The day after the Super Bowl there are plenty of pundits ready to crown the best and worst ads shown during yesterday’s game. Plus, there are plenty of sites dedicated to crowning fan favorites — see “Super Bowl Ads 2010” at the Wall Street Journal (I don’t think you need a subscription here), which as of this writing ranks the Audi “Green Car” as tops based on the votes of WSJ readers. Probably the grand daddy of Super Bowl ratings, the USA Today Ad Meter (which uses a panel of 250 adult volunteers) had the Mars’ Snickers with Betty White at the top (we embedded that ad below). Here at “Teach the 4 Ps” used the Media Curves widget (see post below) — it’s online voters ranked the Budweiser Bull #1. All these sites include links to all the ads. Among pundits, you might enjoy reading reviews of the ads from Seth Stevenson at Slate.com, Stuart Elliott at the New York Times, or Bob Garfield over at Advertising Age (subscription may be required for this last one).
By the way, I would love to hear how you use these ads in class. I usually show a couple of the AdMeter’s top rated ads and one of the lower ads. I explain the research methodology used by USA Today. Then I ask students why the top ones are “better.” Eventually, I ask how we should judge these ads — and use it to bring us back to Promotion objectives. If the objective is “likeable among a large cross-section of Americans” then these ads score well — but maybe the goals are to drive purchase, build awareness, or inform a particular target market. This points out that these “popularity contests” may not be the best metric for judging the success of these commercials.