Five Best Super Bowl Ads of 2012

posted by Lauren on February 9th, 2012

It’s that time again. The Super Bowl has come and gone; the victor has been crowned and the parade confetti swept away; and I’m ready to weigh in on the ads I thought were the most memorable of 2012′s big game.

This year, instead of just listing the best five ads in no particular order, I’m giving out ‘awards’. Would love to hear your thoughts – what do you agree on? What did I get wrong?

Most pre-game buzz:

Most relevant link to (potential) current events:

Most talked about during the game:

Most clever use of media:

Best ad:

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4 Responses to “Five Best Super Bowl Ads of 2012”

  1. Bradford Barker Says:

    Love the way how you’ve broken these out. There was definitely a ton of buzz prior to the game with brands releasing ads early to build buzz.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the early releases. It removes the element of surprise when viewing for the first time during the game. Working in the marketing biz, the Super Bowl really is one of the biggest events of the year for its new, big-sexy ads. This year, however, was the first time I haven’t paid close attention, since I’d already seen many of them. The result of early releases: I would point out to my wife which ones I like and simply ignore the one’s I didn’t. That’s probably not the intended effect advertisers were hoping for.

    The Old Milwaukee ad placement was absolute genius, and I totally agree with your selection for best ad. The Chrysler ad was beautifully done, even if it closely resembles the Reagan “Morning in America” ads. I doubt many people even remember those.

  2. Lauren Says:

    Thanks Brad!

    From the perspective of a viewer, I totally agree with you on early releases. It takes away the fun of watching the live event – you’ve already seen or heard details about the spots that are going to be shown. What a buzz kill.

    However, from the perspective of an advertiser, maybe there’s something to it. I read here ( that the ads that were released ahead of time on YouTube had over 30 million views BEFORE Super Bowl Sunday. That’s some significant eyeballs on your ads before the big game – for free.

    Ooo – the “Morning in America” ads. Haven’t thought of those in forever. I’ll have to see if I can find them somewhere.

  3. Cynthia Gutierrez-White Says:

    Lauren, I think you are spot on. Like Bradford, I did my best to stay away from the pre-game leaks. The Super Bowl is like Christmas morning of commercials. Why ruin the surprise?

    Here are my thoughts on your picks:

    The Honda CR-V ad played on the reminiscent emotions of Gen Xers everywhere, mine included. Loved it! Too bad Ben Stein didn’t make a cameo. Anyway, I had Yello’s “Oh Yeah” playing in my head hours after the commercial aired.

    Chevy got me to get off my butt and get my apocalyptic preparations in order. 1. Buy a Chevy truck 2. Load up on Twinkies. See you on December 22nd, Mayans!!

    H&M’s black and white money shot was gratuitous and very well received by woman and gay men across the country. I love the fact that my mother-in-law remarked: “He’s so hot!”

    The Old Milwaukee ad is just funny. Plain and simple.

    Chrysler with Clint Eastwood struck a chord in the collective psyche of Americans everywhere. It was relatable to so many. In it the “Million Dollar Baby” coach reminded the down but not-out-fighter that it’s worth fighting the fight, that hardship is temporary and that the American spirit prevails. One friend commented: “Clint Eastwood just MC’ed the best “America Fu@k Yeah” commercial!!” Yeah, he did.

    Like the game there were some hits and misses but Clint got the title and the ring.

  4. Rina Hatcher Says:

    Great selection of ads Lauren.

    Considering I didn’t watch the superbowl, I won’t be much of a critic. But, having said that, I was only exposed to one of the pre-ads, which was the Honda Ferris Bueller ad. It really only got hype, I’m thinking, because some people thought it was a sequel!

    I find it very interesting that three of your five ads are auto maker ads. Not sure how that compares to “normal years”, before we had bailed out the auto companies and such. Might be interesting to see those numbers and compare. It just makes me curious if they are having to try even harder these days, or auto ads such as the three in your ad selection are about par for a typical super bowl.

    I must have missed something with the Milwaukee ad. It’s kind of that awkward-funny. But, Brad mentioned its placement – wonder if he was referring to the timing of the ad? For someone who didn’t watch the event at all, I’d need some clue on that one.

    And the David Beckham ad… well, who doesn’t want to see a nice looking dude in boxer briefs?

    A note on the Chrysler ad – I didn’t care too much for it honestly. I respect Eastwood’s legacy, of course. But, the story of Detroit …. well, I just see through it. Was it touch? Maybe to those who allow themselves to be touched by it. I actually liked the anti-Ford end of the world ad better!

    Though I didn’t watch the superbowl, I’d say you summed things up quite nicely :)