Monday, February 15, 2010

Annoying. So annoying.'s ads used to be... well, stupid. But in a sort of affable way. Like this:

See? Stupid. I see this and think "Reviews from people like me? How much of a weirdo do you think I am?" Nevertheless, there's a kind of good-humored air about it, like they're implicitly admitting that they're just trying to have a good time with their advertising.

Not so anymore.

Fuck this ad. Okay? Fuck it.

First of all, the question is thoroughly begged when you name your main character "Smart." What is that, even? Last name? Nickname? Ah, who the fuck cares.

Woman: "What's up, Smart?"
Smart: "Being smart."

Fuck you.

Smart: "Yep, just booked my tenth night on, sooo... I get a night free."

Oh my God, you super-genius, you! You... took advantage of a company's offer! I hope you needed all those ten nights. Otherwise you're like moms who come home with three 12-packs of Coke because it was on sale, even though no one in the house drinks Coke. As it is you're like someone bragging because he got the final stamp on his Subway Club card. No one cares, douchebag.

Smart: "You, me, getaway."

"Sexual harassment. So sexual harassment."

Woman: "Really? Where?"
Smart: "Anywhere you want."
Woman: "A bed and breakfast?"
Smart: "Bed and breakfast? Check."
Woman: "A place by the beach?"
Smart: "A place by awesome."

Again, fuck you. Also, that second place is clearly not a bed and breakfast. What are the odds she was changing her request entirely as opposed to modifying it to "a bed and breakfast by the beach?" Some fucking smart guy you are.

Woman: "Oh! You are smart."

Sound the editorializing alarm! Also, why the fuck is he smart? I guess taking advantage of a rewards program is smarter than not doing so - assuming you already have reason to be booking a significant number of hotel rooms - but it hardly makes you a super-genius, any more than clipping detergent coupons out of the Sunday paper qualifies you to run NASA. It's not that I think should talk about their product in an equivocal fashion, but how about not giving us a pitchman at the apex of obnoxious douchiness? (I also love that even in Claymation that woman is clearly way too hot for him.)

Announcer: "Accumulate ten nights and get a night free. Welcome Rewards from Smart. So smart."

Again, I'm not saying this isn't a good deal. But do you have to pose it in so smarmy a fashion? This is maybe one rung above Hyundai's "Big Duh" sales event of 2007. Is it really so hard to suggest that something is a good idea without insulting the audience's intelligence?

In conclusion... fuck this thing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A tradition more annoying than any other

How do you make a bad ad campaign worse? Try to get "edgy."

This ad is, obviously, online only. What kills me is that it's referred to as a "banned Super Bowl commercial" by KGB. I mean, I guess it was banned... in the same way that, say, the orgy scene from Caligula was banned from the Super Bowl. Most likely this ad wasn't submitted at all, since KGB cannot possibly have been under the impression it could air on television, or even if it was submitted, it was only so they could call it "banned!" and "too hot for TV!" after its entirely inevitable rejection. But wow, if it was banned from the Super Bowl... that means it must be totally hilarious in a risqué fashion. Right?

KGB Douche: "We got a call?"
Woman 1: "It's my husband."
KGB Woman: "What happened?"
Woman 1: "We were in the pro shop, he and Bob were discussing global warming, and..."

Cut to an hilarious shot of a guy bent all the way around...

KGB Douche: "He's got his head up his ass."

*spit take* Bahahaha! Hilarious! Not at all a joke that is decades old at best. Also, global warming? It would almost be worth 99 cents to see what answer KGB could possibly give to "Is global warming real?" Even actual scientists don't seem to be 100% in agreement on this point.

Woman 1: "Not the first time."
KGB Woman: "Sir, are you all right in there?"
Guy: "Who said that?"
KGB Douche: "Now who's Bob?"
Woman 2: "My husband. Over there."

Guess what? He's also got his head up his ass! ROFL!

KGB Douche: "Next time your husbands don't have a clue, make sure they text KGB first."

So... neither of them had a clue? How exactly had this debate been going?

Unnamed Husband: "Global warming is real! It's harming the planet!"
Bob: "Oh yeah? Prove it, jerk!"
Unnamed Husband: "See, there's pollution, right? And the pollution goes in the water, polar bears eat it, they die, and their rotting corpses drive up the planet's temperature!"
Bob: "You idiot! Nuclear waste gets stored in cooling towers! It makes everything colder!"

If neither person has a clue in a debate, it no longer matters.

KGB Douche: "Always know what you're talking about. Text your questions to 542542."

"Don't bother doing any significant research on the major scientific topics that you'd like to discuss. Just text KGB and get an answer that fits into 120 characters on your cell phone." I don't know, KGB. Couldn't you dumb things down a little more? I want an answer about global warming that would fit inside a fortune cookie!

Guy [putting]: "It's in the hole!"

And one last cheap ass joke, just for good measure. I would have added a sarcastic *rimshot* there, but KGB would have assumed I was playing along with the theme.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grab life by the balls

Good news, ladies. You won! You're not just equal to your male counterparts - you're ahead of them. You control everything. What's that? You don't believe me? You say men still regularly make more than women, and hold the vast majority of positions of power in this country, and really the world? Well, that can't be right. I mean, did you not see that Dodge Charger ad that aired during the Super Bowl?


Man 1: "I will get up and walk the dog at 6:30 am. I will eat some fruit as part of my breakfast. I will shave. I will clean the sink after I shave."

Maybe they should have chosen a guy who hadn't clearly already shaved for this one. Anyway, let's keep a tally of which of the things mentioned in this ad are (a) completely normal, (b) common courtesy, or (c) actually maybe emasculating in some way.

Walking the dog: I mean, it's probably your dog, asshole. If it's her dog, and it's some yappy toy poodle or something, I guess that's annoying. Still, I would class this as (a).

Eating fruit: Yeah! Fruit is for pussies! Normally it's all I can do to choke down half a banana. Plus eating a banana makes me feel kinda gay. Lord. This is clearly (a).

Shaving: Yes, how unusual. Guys never shave unless women make them, right? (a).

Cleaning the sink: God forbid. (b).

Man 2: "I will be at work by 8 am. I will sit through two-hour meetings. I will say yes when you want me to say yes. I will be quiet when you don't want to hear me say no."

Okay, those first two things are completely normal and have little to nothing to do with women. Bitches, man - always forcing you to... work... like a normal human being would... (a). As for the latter two... maybe work on your communication. If you're in a relationship with a woman and you're too afraid to contradict her, you have bigger problems than your car. But, I guess that's a (c) for each of those.

Man 3: "I will take your call. I will listen to your opinion of my friends. I will listen to your friends' opinions of my friends. I will be civil to your mother."

The first and last are, again, things that I think any reasonable person would not be off-base in expecting. Both are either (a) or (b). The middle two... I guess they're (c). But this hypothetical woman sounds kind of unpleasant. Maybe you should just break up. Though I call bullshit on this dude even having a girlfriend. He needs to take Man 1's advice and find a razor, just for starters.

At this point, by the way, the commercial is half over. What's it for? Who knows?

Man 4: "I will put the seat down. I will separate the recycling. I will carry your lip balm. I will watch your vampire TV shows with you. I will take my socks off before getting into bed. I will put my underwear in the basket."

B, A, who fucking cares about a lip balm tube that weighs half an ounce, I guess C, you're a ridiculous asshole if you wear socks to bed, and B.

Man 4: "And because I do this... I will drive the car I want to drive."

"Yeah, honey, I know that buying a new car is a big decision. And I know you want a minivan because of the kids. But I clean up after myself - only for your benefit because I'm perfectly happy living in filth, I should clarify - and occasionally carry your lip balm. Therefore I'm getting a car that is completely impractical for our family."

Announcer: "Charger: Man's Last Stand."

Not to get all heavy on you, but did you ever wonder why the divorce rate is so high? It's because of shit like this. Man and woman are not natural enemies, Dodge, you assholes. A relationship involves give and take, yes. But it really shouldn't be about scoring cheap points that you try to cash in later by holding them over the other person's head and demanding some form of equity. And no one can reasonably argue that doing things that any halfway considerate person should understand are just normal parts of life with another person constitutes just cause for buying a muscle car. I mean, if you have enough money to have two cars, and you already have the family-friendly car, then whatever. You want to drive a Charger, that's probably fine. But the entire implication behind this commercial is "Your wife is not going to want you to drive this car! Point out that either you're going to drive it or you're going to toss your underwear over the blades of the ceiling fan, and she's going to like it!"

And honestly, "Man's last stand?" I do have to applaud Dodge for the sheer balls it takes to be an American automaker - doing really well lately, as we all know - willing to say a big "Fuck you" to half the population right off the bat.

Final tally of things mentioned in the ad as emasculating reasons why dudes need to drive Dodge Chargers:
(a) Completely normal: 7
(b) Common courtesy: 6
(c) Actually maybe emasculating in some way: 5

C is less than either of the other two and way less than the total of A and B. I mean, fuck. Eating fruit? That's the best you can do? Fucking going to work like everyone does? These are the sacrifices that deserve the complete silence of your partner when you decide that you're going to be making the automotive decision unilaterally? Jesus.

Did you think that was it? It's not.

Announcer: "What is that thing?"

Some sort of car! What do I win? Is it more cheap jokes about being whipped and/or gay? I sure hope so!

Announcer: "Well, I'll tell you what it isn't. It isn't a 'man-bag.' It isn't 'man-sandals.' It isn't a low-cal plate. It isn't a yoga class. It isn't an exfoliant with added moisturizer, it isn't a couples cooking class, and it certainly isn't a small dog that needs to wear a jacket if the temperature drops below 70."

"It isn't picking up a box of tampons. It isn't being in the same room with a box of tampons. It isn't brushing your teeth before bed. It isn't not hitting on your wife's sister, right in front of your wife. It isn't washing your hands after you pee. It isn't remembering your anniversary. Oh, and it certainly isn't ever doing anything that would make you seem like less of a man in the eyes of a faceless corporate entity that is just trying to sell you something."

Announcer: "That's what it isn't."

Going to sell it at all? No? No price, no specs, the car doesn't even move. The entire selling point is, "If you don't buy this car, you're a total pussy who does everything your wife tells you to. Buy a fucking Charger or we're calling your friends and telling them you didn't have a huge, greasy hamburger for lunch every day of your life, but once ate something under four thousand calories, like the weenie you are." Why, you're probably the kind of spineless wimp who would drive a minivan!

Yeah! Wait.

Announcer: "There are guys who will smirk at you for buying a Dodge Grand Caravan."

Are you serious? Those guys are you. The entire point of the first ad in this post is "As a tradeoff for yielding incremental amounts of my masculinity in service of a long-term relationship, I ain't driving no minivan."

Announcer: "For some reason, having a minivan that happens to have the 2009 dependability award from JD Power and Associates isn't manly enough."

Yeah, I bet they see that and they think you're the kind of guy who orders the low-cal plate. Or carries his wife's lip balm. Fag.

Announcer: "Think about that for a second. Filling a car with five of your offspring isn't manly enough?"

Fuck that! Squeeze the kids into the trunk of the Dodge Charger. That's a real man's car! Unless we've decided that we want to sell you on a different model. Forget the Charger! Buy a Grand Caravan and prove your virility!

Here's an interesting tidbit. According to Road & Travel Magazine, "women purchase more than 50% of all new vehicles, 48% of all used vehicles, [and] influence 80% of all sales." Is that the kind of demographic you want to be completely ignoring, Dodge? Especially when it comes to selling a minivan, a family car, a car that a woman is almost certainly having a big say in deciding to purchase? You're going to sell it as "a good place to stash the fruit of your loins, the better to look virile in front of other men"? And then your other ads not only ignore women as purchasers, but actively mock men who dare to participate in anything you deem "too feminine." It's like this campaign fell through a wormhole from 1957, when women were expected to live in the kitchen and the only commercials targeted at them were for ovens and aluminum foil. With that in mind, here are some possible slogans Dodge may want to use going forward to address some of their marketing toward women without sacrificing their core message:

"Dodge: No girls allowed"

"Dodge: Bake me a pie"

"Dodge: I work hard all day to put food on that table"

"Dodge: Shut your whore mouth"

"Dodge: I'm going to the bar and dinner had better be ready when I get back"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bored Awards III

I think it's finally time to just come out and say it: Super Bowl ads have jumped the shark. Whether it's the economy, a general dearth of creativity, the pressure of wanting to clear a higher bar every year, or whatever else, I don't know - but the time when the game was really a showcase for new marketing has come and gone. Maybe in the early 1990s, when the Super Bowl was routinely a shitty game, it might have been reasonable to say "I watch the game for the ads!" or "The ads are the best part of the game!" Lately? If you like football, the game has regularly been better than the ads, and if you don't like football, you've probably been really, really upset at wasting all that time. If anything, people have talked themselves into still liking the ads only because they think they're supposed to. If the majority of these ads were dumped during a rerun of "Two and a Half Men," no one would even blink.

With that little rant out of the way, let's get on with it: the best, and mostly worst, of Super Bowl XLIV.

The Apple 1984 Memorial Award for Least Shitty Ad
Winner: Google

Windier: We said in the preview post that there's a reason we use "least shitty" here and not "best." But there's no getting around it: this ad is an absolute tour de force, for any number of reasons. The biggest of those is this: we've all seen the awful Bing "search overload" ads that treat the end-user like a complete moron. Recently, noted terrible ad maker KGB has gotten in on the act, claiming that "KGB is a better way to answer any question." They also ran an ad during the Super Bowl suggesting that KGB can tell you how to say "I surrender" in Japanese faster than a web search. I could point out that the very first Google hit is the correct answer and that the odds of KGB texting you back faster than that are approximately nil, or that KGB is probably just using Google on their end anyway... but this isn't about KGB. The point is that in one fell swoop, Google has demolished both the Bing and KGB ads.

Knitwear: Agreed. The Google ad clearly demonstrates how the average Internet user would use a search engine. This includes realistic errors (such as misspelling "Louvre"), as well as the immediate presentation of the obvious answer ("You're very cute") to a clearly phrased request ("translate tu es très mignon"), rather than forcing you to comb through a list of links to dictionaries or blog entries. Google trusts the consumer to use its product correctly, rather than likening you to a caricature of the average Internet user who needs his or her hand held by the benevolent Bing and KGB overlords. "You are clearly too stupid to be trusted with your own search. Give us 99 cents to handle the heavy lifting."

Windier: Google probably doesn't need to advertise - their name has entered the lexicon as the default verb to indicate a web search. They also don't need to call out their competitors - and they haven't; the destruction is entirely implicit. They've just run a classy, understated ad, which even in its bare-bones simplicity comes as close to the idea of ads being miniature movies as any of the loud, obnoxious spots that surround it. All that and it actually sells its product. No wonder I get chills every time I watch it.

Most Overproduced Ad
Winner: Emerald Nuts

Quivering: It was a category with any number of potential winners this year, but Most Overproduced had to go to Emerald Nuts' frenzied, panicked spot. Not only are the human dolphin show visuals nonsensical and upsetting, but so is the branding in the commercial itself. Emerald Nuts and Pop Secret? I guess. Don't really see the point of combining those two distinct brands into one commercial, except maybe to save money. Those products are hardly what economists would call perfect complements.

But the real tragedy is the offensive-on-every-possible-level tagline "AWESOME+AWESOME=AWESOMER." This is obviously stupid. But it's also LAZY. All you can say about combining nuts and popcorn is that it's some degree of "awesome"? How horrifyingly uninteresting.

Cheapest Budget/Clumsiest Execution Award
Winner: Focus on the Family

Windier: Remember how controversial this ad was supposed to be? Yeah. After seeing the actual spot, I feel like Focus on the Family would have come out just as well by backing out of the game - they'd still have gotten their publicity in the lead-up, and they wouldn't have had to spend three million dollars to air an ad about... well, what is this ad about? Tim Tebow's mom explains that her pregnancy was hard (okay) and that she still worries about her son's health (okay) and that her family needs to be tough (whatever). And then she gets "tackled" by Tim in a really bad CGI scene that must have cost at least half of this ad's $20 budget. And... that's pretty much the entire thing!

Yes, I guess you could argue that Focus on the Family played it safe. They made no mention of the fact that they are - as their website says - "a global Christian ministry that helps build thriving marriages that reflect God’s design, and equips parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles." They certainly didn't use Tebow's story to pitch a pro-life stance as everyone expected (aside from the "Celebrate life" tagline at the end), although they've done so elsewhere. They must have figured this wasn't the right forum - though I might argue that if you're not willing to promote your values in an ad, but rather slow-play it to try and trick people who don't already know what you are into visiting your website, that's a pretty weak cop-out. What if this were an ad for Oreos? "Hi, I'm Tim Tebow's mom. You know, when he was a kid, he loved Oreos. These days, we could all use more Oreos in our lives. Oh, you haven't heard of Oreos? To find out what they are, visit" Really, you were too afraid to just tell us? Feh. All that hand-wringing over nothing.

Worst Use of "Humor" Award
Winner: Bridgestone

Quivering: An unfunny amalgam of an old Jack Benny joke and any Henny Youngman joke. Bridgestone spent three million dollars on half-a-century-old humor. Now that's thumbing your nose at the recession. It's also not selling tires.

Flimsiest Pretense Award
Winner: Motorola

Windier: It would have been easy to give this to for the third year in a row. At least Megan Fox is legitimately hot; Danica Patrick's credentials in that department are questionable at best. Still, this commercial is particularly weak in justifying itself. There's no reason to have Fox in a bathtub other than that it's appealing; the copy certainly makes no attempt to put it in some form of context (and frankly the writing is just awful and hard to even follow). But it's what comes afterward that really puts the icing on the cake: the second post-tub scene is a mother banging on her son's bedroom door and demanding, "Timmy, what are you doing?" Really, Motorola? That's what you're doing with your Super Bowl ad - masturbation jokes? Way to class up the joint.

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

Quivering: Kind of a weird one, because it's not really the 25th anniversary of the 1985 Bears, but rather the 24th (they won the Super Bowl in January of 1986). So this basically came out a year too early. And also, the Bears were not even in playoff contention this season. So this comes out of nowhere. Since Walter Payton isn't around to be a part of the commercial, you get a host of B-listers in this one, all deserving of the Mencia Book Prize. The most famous is either the former punky QB Jim McMahon, or perennial attention whore Mike Ditka (who just started his own line of wines!).

Also, be warned: do not "go online to find the rest of (their) jam." It's just more half-rhymes, and more old white man in a cheetah print thong than you care to see. I challenge anyone to remember that this commercial was for a cell phone company.

SkyMall Championship Trophy
The United States Census Bureau

Windier: To say that this ad - directed by Christopher Guest, by the way - features the weirdest attempt to sell a product doesn't even get at the root of the problem. I'm not even sure you could say that this ad is selling a product. The Census isn't a product, after all - the idea, I guess, is that people need to be encouraged to fill out their census forms. So, with that said... how in God's name does this ad do that? If you go on to YouTube, there is a wealth of related content, which probably explains the full concept if you actually bother to watch all of it (I watched about a minute and then got bored). But not everyone is going to check out your ancillary content on YouTube. The premise needed to be distilled down into a 30-second spot for mass consumption, and this ad does not do that. It features characters we don't know or care about (and makes no attempt to explain them), dialogue that's so vague it's virtually nonsensical, and one of the worst integrations of a brand name into an otherwise unrelated script that I've ever seen. John McCain (on his Twitter feed) called the ad a waste of money... and he's right. Not because the Census has no business advertising during the Super Bowl, but because the Census has no business making a bizarre, meaningless ad that almost fails to get even the bare minimum of its point across. You're not Bud Light, Census Bureau. If anyone should be making a straight-faced, non-hilarious ad, it's you. Instead, we got this mess.

Worst Super Bowl Ad of 2010

Quivering: eTrade - it's been a long time comin'. You've been annoying us with these cheaply edited voiced-over babies for years, and it's high time you get recognized for it. Consider this a kind of career accomplishment for all the torture you've unleashed upon the innocent American viewing public. This award is kind of like Martin Scorsese's Oscar for The Departed, except that we're trying to tell you that we hate you.

I've been wondering - what is it that's so darned funny about babies cheating on their baby girlfriends and lying about it? Ahh, right - nothing. And what is it about jealousy-fueled baby cat fights and references to infant "milk addiction" that makes me want to sign up for an online stock trading account? Hmm... oh yeah, I didn't do that, because I have a brain. There have been many head-scratching installments to this campaign, but the sheer shock factor in this one really has me wondering how this could possibly appeal to the practical-minded investor.

Oh, and eTrade? Now that you've won, please let these babies grow up and stop the campaign.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2010 Super Bored Awards Preview

The Super Bowl is more than just the NFL championship. It's the one time of year where people get together and pretend, for a few hours at least, that they don't hate advertising. And for deep-pocketed advertisers, it's a great chance to waste a reported $2.5 to $2.8 million dollars on a commercial -- that's as much as $93,000 a second. Giddy-up!

In keeping with tradition, we present to you our preview of our Super Bored Awards (to be posted sometime early next week), where we recognize the worst (and the slightly less horrible) commercials set to air during Sunday's Super Bowl. And since it would be ridiculous to view these commercials as marketing per se, and in the absence of actual data, we'll review them for what they are: half-a-minute long, branded mini movies that marketing narcissists create to feel a little bit better about themselves. Here are the categories and the projected winners (thanks to AdAge for posting this great list of Super Bowl ad buys):

Apple 1984 Memorial Award for Least Shitty Ad

Explanation: The day we say a three million dollar, thirty second video deserves to be voted "Best Ad" is the day we shut down this blog. That's why we prefer "Least Shitty."

Prediction: A few possibilities: Coca-Cola is doing something with The Simpsons. That might actually be funny. Universal Studios will be advertising its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park land, and that might be interesting (but maybe that's just my interest in theme parks.) Also, CareerBuilder, last year's winner of Worst Ad here on the site, is doing a user-submitted commercial contest, where you can vote on your favorite of three ads. This is different from Doritos' contest, because winners were selected based on their scripts, and then the ads were produced professionally. One of the ads is all right, another is kind of gross, and the third is childishly disgusting. If the Fairy ad wins, I might vote for that just because, why reward an ad agency for a mediocre effort when some random guy can do just as mediocre a job?

Most Overproduced Ad

Explanation: When you're talking about $3 million just to get a commercial on the air, the commercial itself better be good. Unfortunately most marketing execs seem to think "good" means "costs a ton of money." And that's how we end up with so many manic, over-produced pieces of crap. Oh, how to pick just one.

Prediction: Here's the Honda spot description:

Ad's focus will be on the launch of an entirely new model, the Accord Crosstour, a wagon-sedan crossover. And an animated squirrel. And Kool & the Gang's "Funky Stuff."

You don't suppose it will be a dancing animated squirrel, do you?

Worst Use of "Humor" Award

Explanation: So many Super Bowl ads try to be funny. It's fairly subjective as to whether you think they succeed or not. As we've said before, commercials make for poor entertainment, so we think we'll have a tough choice to make again this year.

Prediction: Boost Mobile. We've seen their horrible recent efforts, and their Super Bowl spot will be a remake of the 1985 Chicago Bears "Super Bowl Shuffle." Why does that need to be remade? Isn't the original's kitsch value alone funny enough? Not only does it sound painful, but it's wildly unoriginal. (Also, odd timing. Next year would have been the 25th anniversary. Why now?)

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

Explanation: Who the hell is Carlos Mencia, and why did we name this award after him? Oh, that's right, he was some guy in a Bud Light spot 3 years ago. Well, I guess that just goes to show you that when you spend money on non-name-brand celebs, you're not getting your money's worth.

Prediction: GoDaddy
.com will be back with Danica Patrick a-fucking-gain. She was a bit of phenomenon on the Indy racing scene a few years ago, but at this point she has to be considered B-list. Come on, tell me she's still nationally famous outside of these commercials. There may be other B-listers in ads this year, but we're just so tired of seeing the same "let's pretend she's hot!" premise in ad after depressing ad.

And since this is a Book Prize, this year's winner will receive a signed copy of the biography of Carlos Mencia. It's one of Carlos Mencia's favorites.

Flimsiest Pretense Award

Explanation: In the simplest terms, this award goes to the commercial with the least appropriate use of sex. We can only hope there won't be any inter-species action this year.

Prediction: We'll just have to go with again, because none of the other descriptions really indicate anything about possible sex scenes. Maybe advertisers just wanted to tone it down this year since Tim Tebow's mom is going to be watching.

Cheapest Budget/Clumsiest Execution Award

Explanation: Remember SalesGenie? They had their CEO write their ads and then used animation that looked like it was done in Microsoft Paint. That's the kind of effort that wins this award.

Prediction: Doritos is, for the second consecutive year, doing their "Crash the Super Bowl" thing, where people can submit their own Doritos ads and the winner gets the Super Bowl air time. Last year's winners won a lot of "Best Ad" polls (although we didn't care for it), and even got on the Tonight Show. That certainly says something about the professional ad agencies.

SkyMall Championship Trophy

This award does need a bit of explanation. SkyMall sells weird shit, but it's the weird way they choose to sell their shit, and their eager, misplaced enthusiasm, that really gets us. So this award goes to the ad that best exemplifies the notion of selling a product in a way it just should not be sold.

Here's the Snickers spot's description:

Actors Betty White and Abe Vigoda will appear in a spot that reminds viewers that Snickers helps allay food cravings.

This could easily qualify for the Carlos Mencia Book Prize, but it sounds so outlandish that we might as well predict it to land here. Also, note to Snickers -- maybe the reason you help allay food cravings is that you are food. Don't kid yourselves, you're not a diet pill here.

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

What commercial will join the vaunted ranks of CareerBuilder (2009's winner) and SoBe Lifewater (2008)? This one's always a toss-up, but we'll be sure to post another poll to get everyone's opinion on which ad truly stood out.

If you haven't already heard about Focus on the Family's spot with Tim Tebow, you can read about it here. We could give this award to just another unwatchable corporate offering, but I think anytime you manage to piss off half the population, you're airing an historically bad ad.