Super Bowl commercials lack oomph

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Randy Cordova
The Arizona Republic

With advertisers paying up to $3 million for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl, you imagine the ads would be spectacular.

You’d be mistaken. That’s not to say they weren’t fun, even if they lacked some of the oomph found in previous years.

What worked

Cars.com: The Big Fish-like story of supremely confident David Abernathy, who was so self-assured that he shook the hand of the doctor that delivered him, seconds after his birth.

E*Trade: The talking baby is back, this time with a pal who keeps breaking into Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings. “It’s inspirational,” the tot says. Man, that baby has good taste.

Teleflora.com: You’ll never send boxed flowers again after seeing what happens when a poor office worker receives a talking plant from a boyfriend. “No one wants to see you naked!” the flower yells.

What didn’t

Audi: Jason Statham, runs, drives and glowers. It’s a spot based on star quality, but isn’t Statham merely a second-string Clive Owen?

Pepsi: We listen to Bob Dylan singing Forever Young and see then and now imagery. For instance, John Belushi = then and Jack Black = now. Um, that’s progress?

GoDaddy.com: Guys ogle streaming video of Danica Patrick, who is getting ready to take a shower. Of course, you must go online to see how the story ends. Pass.

CareerBuilder.com: How do you know it’s time to find another job? Could be when you start creating annoying commercials like this one.

The stars

Cash4Gold.com: Down-on-their luck celebs Ed McMahon and MC Hammer hawk gold for cash. Was Gary Coleman too busy to film a cameo?

Bud Light: The unwelcome sight of Conan O’Brien in a red mesh tank top occurs in this clever spot about the TV host filming a commercial for Swedish TV.

Kellog’s Plant a Seed: In the reassuring voice of Robert Duvall, we learn about how Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes is working on rebuilding fields. Perhaps the only time you’ll use the words “Robert Duvall” and “frosted flakes” in the same sentence.

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