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Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. The day every football player aspires to. How do players get their start? The NFL Draft. The last player picked, after more than 200-250 people have been selected, has been given the name “Mr. Irrelevant.” Don’t laugh — Marty Moore was picked by the Patriots dead last in 1994, and went on to play in the 1996 Super Bowl.

Ah, Super Bowl Sunday commercials. The day every marketing person aspires to. To have their ads seen by millions. And there should only be one goal. To make your ad relevant.

But when it came to relevance, how did so many spots miss the point?

Here are 10 Super Bowl commercials that were completely irrelevant (and 6 that weren’t).

For the FULL RANT, download the podcast from iTunes, or play it below:


1. Hyundai
You’re comparing the paint quality vs. a Mercedes??? When thinking about buying a car, people think about comfort, safety, horsepower, styling, resale value, cost, fuel economy… should I keep going? Where on the list is paint quality? I think this selling point is pretty irrelevant.

2. Doritos
Some funny commercials in there, but where does the URL at the end of the spot send people? www.SnackStrongProductions.com

Now listen, I get it. Snack Strong Productions is probably part of some bigger program. Doritos.com is probably too focused. I go there (SSP) and sure enough, there is a whole bunch of things going on.

So then I go over to Doritos.com, and guess what. IT’S THE SAME EXACT WEBSITE!

Why would you do that? Why would you take the chance at sending people to a 3-word, 22 letter website? Who doesn’t know the word Doritos? Do you like Doritos? I LOVE Doritos. Hey, it’s the Doritos commercial! I wish we got some Doritos! SO WHY NOT SEND PEOPLE TO DORITOS.COM??? Is Snack Strong Productions relevant to any consumer?

3. Boost Mobile
Again, we’re talking relevance and targeting. Who the heck is the target market??? According to Wikipedia, “The Boost Mobile brand was originally marketed to the teen and young adult demographics.” I’m not sure who they’re going after now, but I’m guessing it’s still a younger, hipper, tech-savvy generation.

So who do they bust out? A Super Bowl Shuffle Rehash??? This is horrible. Are you kidding me? “The Boost Mobile Shuffle???” That team was from 1985 – – 25 years ago!!! I asked my intern if he knew who Mike Singletary was. No idea. You know why? Because my intern wasn’t even alive in 1985. Thus, this commercial was irrelevant to him.

4. Shape-Ups
This one doesn’t start off well. The first sentence is “Get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” Really? All we need is fancy pair of dorky looking sneakers in order to cure obesity? We don’t need to watch our diet (consisting of Doritos)? Don’t need to get sleep? Just put on these shoes and get in shape?

Then it gets worse: “Hi, I’m Joe Montana, I spent 16 years playing football, and Shape-ups have improved my strength and posture.” Really Joe? What kind of strength are we talking? Are you squatting 650 and deadlifting 540 now? And how do you measure posture improvement?

And if you’re going to endorse the product, could you at least show up for the video shoot and throw a ball around wearing a generic maroon football shirt? No? What about letting them use a photo? No good on that either? Do you need the money? I saw that you put your $49 million vacation house up for sale, won’t that help?

Oh, and when did Joe play? That’s right, he retired 16 years ago.

5. Taco Bell
Just want to take this space to say Charles Barkley cannot rap. Oh, and he cannot act. He was terrible on Saturday Night Live. Yes, I know he’s not a trained actor and has to read cue cards. But simply terrible for someone that is on TV on a regular basis. The marketing person that said “Let’s get Charles Barkley to rap about Tacos” obviously has never seen him on TNT or SNL. You could say he is irrelevant in the rap community.

6. Dove Men Care
Hands up… how many men feel that they needed their own soap? I’m sure Dove has lots of research, but I think to the average beer-drinking, football-watching man, this product is irrelevant. I’d like to see the list of ingredients, and see what is in there that isn’t in the women’s version. I’m guessing a lot of this is packaging.

7. Dr Pepper
Irrelevant data:
– Who do you think they are reaching? Adults in their 20s?
– Dr Pepper: Established 1885 (says so on the logo)
– The band Kiss: formed in 1972 (38 years ago)
– The band Mini Kiss – formed in 1996 (14 years ago)

My vote: Irrelevant

8. Homeaway.com
One question… when was the last time Chevy Chase was relevant? I thought so.
The Griswald’s Vacation movie? 1983 … 27 years ago.

9. KGB
Hmmm… to me, KGB is “the Soviet Union’s premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization.”
a) How often do you NOT find something you want on Google or on the web
b) How many people want their mobile phone bill to have MORE charges on it (it’s 99 cents for an answer)
c) How many women are going to be buying $450 KGB-branded outfits???
Are you serious???
My thoughts? неуместный
(I think that’s Russian for irrelevant)

10. Census
Wait, WTF? The Census? The freaking Census? The government is paying $3 million to tell people about the Census? Can’t we just let Google count everyone? Does anyone have a problem with that? THEY’VE ALREADY MAPPED THE ENTIRE EARTH!!! I think they’ll do a better job than the government.

The brands that got it right:

1. GoDaddy
OK, these guys are in my Hall of Fame. Why? Love them or hate them, you have to admit:
– You know their name
– The spots are memorable
– The ads get people talking
– They reach their target of men
– Some % of people will go to their website to see the rest of the ad (that’s the goal, right?)
– They hammer home GoDaddy.com in the logo, the T-shirt, the song, and the URL

My one problem… they had a bullet point promoting them as “The SSL Certificate Giant.” I think that’s a little over most people’s heads for this game.

2. Bud Light
The crowd votes… and Bud Light consistently got “laugh out loud” reactions at my party. They’re always clever and funny.

And while others are bringing out bands from the early 80s, they bring in T-Pain and Auto-Tune the commercial.
And you KNOW how I love auto-tune.

Verdict: Relevant

The one interesting thing I picked up… they don’t own Bud.com (a pot site) or Budlite.com. C’mon, guys, spend the money and buy those guys out.

3. E*trade
The good… you can’t help but watch them, the “Milk-a-holic” line was classic, and they had a Facebook and Youtube logo on the screen.
The bad… I swear that the baby lipsync is much worse in the recent ads vs when they first appeared. Are they skimping on tech resources now?

4. Teleflora
At first I thought this was lame. Who thinks about getting flowers in a box vs a vase? But you know what, it DID raise awareness of that for me. I would give it a second thought now. Nice work. And the ad was funny.

5. Hyundai
There you go, Hyundai!!! The ad later in the game emphasized their incredible 10 year/100,000 mile warranty. Now THAT is something that is relevant to car buyers.

6. Google
And finally, the Google ad. To me, it was clever, poignant, smart, and you just get it. And you know what? It was the most relevant ad of the night. And why not? The entire purpose of the company is to bring us relevant search results.

Now if they could only get started on that census…

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