Saturday, February 21, 2015


Well, it originally aired way back in like 2008, when we were all barely old enough to drink, but this classic Bud Light spot still gets cited by us a lot, mostly because people still use the word a lot, and in a lot of these ways. It could be because it's kind of a neat trick to get all those different stories out of one word. Kind of like "thesperobics," in which one single phrase is interpreted by different people in different ways. Enjoy:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl Ad score card

Well, the Super Bowl has come and gone and now all we're left with is the interminable play by play of the plays and the ads and everything else that could possibly be dissected by pundits one last time or one last way. Which is what we're about to do, RIGHT NOW!!

(We've only embedded our favorite spots here, if you want to watch all of them, go do it somewhere else.)


Kim Kardashian for T-mobile. OMG. Seriously. We suffer from Kardashian fatigue. Totally tuned out.  GRADE: D+

Skittles huge bicep ad. Funny but a short joke. And at over $8million a minute for Super Bowl ad time, maybe this one shoulda been a :15. GRADE: B-

Carnival cruise lines. Sweet and profound, a serious change in direction from the frolicsome fun of cruise ads past featuring Iggy Pop singing "Lust for life". VO by JFK. A little bit of a disconnect. GRADE: C+

Snickers. Another execution of their great "You're not you when you're hungry" campaign, we love it and it's our clear first quarter winner. GRADE: A

BMW with Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel. Sweet, fun spot illustrating the central idea: "Big ideas take a little getting used to" and making us really want to know more about BMW's electric car. GRADE: A-

Game of War with Kate Upton. Boring. GRADE: D

Turbo Tax. Kinda fun. GRADE: B-

Toyota "How great I am" Supposed to be inspirational spot using the VO of Muhammed Ali. Too much copy and a bad mix. Meh. GRADE: C-


Always. "Like a girl" People love this spot. OUR GRADE: B-

Toyota "My bold dad" Touched the heartstrings of the dads in the office but didn't make us want to buy a Toyota. GRADE: C+ This spot draws on a real 911 call. If you haven't seen it, watch it below. One of our favorites and poignantly on message. GRADE: A-

Squarespace. " The dude abides in this fun spot for the web dev. company. Would love to see how many people visited that site. GRADE: A-

Microsoft. This kid born with no legs is a symbol of how Microsoft is dedicated to helping people and making the world a better place. Meh. GRADE: C

Discover. Another ho hum spot with "twins" and a surprise in the middle. Ack. GRADE: D+

Fiat. Cinematic and cute. Second quarter winner. Watch. GRADE: A

GoDaddy. They had a fun spot with a puppy but pulled it after advance criticism. Wimps. GRADE: F

Esurance. With Walter White from "Breaking bad". Kind of a stretch. GRADE: C

McDonald's "Pay with lovin'" Huh? Really? GRADE: B-

Nationwide "Make safe happen" Narrated by a kid who died in a "preventable" accident. Pretty spot, well told, major buzzkill. GRADE: B-

WeatherTech. Floor mats for your car. Boring. GRADE: C-

Weight Watchers. "All you can eat" Kinda good. Liked the copy. GRADE: B+

Doritos "Middle seat" Zzzzz. Haven't we seen this before? GRADE: D

Nissan "With dad" Absentee dad shows up years too late and somehow inexplicably bonds with his kid in his Nissan. No. GRADE: D

Dove Men+Care. Ooooh, dad's are strong and sensitive!! Hold the presses. Total snooze fest. Nicely shot though. GRADE: C

Avocados from Mexico. Imaginary draft picks. Absurd and kinda funny. GRADE: B-

Coca-Cola. Kind of a cute idea, kinda nicely executed. Kind of an ok spot. Expected more from Coke. GRADE: C

Nationwide. "Invisible Mindy" Again. Kind of a cute idea, nicely executed, fun cameo. GRADE: B-

Budweiser "Lost dog" Trying so hard to tug on the heart strings. Just misses. GRADE: C

Lexus "Make some noise" Huh. No. Not so much. GRADE: C


NFL "Together we make football" Ok. We loved this spot. Super simple, not overburdened with lots of hard-to-follow-in-a-noisy-living-room profound copy culled from historical speeches by celebrities. Simple, fun, and emotionally true. Resonant, even. We hazard a guess that this, perhaps by dint of it being a self-promotion pieces, will be overlooked as one of the best spots of the SB this year. Nicely cut, too. GRADE: A

Budweiser. "Brewed the hard way" Ok. The taste of Budweiser straight out of a keg is the taste of our youth and we're happy to see the King of Beer's taking a rock-n-roll approach to their "golden suds"; we just wish we weren't so attracted to the tasting flights of micro-brews that they disparaged in the spot. That SHIT looks GOOOOD. GRADE: B

Jeep "Beautiful lands" Nicely put together but we just couldn't put aside the delicious paradoxes in the spot. Woody Guthrie's "This land is your land" is a deeply political song about economic inequality and Jeep's relationship to the environment is problematic. Apart from that, great spot. GRADE: C+

Jublia. For toenail fungus. Terrible, horrible ad with crappy graphics and product demo and we love it. Really. Here's an ad that really stuck out and really promised concrete results and even told you how they would happen! It's not art, people, it's advertising, and it only exists to sell products. And we bet Jublia's piece of shit piece of beauty is gonna do just that.  GRADE: A

T-Mobile "Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler" Fun spot directed by our pal Steve "S" Miller.
Grade A good stuff. Third quarter winner.

Kia "The perfect getaway". Pierce Brosnan sending up his Bond work. Mildly amusing. GRADE: B-

Dodge "Wisdom" Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Dodge lined up a bunch of centenarians to share their words of wisdom. Fun stuff. GRADE: B+

Microsoft "Estella's brilliant bus"  Just a little boring and ordinary.  GRADE: C

Sprint "Super apology" Farm animals, price cuts. Boring. GRADE: D+

Lexus "Let's play". Here's a fine example of a spot that didn't really need any copy at all. The viewer just got the message from the video. We likeeee. GRADE: B+

Clash of clans. "Revenge" Very funny and a swell use of Liam Neeson's one-note delivery. GRADE: A


Heroes Charge. Ugh. Especially after the awesome Liam Neeson spot, this one's more than just a little ho-hum.  GRADE: D Hey! It's Bret Favre! Hey! So what!! GRADE: C-

Victoria's Secret. Hey! Look! Sexy models looking sexy in sexy lingerie! Zero imagination but probably fairy effective. GRADE: B

Doritos. "When pigs fly" Ack. No. Just dumb. GRADE: C-

Mercedes-Benz. "Fable" Cute and well done and gorgeous car that would look right at home in some of that Victoria's Secret stuff. We like it. GRADE: B+/A-

Bud Light. "Real life PacMan" Kind of a convoluted prank pulled on an unsuspecting, yet game dude. Culminating in a kinda cool real-life game of PacMan. GRADE: B-

Loctite Glue. "Positive feelings" Realllllly positive feelings. Looooove this spot. So delightfully peculiar. David Lynch meets the directorial debut of Charles Nelson Reilly with a soundtrack by Reggae Weird Al. Clear 4th quarter and game winner. GRADE: A+

Mophie "All-powerless" Fun spot imagines what would happen if God (played by a black guy who is NOT Morgan Freeman) were controlling the earth on his cell phone that had run out of charge.  GRADE: B+