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Super Bowl XLIX: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. Later this week I will delve into viewing data, tweets, and peer review. As it is said, "everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion but they’re not entitled to their own facts."
Budweiser “Lost Dog”: Along with the rest of America I welled up at last year’s “Puppy Love” ad. It was a great example of story-telling and narrative arc; a full Lifetime TV Movie in 60 seconds. This year I looked forward to something equally powerful, and original. Wait, I moaned, not another Golden Labrador puppy, those massive Clydesdales and the same actor? Disappointed, I turned to my wife who shaking her head sobbed, “damn it, they got me again.” Then, she handed me a tissue.

Lindsay Lohan’s manager should be fired. Is it still her mother? After nearly running over two kids with her car - fender dragging under the car, Lohan rolls down her window. “Your mom’s a terrible driver.” “That’s not my mom.” Lohan, known for her real-life DUIs, “I’m sorta your mom. We’re both 25 to 35 years old. We’re both women on-the-go and we’ve both clocked a lot of miles. Believe me…” Prediction: This Esurance’s ad will get talked about, but it won’t sell insurance. Nor should it.
The Uncertainty Principle: Esurance hit their brand message, don’t buy from “sorta” experts, with the Brian Cranston, from “Breaking Bad,” “sorta pharmacist” ad. It’s playful and reinforces their message. My only push-back, you need to be a “Breaking Bad” fan to get the message.
Esurance “Sorta Pharamcist”:
Fiat, take the blue pill. Fiat’s take on Italian “amore” plays on sex, humor, vitality and Viagra. It works; it effectively illustrates that the new Fiat 500X has more umph than the Fiat 500. After four hours at high speed, call your doctor - or a sorta pharmacist.
I see dead people. Nationwide should be ashamed of themselves. “Boy” is well written, well edited, and emotional – it also has a spoiler - dead kids to sell insurance. This ad certainly does not belong at the Super Bowl. I'm not sure that it belongs anywhere. One response heard, “I will never buy insurance from that company.”
Conversely, “No More” works at the Super Bowl: Partly because the NFL needs to reinforce their position against domestic violence, mostly because the message is less gratuitous then Nationwide’s “Boy.” The ad is chilling and based upon a viral Reddit thread on "911" calls.
Oh yes, the game also had its good, bad and ugly moments. Another story.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on these ads, and others. Please share.
© David J. Katz, New York City.

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