Wieden+Kennedy. This year's spot, will be one of three finalists from a user submitted competition, and will be produced in-house. Last year's ad was really good (perhaps the best of the bunch for my money), take a peak at it here. I'll include all three finalists for your review. Casual Friday takes the underwear theme forward and is my pick for the one that will air. Job Fairy and Worst Seat are the other finalists in the mix. According to Adland, "The three winning ideas were submitted by a 27-year-old surfer from San Clemente, CA, a 34-year-old freelance producer from Minneapolis, MN, and a 52-year-old analyst from Cliffwood, N.J. The winners also attended the reshooting of their concepts in California with CareerBuilder’s in-house advertising team."



Doritos
Doritos once again ran a competition to 'Crash the Super Bowl' asking users to submit their own ideas for a Doritos ad. The whole contest is curated by agency of record, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, who has helped produce the winning spots. Voting ended yesterday but go to their site to view all six finalists, which included this spot called Snack Suit.


ManCrunch.com
What sounds like a name for a more masculine cereal by Kellogg's is actually a gay man's dating site. Where many many many men come out and play. This is the latest in a long line of "banned" ads, using the term loosely. What better way for an ad to go viral than to be banned by those curmudgeon CBS executives? I don't think they actually expected the spot to go through but even if they did it's not that good. If you are going to get banned, at least be interesting about it. This is a fairly predictable spot, poorly shot and something I would rather my daughter watch than all those spots of men in their underwear to be honest. No controversy here, just bad advertising.


Bridgestone
Bridgestone has released teaser videos of two spots expected to run next Sunday. The first features a whale and doesn't look to be that promising. The second looks to be a film noir kind of thing and at the very least looks to have some nice art direction and casting. It's set in a future world of climate change where few things are more valuable than a great set of tires. I'm not sure either teaser actually fulfills the purpose of a tease—to make the viewer eagerly anticipate the full creative—but since they have done pretty well lately in the big game, I'll give them a pass. (The Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head spot from last year in particular.) You can check out behind the scenes from both commercial shoots by visiting Bridgestone's official Super Bowl minisite. The Richards Group in Dallas is Bridgestone's agency of record.


Dockers
Yep, Docker's Super Bowl creative also features men wearing no pants. I feel like all the underpants stuff in all the other spots are stealing some of Docker's thunder here. Their ad attempts to make a statement about lost masculinity and how 'Wearing the Pants' is what men do best. The spot features men (without pants of course) walking through a field and chanting, but you can only see a very short tease and the full ad may very well take the idea elsewhere. To see the tone of the print and point-of-sale which I like despite some thinking its sexist, go here. Unfortunately for agency of record, DraftFCB, what might have stood out in Super Bowls past, may very well blend right in about as well as a pair of Dockers Khakis this year. I also wonder how many people are going to 'shazaam' this ad using their smartphone? I expect a lot of people will due to the novelty that is if they aren't drunk by then. To make sure you are ready, visit the official press release website.

GoDaddy.com
Yawn. Hot girl. Stupid sophomoric guys. Some cleavage. And an unrated web version is what we usually get from Godaddy.com's Bob Parsons. (Who is just too much to believe really.) This year will be no different. What was once just stupid is now bordering on annoying. I don't mind the setup, just the cliche content of the ads. Here's the teaser from the web hosting company.


Teleflora.
The company that reminds you not to send boxed flowers are at it again. Bringing back the voice of Don Rickles as the crotchety personality of boxed and wilted flowers everywhere, the spot reminds you that Valentines Day is close at hand, and that you better not send flowers in a box. Well, I'm surmising that from last year's spot as we only have this behind-the-scenes teaser for now. It's easy to see how a Super Bowl spot makes sense for a floral company, and i think carving out their own niche is a smart thing to do. They only send hand-crafted and delivered bouquets and are setting the bar for men everywhere. Most of whom will be tuning in to the game, so there goes your excuse for forgetting. Creative was done in-house (and according to i4u) will be followed by "...an e-card service that takes the flowers-in-a-box vs. its hand-arranged bouquets online. You will be able to choose between a nice and naughty e-card. In the nice execution, you can send someone a sincere message along with a beautiful, virtual Teleflora bouquet. In the naughty version, the spirit of the talking flowers comes alive with your or pre-selected sarcastic messages that are "delivered" with un-arranged, uncut, sloppily packed flowers in a box. With each naughty or nice e-card, Teleflora is offering the sender and recipient a discount code from teleflora.com."
flowers - Valentine's Day flowers - flower delivery


Boost Mobile
Sprint-owned Boost mobile is using the famous Super Bowl Shuffle video the 1985 Chicago Bears were gracious enough to give to the world for their ad this year. Their re-enactment, The Boost Mobile Shuffle, will have the same look and feel as the original but with a twist. McMahon and Singletary are included in a few—you guessed it—trailers along with Coach Mike Ditka. Boost also has a micro-site promoting the effort, called unwronged. 180LA is the agency behind the work which promises, at least for long-time football fans, to be one of the better spots. I only wish Walter Payton was still with us to play a part in the fun.

Dove
Dove is trying to launch a line of products called men+care, actually the launched happened awhile ago but they are using the man-magnet of the Super Bowl to draw attention to the line once again. The spot features a quick montage of all the big moments in a guy's life with a soundtrack of the William Tell Overture. It's not a bad spot really and I find that it connects with me on a nice level. The campaign's effort is helped by packaging that is rather handsome yet utilitarian-looking. They even have a few shower tools in the product line to help us stay scrubbed. If nothing else they are going all out. They only version of this spot I can find, is a short clip. Apparently, this was the last spot sold by CBS for the game.

E-trade I have to admit, this campaign kind of gets on my nerves but at the same time it has had its moments. Last year's Super Bowl spot wasn't that good. But the outtakes they posted afterward online was much funnier and probably a better all-around ad. This year they've also released a behind-the-scenes and I bet the same holds true. You can also send babymail via a mini-site meant to promote the effort.

PopSecret
PopSecret will be running an ad this year and I think it will be one of the recent spots they've been producing lately. The three that I have seen use a movie tie-in, with a family of unpopped (or partially popped) corn kernels talking about the films in some way. The spots were produced by Nathan Love with agency-of-record Goodby. I like what motionographer.com said about the spots. "Spots like this hark back to the good ol’ days of 80’s product advertising — utilizing stop-motion and “claymation” as a vehicle for spokes-characters like The California Raisins, The Pillsbury Doughboy, or advertising’s salty playboy, Mr. Peanut: kitchen food with arms and legs. These characters personify the businesses they represent, but fail to instill a real sense of life for the characters—one that has human motivation—able to reason, and still sell a product. Until now." The Super Bowl spot may feature more football oriented conversation if they have thought that far ahead. We'll see. Check out the Dark Knight spot below.

Taco Bell
Rumor has it that this spot featuring Charles Barkley doing his best masterpiece theater impression, will be the Super Bowl spot for the fast-food chain. The spot focuses on a new NBA $5 Buck Box. What's most disappointing about the creative here is that if you have ever watched Barkley on TNT's NBA broadcasts you know he is a funny guy. It's a shame that a bunch of advertising creatives (well, more likely a bad client) produced a spot so forced.


TruTV
The channel previously known as courtTV is launching their first Super Bowl spot. Agency Grey is responsible for the ad which promotes a new series on the channel called NFL Full Contact. The spot features Pittsburgh Steeler Troy Polamalu as Punxsutawney Polamalu. Giving the title, I think you can figure the rest out, the football fan will get several more weeks of football. Despite being a predictable setup, it's not without its charm. Creepy charm.


Coke.
Coke is doing something pretty cool using Facebook. Simply by visiting their fan page and using the Live Positively App to a 'gift' of a Coca-Cola bottle image; Coke will donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Then you'll be able to view a 20-second sneak peak at its Super Bowl ad, based on characters from The Simpsons. Obviously, I wouldn't post that video here, so go do a little good and catch a glimpse of their big game ad.

Dr. Pepper Another soda maker in the mix is Dr. Pepper, for their Dr. Pepper Cherry flavor. The spot produced by Deutsch emphasizes the 'little kiss' of cherry and uses the band KISS to do so. The following sneak peak below teases us with a preview of a the soda, the band, and a band of midget look-a-likes in complete kiss attire. I think you can imagine the rest of the spot if you try hard enough. This is one example where the tease ruins the full spot entirely and could have built more suspense with a bit more thought and effort.

Vizio
Flat-screen TV maker Vizio is changinng their marketing tactic, going from a value message to communicating the premium quality of its products. This year the Super Bowl ad features Beyonce and was concepted by Venables, Bell & Partners out of San Francisco. The only tease for this ad I have seen was on E Entertainment Television and about the only we can learn from the short video is that it will involve a flying Beyonce.

Dodge.
The only domestic car maker in the Super Bowl this year is Dodge. They haven't teased the spot at all except to say the subject of the spot will be irreverence and for the Charger nameplate.Irreverence is now agency of record Wieden + Kennedy's specialty, so the spt should be a good one and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do. We do have their most recent spot as a reference however and I'm including it below.

Monster.com
Monster.com has produced what is the teasiest of all teases this year, something called fiddleafriend.com. We think we are going to help this guy find a job by the looks of things, but it's all still up in the air. Agency BBDO/New York is responsible. Look for the site to evolve and offer more opportunities to interact with the fiddling beaver after the game. I've included a short video of pretty much all the site does at the moment below for your convenience.

EA Dante's Inferno
Via Adland, this spot was produced by blur and agency Wieden+Kennedy and is your typical video game fare as of late. Odd choice of popular song that still fits the game in some subtle way, and lots of action screenshots from either the gameplay or narrative sequences. The only thing interesting about this spot is the tagline, which on the video below is Go To Hell. Not gratuitous given the content of the game but still enough to cause some controversy. It's rumored to have been changed for the Super Bowl to Hell Awaits. We'll find out in a few days.

Electronic Arts / EA - Dante's Inferno - Go To hell / Hell awaits - (2010) :30 (USA)


Snickers
Snickers is teasing their spot on facebook, twitter and youtube and promise to use social media to continue to push this campaign past gameday. The Spot features a mean looking Betty White playing a game of touch football and actually does a nice job teasing the spot(s) that they will be running. I don't have to wait, I'd have the talented actress on my flag football team anyday, Ha. Agency BBDO/NY is the creator of the ads as well as last year's Snacklish work which was well received.

Hyundai.
I"m not sure who exactly is doing Hyundai's work these days, but they will have two Super Bowl spots running this year. One is 'eh' and the other is okay I guess. The okay one features Brett Favre ten years from now still thinking about retirement. Hyundai's ten-year warranty is the logical tie-in and given by voiceover talent Jeff Bridges. The other one is trying to be more like a luxury car ad featuring classical music, black and white footage in slow-mo, and a pacing you'd expect from Lexus or Mercedes. And at the end they actually compare their paint quality to that of a Mercedes. It only makes me think of all the things they can't compare to a Mercedes, so in that respect it's as the kids say, FAIL.



kgb
Answerer of questions, kgb, have been busy trying to get by the censors at CBS or like others, trying to appear to get by the censors anyway. They reportedly have a batch of three spots to choose from for next Sunday, however I think they most definitely end up running a spot that includes two of the Baldwin Brothers. It's been leaked for a few weeks now and probably has the most interesting premise anyway. They also produced a spot that was intended to go directly viral but are branding it as a 'banned spot'. It features the old joke of someone having their head up their butt, only instead of butt they use the swears. Not really ban worthy but worth showing in the context of everything else. All spots produced by Brooklyn Brothers, NY.

Denny's A former client of mine, Denny's, is back at their Super Bowl giveaway approach. Last year they gave away like a zillion grand slam breakfasts and were hailed as geniuses. This year they'll probably be giving away something with eggs, as the teasers are warning chickens everywhere to get out of Dodge. The creative is handled by Goodby, and I can attest first-hand that the folks on this account are good people. I look forward to seeing this play out though I'm not expecting anything as culturally significant as nanerpuss or the thugs creative from early 2009.

Audi.
I don't know exactly what Audi is up to with this, but they've launched a YouTube channel called The Green Police, Protecting and Conserving the Earth. This tact of branding a company as eco-friendly is tough business, as I can think of a few things better for the environment than a car. I'm also not sure how exactly this ties in with what other sources are reporting concerning Audi's spot, which is rumored to feature the band Cheap Trick remaking an old 'classic' for their A3 TDI Diesel. (Other than the thin ecological theme.) But there is a good agency behind all of it, and I'm sure it'll make sense very soon. Update: Adland says that they have the actual spot and though related, is a bit different. They can't release it exactly yet.

Motorola.
I'll be as brief and informative as the teaser they are currently running on their site. This spot is for the new Motoblur phone. And I hope somebody cool pops out of that water. Maybe like Captain Lou Albano's ghost, that'd be cool. And the soundtrack sounds a little like St. Germain. Other than that, I've got nothing for you on this.

Kia
Kia has bought one spot to promote the new 2011 Sorento which will air during the third quarter. Agency of record David & Goliath handled creative duties for the spot which uses life-size toys (like a sock monkey for instance) to tell a story called Joyride Dream. For one thing this agency has been a favorite of mine for some time (at least from the outside looking in) and secondly, the teaser looks great. I'm hooked. The song you'll hear is by The Heavy and is called, How You Like Me Now?


Honda
Honda's effort this year is pretty disappointing. Called Squirrel, the spot is helping to launch the Accord Crosstour (yes, yet another cross-over) by showing an animated squirrel packing as much as he can into the vehicle. The spot closes by saying, "Just what we all need... another brilliant idea by Honda." That's too much of a superlative for me to swallow as the spot (and possibly the vehicle) are mediocre at best. Nice way to pat yourself on the back there HoMoCo. But your spot is forgettable.


The US Census Bureau
It's that time again. The US Census Bureau is attempting to count every single citizen and is enlisting everyone's help in a $344 million media campaign that launched a few weeks ago. To give you a sense of scale, the campaign will have creative in 27 different languages. This year's Super Bowl spot has yet to be released but a faux-documentary by agency-of-record DraftFCB/NY is up on YouTube and gives you a flavor of what they are trying to do. The work is directed by Christopher Guest of Go film (but better known for his work on the films This is Spinal Tap and Best in Show.) All that being said the long format piece isn't that funny but maybe the shorter spots will have more punch. According to ABC News, "The campaign will feature different themes, says Jeff Tarakajian, executive vice president at Draftfcb which is working with subcontractors (other agencies) who specialize in specific ethnic groups. One theme is "10 questions, 10 minutes" to highlight the ease of filling out the form. I am curious about this one in particular. Curious and worried."


HomeAway.
I think these guys sell vacation homes or time inside someone else's vacation home. Either way, it makes a lot of sense for them to bring back The Griswold's from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation fame. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprise their role as the bad-luck couple on yet another trip called Hotel Hell Vacation. The company is obviously trying to borrow some of the equity from the cult films. I have to say for a relatively unknown advertiser this approach could work rather effectively. As long as the spots are as funny as the films and the ads respect (using this term loosely) the original work they could be something that a Super Bowl audience will love. Might be a dark-horse candidate, even though the older Russ in this preview really creeps me out. The spot by agency Publicis in the West may also point to HomeAway's website and contain more robust/longer versions. The second teaser is more of a behind-the-scenes of the shoot but will shed more light on what to expect.



Google.
Yep, that's right, Google. Long a naysayer on the benefits of traditional advertising—it is rumored that they will be airing an ad during the Super Bowl. Or maybe they are leaking this rumor to get a little free media without actually running a spot. A tactic heretofore unseen, but a smart one indeed. That actually is genius. Anyway, if they do go through with it, the spot will most likely air during the third-quarter and will be one of the Search Stories viral spots produced early this year. From Technabob blog, "Robert Wong and his co-workers at Google’s Creative Lab created a bunch of short and funny clips showing how their search engine helps people not just to find websites but to improve their lives: “In other words, the best search results don’t show up on a webpage — they show up in somebody’s life.” The Search Stories are nice although completely predictable and not the type of spot you want to see during the Super Bowl. If they indeed want to advertise on this stage they are the perfect company to come with the big guns and own the show. Instead these spots just quietly whimper. This tip came from John Battelle's excellent technology/media blog.




Article originally appeared on Graphicology (http://www.graphicology.com/).
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