Sunday, January 27, 2008

Super Bored XLII

We're super bored over here at Ad Wizards. Why? Because there haven't been many new, rotten ads recently. The reason for the dearth of rotten ads? Why, the Super Bowl, of course, which will take place just one week from today. Yes, it's the perennial battle of which massive corporation spent the most money to annoy the shit out of America. Also, I guess, the Patriots and Giants are playing for the NFL title (minor detail).

Following Sunday's game, we'll be writing up our reactions to the Super Bowl commercials and handing out the first annual Ad Wizards Super Bored Awards. Here's a quick preview of what we'll be giving next week, and our predictions for who might be the big winners:

Apple 1984 Memorial Award for Least Shitty Ad

Explanation: This honor will go to the "best" commercial or, far more likely, the one that offends us the least. We can't guarantee there will actually be a "good" Super Bowl commercial, but if, somehow, an ad agency somewhere can contain themselves for a moment, we may end up with an ad that both tastes great and is less filling, so to speak.

Prediction: Gatorade and Coca-Cola are perennial contenders for a half-decent spot, and obviously they advertise big during football. Nike, which has been cited in this space previously for making particularly good ads, is another possibility.

Most Overproduced Ad

Explanation: Have you ever felt that companies sometimes cram way too much stuff into 30 seconds? I think this Emerald Nuts spot from last year's Super Bowl is an illustrative example of what I'm referring to. I'm left thinking, "Wait, Robert Goulet, an office, ruining things, old guy climbing ceilings, mixed nuts... wha??" I think marketing people overextend themselves with the pressure of Super Bowl advertising, being the one time of the year when people actually care about commercials. And overproduced shit is usually what you end up with when you have too many cooks in the kitchen.

Prediction: This is wide open. Any company could come out with some Frankensteined piece of trash. Sadly, Emerald Nuts apparently couldn't come up with the money this year. We'll go with Pepsi, who we heard is creating a two-minute spot featuring Justin Timberlake.

Worst Use of "Humor" Award

Explanation: Humor's a subjective thing, as we've found out here on Ad Wizards. We'll tear apart ads that the three of us think use buffoonish humor, then we'll get attacked in the comments section by someone who thought it was a laugh riot. Well, call us elitist, but we think we are decent arbiters of humor, and we'll be awarding this one to the company that uses the clumsiest slapstick, the corniest pun, or the crudest sex joke.

Prediction: Always safe to go with a beer company. Bud Light's the only confirmed advertiser this year, but they alone usually have about eight awful jokes to choose from.

The Carlos Mencia Book Prize for Most Egregious Use of B-List Celebrities

Explanation: Here. Need I say more?

Prediction: He's baaaack. We're picking Bud Light, duh. Unless someone signs Willard Scott or something.

Flimsiest Pretense Award

Explanation: Given out to the ad that utilizes the most blatant sex appeal. There's a time and a place for beautiful people, but do you really need to see boobage when you're selling soap?

Prediction: Here is the Ad Age description of's 2008 Super Bowl initiative:, known for its racy Super Bowl spots, submitted no less than 11 concepts to Fox for approval, but the commercial CEO Bob Parsons loved best was rejected. The spot, which features race-car driver Danica Patrick and an animatronic beaver, will be shown on Super Bowl Sunday. The aired commercial will feature a group of people watching the game and talking about the Danica Patrick ad that is online, which Parsons said is the "the funniest best ad we've ever done."

Oh, dear.

Cheapest Budget/Clumsiest Execution Award

Explanation: Here's the Ad Age description of this year's SalesGenie Super Bowl spot:

Buy: Three spots in pre-game show, first and third quarter.
Animated call to action for the mailing-list company.
Agency: In-house. Vin Gupta, founder-chairman of, conceptualized and wrote copy for the ads himself.

Good Lord. Somebody put Motley on suicide watch.

Prediction: We've already sent the award plaque to Mr. Gupta. Congratulations, sir.

SkyMall Championship Trophy

This one goes to the overall worst attempt to sell a product. Not worst ad, mind you - SkyMall isn't about bad ads per se, it's about useless products and the awkward attempts to make them seem worth buying, which usually ends up backfiring like crazy. Bad attempts to sell products on television include ads that make their products sound superfluous, ads that associate the product they're selling with vomit, and really any of a number of things that we'll probably end up seeing come Sunday. A good example from last year was the Doritos ad featuring the two unappealing people fucking at a supermarket checkout.

Prediction: This one's always kind of a wild card, but it's a good bet that some food product will take the honors; there's the best chance for our feeling sick to get in the way of the commercial's pitch.

The Light/Miller Lite/Emerald Nuts Award for Worst Superbowl Ad

Explanation: The grand daddy of all the awards. Our version of the Ignoble Prize. This one goes out to the one commercial that stands above the rest as the absolute rankest, most putrid piece of utter shit that airs next Sunday night (Note: will most likely be a five-way tie).

Prediction: Too easy to say SalesGenie here, because they're really just going for PR value with the big (negative) reactions to their ads. I think they'll find the novelty has worn off. We're going out on a limb by not picking a beer company, and instead going with.... computer giant Dell. Apparently they've hired a music video director for the spot. We just drooled a little bit on our keyboards.


I think there might be one or two spots left for Super Bowl XLII. If you have $2.7-$3 million lying around, you, too, could reach millions of football fans next week. And, if you're lucky, you might, might, be walking away with a coveted "Worst Ad" award.

1 comment:

dana said...

Thank you for giving me a reason not to have to watch the superbowl. I love you guys,