Update 10:30pm: The game's over, but the ad contest has hardly begun. Here are some ways to view and vote on your favorite Super Bowl ads…
The official leaderboard for big game ads is USA Today's Ad Meter. In addition to USA Today's own site, it's also hosted on Facebook. Voting continues until Tuesday at 6pm, at which point a "winner" will be named.
Twitter has its own voting page, dubbed Ad Scrimmage. Check it out.
YouTube worked with NBC Sports to create Ad Blitz. As of this writing it's hard to navigate, but it's a fair bet millions will use this page to watch and rate the ads starting tomorrow.
Update 9:50pm: With seconds left to play and Tom Brady faced with a do or die play, we have no illusions that you're reading right now. But just in case…
Doritos and H&M are tied in the Brand Bowl social sentiment meter from Mullen and Radian6. Doritos' spot with a vengeful granny and grandchild has racked up close to 50,000 tweets with a positive sentiment of 29 percent. H&M's Beckham spot meanwhile has just a hair less with 14 percent sentiment.
Update 9:41pm. Does sex sell? Andrew Solmssen, managing director of Possible's Los Angeles office, took exception to approaches in this year's advertisements. He said: "Glad to see that sexism is alive and well in advertising. If this isn't a record for naked or near naked women, I'll be shocked. Isn't there anything more creative we can do? "More than any other year I feel like we are seeing the popular memes of 6 months ago ringing hallow and hackneyed today. Audi's vampires, chevy's 2012 apocalypse and many others make it clear that we run a risk by developing the spots so long in advanced."
Update 9:20pm: Viewers ogle Brazilian model Adriana Lima, but barely mention the Kia in the ad. "Commercials may be bad but at least there is a lotta hot ass in them," tweeted @bobfescoe.
Update 9:06pm. Bueller!!!
Update 8:55pm. Seinfeld, Leno entertain, but is that enough? Viewers found the Acura ad featuring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno entertaining, but Faith Popcorn questioned its effectivessness. "Expensive ad with no brand recognition," she tweeted.
Update 8:25pm. Clint Eastwood for America. The actor/director wowed the Twittersphere in an ad for Chrysler - and America. "Its half-time America, and the second half is about to begin," Eastwood declared. Tweeted @thebreakingcopy: "Consensus...Clint & Chrysler nailed it with that last Super Bowl ad. That's a @WiedenKennedy spot. Well done." The ad continues a theme that Chrysler embraced last year with "Imported from Detroit."
Update 8:17pm. Coca-Cola's polar bowl entertains, too. "Sitting in my local watering hole with my laptop streaming the Coca-Cola "Coke Polar Bowl" on Facebook. While there is a slight delay between the game and the reactions of the bears, the overall effect is very engaging and adds a bit of fun to the game," observed Rob Graham, chief creative technologist of Trainingcraft. "Throughout the first half both bears had a chance to celebrate a touchdown and react to the ups and down of the game.
During commercial breaks the bears watch attentively with two exceptions: During the 2 Polar Bowl coke ads the bears are very attentive or involved in the ad that is being presented and, during the only Pepsi ad shown, both bears lost interest and wandered out of the scene until it was over...During the second Pepsi commercial, both the bears fell asleep on their couch …just for a minute!"
Update 8:03pm. Ad effectiveness. Ace Metrix declares H&M/David Beckham as the least effective ad of the first half. "Sorry Becks. Ouch," tweeted @ace_metrix. Doritos had the top two most effective ads that were aired during the first half, according to Ace Metrix's rating system.
Update 8:00pm. Online streaming experience: The Super Bowl live stream on NBCSports.com offers a clean and high resolution experience. It's not too painful, once you accept that you're watching a spectacular sporting event on a 15-inch laptop sreen.
The ads are high quality too, for the most part, with premier sponsorships sold to Chevy, GE, Samsung, and Navy SEALS flick "Act Of Valor." Some ads, like the Act of Valor spot, are showed repeatedly with zero creative variation.
Chevy is being most creative here, using actor Rainn Wilson in his dweeby Office persona to poke fun at the Super Bowl's advertising cachet. It also bakes in some interactivity. Rainn asks the viewer to click to ""go ahead, click on my body." Doing so takes you to Chevrolet's YouTube channel.
One of these :15 spots carries the tagline, "Advertising, wonderful advertising."
Update 7:46pm. Best Buy's Tribute to Geeks: Last year, Best Buy featured Ozzie Osborne and Justin Bieber in an ad for a mobile phone. This year, the retailer featured technology wizards such as Philippe Kahn, who developed one of the first camera phones, and Kevin Systrom, who developed Instagram. "Good focus on the product benefits while making you want to keep watching to see those who created these indispensable apps. I want to see it again!" said Melinda Krueger, senior marketing consultant at ExactTarget. (Disclosure: Best Buy is an email marketing client.)
Original story: Welcome to ClickZ's coverage of the biggest TV ad event of the year. We invite you to check back during and after the Super Bowl to learn which ads are winning the social media buzz wars, and how advertiser are continuing the story with Twitter hashtags, Facebook, and other channels. Along the way we'll throw in some analysis and quick-takes from marketing mavens.
Interest in the Super Bowl as an advertising event may have reached an all-time high this year. In 2012 brands have gone all out to promote their spots ahead of time, releasing ads for their ads (See VW's "The Bark Side" and the 10-second drum-roll for Honda's Ferris Bueller sequel), extended versions (Acura's "Transactions" and, again, Ferris Bueller), and very extended versions (Kia's five-hour rumination on supermodel Adriana Lima) .
Not coincidentally, the above are all auto brands. Car companies are dominating this year's roster of Super Bowl advertisers, or at least the digital feeding frenzy leading up to the game.
But other verticals have gotten interactive too. Coke has its animated Polar Bears, who will react to the plays - and yes, the ads - in real-time at CokePolarBowl.com. Equally interesting, Coke's TV ads will reflect the current state of the game.
Later on we'll update this page with data from Radian6, Viral Video Charts, and other sources showing which commercials are getting the most buzz on Twitter and elsewhere. We'll also embed a few of those ads here.
Hyundai: All for One
During the kick-off show, Hyundai celebrated its workers – from those on the assembly line in its Montgomery, AL plant to sales associates – in an ad that featured the theme song from the movie, "Rocky." This ad wasn't as powerful as Chrsyler's "Imported From Detroit" from Super Bowl 2011, but still was fun, upbeat, and earnest.
Chevy Silverado '2012': Outlasting the Mayan Calendar
As predicted in the Mayan calendar, the apocalypse has struck, according to this ad. And only the strong will survive: Chevy Silverado owners, plus a box of Twinkies. This ad delivers a clear message: If you own a Ford, you're out of luck.
Ford asked Chevy to pull the ad, according to an AP report.
Bud: Platinum Light
The first ad to air during the game promoted Budweiser's new offering, Light Platinum. Many viewers, however, dissed the ad. "A beer commercial without attractive women, jokes, or talking animals? No thanks Bud Light Platinum, no thanks," tweeted @awfulannouncing. "Bud Light Platinum commercial. B-O-R-I-N-G. That was a waste $3 million," tweeted rolandsmartin.
Pepsi: King's Court
In this ad, Sir Elton John plays a medieval king while Melanie Amaro (X Factor winner) competes in a music showdown. This may be the only ad that subtly acknowledges the political and social tensions between haves and have nots that have played over the past year.
Volkswagen: The Bark Side
The video teaser made a splash soon after it was posted Jan. 18 on YouTube. But an analysis found that interest in the ad wanedthe following week, suggesting that it was released too soon, according to the team at Clearspring's AddThis social sharing tool.
"The new #vw Super Bowl ad sucks!" tweeted @ameysselle. Why? "I prefer kids to dogs ! Last year was an awesome comedy act. And this year is as creative as a stupid YouTube video," he explained in a follow up tweet.
David Beckham: Bodywear for H&M
Move over GoDaddy girls. British soccer star David Beckham shows off some skin and plenty of tattoos, while promoting his new underwear collection for H&M in this ad. "Sad thing is guys will buy them thinking they'll look sexy in me but_ seriously you'll never be David beckham sexy," commented one viewer on YouTube.
Acura NSX: Transactions (Extended version)
Starring Jerry Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi, a Last Living Munchkin, and other characters in supporting roles.
Audi: Vampire Party
Audi used a sponsored tweet over the weekend to draw additional attention to this ad. However, at least one YouTube viewer thought Audi wasn't targeting the right demographic with this TV spot. "Nice car, but you really should not be advertising to the 13 year old girls who like twilight, they're not the ones buying cars," commented RidgeNITRO on YouTube.
Budweiser: Flash Fans
GoDaddy.com: Maintaining Its Racy Tradition
"This is sure a crazy way to draw attention to dot-co domain names from GoDaddy," says racing star Danica Patrick as she and Jillian Michaels apply body paint on model Natalia Vele in this ad.
Honda CR-V: "Matthew's Day Off"
This ad, which casts Matthew Broderick in the role of "Ferris Bueller" from the 1986 hit movie, prompted lots of debate. "If you're going to resurrect Ferris Bueller and do it for the purposes of a commercial and mangle the philosophical underpinnings of the original [movie] the least you could do is make it awesome. This is just ok," said Jalopnik.com's Matt Hardigree, reflecting the sentiment of many critics.
Lexus 2013 GS: Beast
VW: The Dog Strikes Back (Extended version)
How Would You Spend $3.5M?
Watching Super Bowl ads has become a national pastime. But many marketers argue that spending $3.5 million for a :30 spot – not including production costs – isn't the smartest marketing investment.
So how would you spend $3.5 million?
How about keeping a web designer on call 24 hours a day for four years to change your website whenever you want? Or buying inbound links from enough web pages to fill the Oxford English Dictionary 16 times?
Those are just two ideas advanced by Dan Tyre, an executive at HubSpot. For 23 other ideas, check out his blog post. "25 Ways to Spend the $3.5 Million Budget of a Super Bowl XLVI Commercial."
Jimmy Fallon's Super Bowl Rowdy Rag
NBC late night TV host Jimmy Fallon took his show to Indianapolis this week. There, he gave guests a present to bring to the Super Bowl: a "rowdy rag." On Sunday, Fallon & Co. tweeted a reminder, lest they forget to bring their gift to the game. "If you have a Rowdy Rag at the game, at the 3 Minute Warning wave it over your head like crazy," Fallon tweeted.
Century 21 Real Estate: It's a Deal
Said David Daniels, CEO, Relevancy Group: "A serial that leverages NFL talent that promises a back story and more in third quarter of #SB46. (multiple spots, first aired in the pre-game show).
(+) The Hit - They clearly get the digital channel, largely promoting C21.com, go there and find videos that reinforce, embellish and complete the TV spots. Well done.
(-) The Miss - Not as funny, creative as others and may get lost in the mix."
30 Rock Pizza Hut TV Spot: Check In, Check Out
David Daniel, CEO, of the Relevancy Group, had this to say about the ad:
"Starts w/ 30 Rock staff and that hat which reads "medium bowl." Nice and funny and then wham Pizza Hut Spot, this follow POTUS, Lauer Interview which was immediately followed by a simple and regular Pizza Hut Branding and Value Spot. This one is great, including: (first aired in the pre-game show)
(+) The Hit – They clearly get the artistic value and the cadence/placement of the spot in the myriad of commercials and to that the, NBC and Pizza Hut mix is well done. It ends with a huge FourSquare Tile that reminds you to check-in – check-out Pizza Hut. Funny too, high production value! Liz Lemon you crack me up.
( -) The Miss – could have cross promoted a twitter feed that promotes where to watch this commercial again online and build a viral following to it since it is a funny spot."
NBC: Uneven Promotion of Its Thursday Night Lineup
NBC found inspiration from the Oscar nominated movie, "The Artist," for its pre-game ad promoting its Thursday night lineup, said Relevancy Group CEO David Daniels. He added:
(+) The Hit – Genius creative and NBC and character branding. Prediction – “The Artist” wins best picture, this spot helps that movie. But that is not what NBC is selling, they are selling a collection of their best on a night, Thursday. They are selling Thursday and attempting to acquire your time. That aim is well executed in this spot.
( -) The Miss – Promote the social component – for the night, they are not selling one show, they are selling a night – Thursday, as in when they created “Must See TV” decades ago. NBC needs a social plan for that evening and if they have one, well they should be promoting that collection of shows, that night, with a unique Facebook page that highlights all the shows and a dedicated NBC branded hashtag. If those exist, or are in the works, well then Cabletown, you did not tell me that in this spot. Missed opportunities.
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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT