Panel down on this year's Super Bowl commercials

Panel down on this year’s Super Bowl commercials


H&R Entertainment Editor

DECATUR, Ill. (January 29) — The Baltimore Ravens dominated the game on the field, but in the advertising game, no one came out a clear winner during this year’s Super Bowl broadcast.

According to a Herald & Review panel, this year’s Super Bowl commercials simply didn’t measure up to last year’s in creativity or quality.

“In the past, there have been some real funny ones,” said H&R advertising sales consultant Lee Tirey. “But this year wasn’t quite as good. There were some good ones, but most of the ones that were good, you expected.”

In Tirey’s book, Frito-Lay spent well on its one spot, which depicted a woman dumping a bag of Doritos into a tennis ball machine and getting “dusted.” That spot was third on our panel’s list of favorites, but one voter disliked it.

“I’m a tennis player and I still didn’t like it,” said Melody Burris of Mount Zion. Burris joined the majority of panelists in selecting as the best commercial the Charles Schwab ad featuring Sarah Ferguson telling a fairy tale that turned out to be her life story.

“I thought it was the greatest,” Burris said. “I wasn’t sure who it was, I couldn’t really tell her voice. When they revealed her face, I thought, ‘This is so cool — this is totally real.’ ”

The Doritos ad wasn’t the only one to divide the audience. While some thought Volkswagen’s “car in the tree” spot was one of the worst, Larry Rosenthal, creative director at WAND, liked it.

“There were a lot of good ads, but I look at them from the point of view of someone who makes commercials,” he said. “That Volkswagen one was kind of unexpected. I liked the punch line.”

The favorite of H&R advertising sales team leader Terry Robinson was the Pepsi ad featuring chess champion Gary Kasparov losing a battle with machines.

“You were just waiting on something to happen,” he said. “I like the ones that hold you and keep you in suspense.

“The beer ones were by far the best. Those and Pepsi.”

There was little doubt about the weakest ads, though. Cingular Wireless probably should have saved its money.

“When the Cingular ads came on,” Decatur’s Art Warner said, “we went outside.”

Ads from the Super Bowl are expected to be available online at The site is optimized for high-speed connections. While it promised ads would be up 30 minutes after they aired on CBS, 90 minutes after the game’s con clusion, only six of 40-plus commercials were available.

Tim Cain can be reached at or 421-6908.