The best and worst tech-related Super Bowl ads [video]

We pick our favorites of tech companies' shot at Super Bowl glory

By , YouTube |  Offbeat, Super Bowl ads, Tech & society

We guarantee that one of the hot topics at the water cooler (or e-mail thread, Facebook feed, or whatever co-workers gather around these days) today is the best and worst Super Bowl ads.

With tech companies once again featuring highly in the ads during the big game (although not as bad during the dot-com bubble era), we did a quick tally of our favorites (a roundup of the editors here at ITworld) and the ones we despised, and came up with our Top 3 and Bottom 3. You may disagree, but that’s what the comments area is for:

The Best:

E-Trade’s Baby comes in at the top of our list – although we also think that the “outtakes” video (you can watch it here) is much funnier than the one that played during the game. Still, the Tailor spot earned the top spot in our informal voting.

The Teleflora spot with Faith Hill, where a studio technician is struggling to find the right words to put on the card for his flowers order, also scored high marks with our editors. Although the ending is a bit rude, and of course, we’d never write that on any of our cards.

The Best Buy ad with Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber got some mixed votes, but still got enough to land in our “Best” list. On the one hand, it does a good job of highlighting new technologies (3G, 4G, 5G, etc.), and then the “out with the old, in with the new” concept that Best Buy’s new program is highlighting. On the other hand, one editor said, “Can I trade in my Ozzy for a Bieber? Is Bieber considered an upgrade?” Yes, yes he is, especially if you have Bieber Fever.

The Worst:

Groupon: Surely there could have been a way to get across the concept of group coupon buying than to create a “serious” commercial about Tibet and then turning it into a joke about getting good Tibetan food. And is Timothy Hutton that hard up for some cash? A big strikeout for a new, hot company.

UPDATE: According to Advertising Age, Groupon has pulled its controversial ads (three in total), and this includes pulling the video on YouTube (see above). As Groupon CEO Andrew Mason writes on the Groupon blog, "We thought we were poking fun at ourselves, but clearly the execution was off and the joke didn't come through. I personally take responsibility; although we worked with a professional ad agency, in the end, it was my decision to run the ads."

Salesforce.com’s Chatter: These commercials (they ran two different ones) ran before and after the halftime show, and feature Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. Part of our hatred for these ads could have been with the mixed feelings we had about their performance, but we also think that part of it was the weird cute cartoon characters, and the vagueness about what the heck Chatter is supposed to be. We also think that the “Chatty” character reminds us too much of Microsoft’s “Clippy”.

Cars.com had an ad showing the concept of “letting someone else go first”, with a series of different humorous scenarios, but in the end, several editors put this on their bad list. “A Web site that does consumer ratings? How 1999,” one editor remarked.

Those our our top and bottom three ads from the game. Other ads that made an impression – the Go Daddy.com commercial with Joan Rivers as the new Go Daddy.co girl got mixed ratings (some loved it, some hated it), as did the Motorola Xoom ad (one editor liked the romance of the commercial, another felt it didn’t go far enough in taking a swipe at the 1984-like Apple iPod mentality). And we also agree that the CareerBuilder.com monkeys are past their prime.

What did you think? What tech-related ads from the game made an impression (good or bad) on you?

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