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Mark DiMassimo’s Super Bowl Recap.


This was a war-time economy sort of Super Bowl. Unabashedly patriotic.

Or perhaps this was a post-war sort of Super Bowl. Optimistic. Resurgent.

Maybe it was a bit of both.

We saw the American car companies come back and identify themselves with other severely tested and ultimately triumphant swaths of American culture and myth. Chrysler went the furthest here, with a partnership with the USO and Oprah, and a highly emotional tribute to military heroes (the troops) that attacked the heart strings full force and gave no quarter. Trumping even that was Dodge RAM’s ode to the spirit of the American Farmer, with a resurrected Paul Harvey VO, reading the extraordinary classic piece of Americana, “For God Made A Farmer.” Oprah may be a Goddess, but she is merely an aspiring voiceover actor next to Paul Harvey.

Of course, the coveted 18-49 demo knows Oprah, and for the most part, they don’t know Harvey. The audience dial meters favored the Oprah, but I see the second and third screen echoes working hard for RAM, with Paul Harvey trending. Here’s to great American storytelling!

As to the rest of the story, Samsung charmingly reminded us that it is they and not Apple that has “The Next Big Thing” in a very funny and well-acted spot staring Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen and the guy who plays the snakey lawyer on Breaking Bad.

Blackberry attempted to launch their own next big thing, and exploded on lift-off.

Budweiser tried to launch a brand extention, apparently aimed at 30 year old hipsters, who all wear shades of black, sit in dark rooms, and quite naturally stand up to utter toasts of corporate slogans. Many of us watching felt as if every man’s beer had been taken over by aliens. From outerspace.

Later, Budweiser showed us what this Superbowl could have been when their charming new Clydesdale spot appeared. Not a dry eye in the house.

Tide stole the show with an epic of sports mania and weird Americana that is so normal, it didn’t seem weird at all.

Audi, the challenger in luxury cars, showed us a real underdog who takes on the big man on campus and gets a black eye in the bargain. Heading off to the prom without a date, his father offers him the keys to the Audi, which inspires him to walk right up to the queen and kiss her passionately. She responds as if this may not be the end, but the beginning, as does her BMOC boyfriend.

Another kiss that is sure to get a lot of buzz is GoDaddy’s pairing of supermodel Bar Raffieli with a prototypical nerd. Their extremely realistic, deep, wet kisses certainly drove some folks from the room, but many will remember that GoDaddy is the perfect pairing of beauty and brains.

So, where’s the inspiration for you and me in this Super Bowl.

Check out Audi: Look at how a classic challenger told their own story, personified by their protaganist.

See this Oreo spot, and notice how they made the product the center of their concept and the hilarity that ensues. Imagine this spot without the quiet talking. One detail can change a blah spot to a rah spot.

Another detail that made all the difference was the choice of Spanish for this pop song, the melody of which Taco Bell’s younger target audience will surely recognize.

Watch SodaStream. Taking on Coke and Pepsi on their own turf – the largest stage available to an advertiser – put this true challenger on the map for many, many people and signaled that this is not just some novelty product, but a viable alternative to pop in bottles.

Yes, there were many missed opportunities here, and some marketers might have preferred for the lights to stay out. But there was plenty of inspiration here this year. What a game! And I understand there was football too!