Super Bowl Backlash: The Five Most Debated Commercials

No Super Bowl is complete without a few lingering controversies, and this year’s game left us with plenty. While most of the mainstream media has been buzzing inanely about M.I.A.’s middle finger, the night’s commercials sparked their share of hand-wringing and name-calling as well. Some backlash, like Chrysler’s “It’s Halftime in America” being ripped as an homage to Obama, has gotten time in the national spotlight while others have been simmering slightly below the surface. After the jump, we recap a few of the more interesting nuggets of negativity.

5. Chevy’s World Without Ford
This one began slightly before the Super Bowl when an attorney for Ford wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Chevrolet in the hope of stopping the latter’s post-apocalyptic ad, “2012.” In the spot, Chevy Silverado owners who have survived Armageddon mourn their Ford-driving friend Dave, who “didn’t drive the longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road…Dave drove a Ford.” Chevy bases its dependability claim on industry data from the past 30 years, though Ford argues the same data shows F-150s are more likely to last beyond 250,000 miles. Whoever is right, Ford was most certainly the one condemned in the court of public opinion.

4. Samsung’s Stylus Snafu
Samsung’s 90-second “Thing Called Love” cavalcade of boisterous antics for the Galaxy Note was one of the most theatrical spots of the night, but many viewers found themselves unable to get past a single line: “It’s got a pen?!” By showing a stylus as an example of what makes the Galaxy Note “the next big thing,” Samsung and agency 72andSunny gave Apple fanboys ammunition to mock an ad intended to mock Apple fanboys. Shortly after the spot aired, #stylus and #palmpilot were both trending Twitter hashtags, and almost any discussion of the ad was eclipsed by stylus snark. The more neutral voices in the tech community have pointed out that the stylus is actually a nice perk of the Note, which is a smartphone-tablet hybrid.

3. Dannon’s Double Dipping
Dannon’s crowdsourced commercial for Oikos Greek Yogurt, starring John Stamos, was so vanilla, I practically missed it during the game. (It still managed to rank No. 10 in USA Today’s Ad Meter…sigh.) But AgencySpy dug up an interesting double controversy about the spot. First off, the music is a nearly note-for-note duplicate of “Zebra” by the John Butler Trio. Fans quickly alerted the band, which announced on Facebook it would be “seeking advice as how to address the issue.” But AgencySpy also notes that the ad as a whole seems lifted from a decade-old Canadian 7UP spot.

Read More at : Adweek