Variety Says "Who Scored, And Who Wasted Their Money"


Volkswagen: German engineers sprouting wings each time one of their cars hits 100,000 miles — including wings of varying sizes in the men’s room? Genius.

Chevy: The company’s spot about World Cancer Day was just beautiful — haunting, touching, a little movie, played out in 30 seconds.

Hyundai Genesis: Who can’t relate to the idea of a dad trying to protect his kid — and a car’s breaking system stepping in when he’s not available? Perfect way of pushing the product in a light yet highly identifiable manner. Too bad it’s other spot, with Johnny Galecki, was a waste.

SodaStream: Although this has always struck me as a completely unnecessary product, the company’s “banned” Scarlett Johansson ad was a winner well before kick off, going viral thanks to the NFL forcing a change because the company dared to mention fellow Super Bowl sponsor Pepsi. And it’s a good thing, too, since the spot didn’t air until the fourth quarter, when the outcome of the game was long since decided, and wasn’t particularly imaginative.

Budweiser: Unabashedly patriotic and designed to make viewers cry, the notion of every returning soldier receiving a hero’s welcome was enough to trump the inherent manipulation in the way it was mounted and produced. Ditto for the adorable-puppy-meets-Clydesdale ad.

Microsoft: A thoughtful look at how technology is changing — and improving — the world, while not-so-subtly linking Microsoft to those innovations.

Beats Music: Ellen DeGeneres seemed like the right talent for a playful spot pushing the music service.

RadioShack: A dizzying wave of ’80s nostalgia used to sell the stores’ new look. Clever.


Wonderful Pistachios: What a criminal waste of Stephen Colbert as a pitchman.

Maserati: That ad with the kid was terribly dramatic, but I have no idea what the hell it has to do with cars.

Bud Light: Kudos to the idea of doing a serialized spot — with Don Cheadle and Arnold Schwarzenegger, no less — but the payoff to this reality-TV spoof felt like a missed opportunity. While I suspect it will score well in public polling, kind of a creative mess, conceptually.

GoDaddy: Someone quits their job on TV, in this economy, and that’s fodder for a commercial? Never thought I’d say this, but go back to teasing that you’re going to show naked women — or the other spot with the running bodybuilders.

Audi: I’m sure they thought the Doberhuahua spot and its “Don’t compromise” message was crowd-pleasing, but as executed, all they did was stumble into a possible plot for the next Kevin James and/or Adam Sandler movie.

CarMax and Geico: Hey, I love “Rudy” as much as the next guy — and for that matter, talking pigs — but what was the point?

Subway: Olympians eat at Subway, huh? Right, and rainbows fly out of the butts of German engineers.

Chobani: So if I buy your yogurt, a bear is going to break into my house to get it? Does anybody ever think these spots through?

M&M and Butterfingers: Apparently the candy industry just decided to be weird this year. Although did the latter really imply a chocolate-peanut butter-candy bar three-way? Kinky, but still….

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