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Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl Ads: Winners And Losers

When you dish out nearly $4 million to air a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl, you’d better deliver the goods.

USA Today’s “ad meter” says the best advertisement Sunday night was Budweiser’s story of a Clydesdale horse (see video above).

What are your picks for best and worst ads? Let us know in the comments or join the debate on our Facebook page.

Here are some of the ads we talk about with Here & Now media analyst John Carroll:

“Space Babies” Kia Sorento ad:

“Farmer” Ram Trucks ad:

“Whole Again” Jeep ad:

“Viva Young” Taco Bell ad:

“Whisper Fight” Oreo ad:

“Miracle Stain” Tide ad:

The unaired SodaStream ad:

The SodaStream ad that did air:


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  • Rigi

    In regards to Super Bowl ads…sorry, the live Oreo library ad was a brilliant idea, but, the execution was dreadful and over-the-top. The level of chaos and violence was so out of balance to the message that it was, well….stupid, and an ill-timed message that violence is somehow a good way to resolve a dispute.  On the other hand, their twitter ad during the blackout was superb.

  • Nick

    My favorite ad last night was the Dodge Ram Farmer commercial.

  • Amy

    Absolutely loved the Audi ad – I would have listed 1st or possibly 2nd of all the ads

  • comicsfan1

    I can’t believe I’m sitting here crying over a beer ad.

  • Mtoldman33

    I have to split my vote between the Clydesdale and Dodge/Farmer

  • http://twitter.com/MikeyMoon Mike Moon

    The Dodge ad had me shaking my head. I remember liking Paul Harvey as a kid, and I can’t say I disagree with the positivity of the message, but it came across as sappy and spurious. The obvious pandering was simply patronizing a people with an obsolete and romanticized idea of the American farmer that has been dead for decades.

    Most of these trucks will be driven by white collar professionals and homemakers, looking to connect with their contrived idea of the great American farmer of yonder.

    Farms are now usually massive holdings with a glut of land and stock, few employees and very little connecting them the land and the people they extract their weath from, and zero connection to the ideals expressed by Harvey.

  • Brittany


    I must say John Caroll should note that there are some younger folks who remember Paul Harvey. I am in my mid-twenties and grew listening to him with my Grandmother. She and my grandfather homesteaded a cattle ranch in Montana in the 40s, a ranch that is still family owned and operatored. Perhaps because of this bias the Dodge Ram commercial was hands down the winner. However, little about the other ads evoked any urge to acutally purchase their products so regardless I think Dodge was the only marketing success.

    As always, thank you for a great show.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the ratings shown above.  I am a sucker for those horses and watch the game every year just to see the Bud ads.  As a recently retired library employee, I was somewhat appalled by the degree of destructive violence depicted in the Oreo ad.  The whispering alone was sufficient.  With all the recent violence  in America, I think the head cookie baker’s agency could have rethought this to better effect.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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