I also wrote this for HuffPo, but am including the commentary and links to the spots below.
What a way to kick it off, New York style, with the best ever national anthem IMHO from Renee Fleming. Brava! That's the way to sing it! MetLife had an anthem tribute of their own, online ... so cute in MetLife style, and in the MetLife stadium no less.
The first advertising out of the gate was from Maserati. This was a huge surprise because most Americans are just not that familiar with the brand, and the brand/car was not revealed until the end of a very long story. It was a wow moment, not only the first of the night but the first of the night.
No one can do a Super Bowl advertising recap without talking about Budweiser. Probably the most anticipated spot of the night, partly because it had already gotten 34 million views prior to the game and partly because the Budweiser Clydesdales are the tradition for the game. This one didn't disappoint, except that it was so late in the game. We all wanted to see it much earlier to get us in the spirit. The best part is that the puppy started tweeting on Friday @Budweiserpuppy for #BestBuds. Gotta love it.
Best integration of the product goes to Chevy Silverado. The way the advertising speaks about the steer, yet at the same time the truck yet at the same time the driver is just brilliant. So well targeted.
Showing the full spectrum of its brand, Chevy celebrated cancer survivors on their road to recovery, acknowledging that Tuesday is World Cancer Day. A soft piece that so many of us can relate to ... what felt like a quiet, almost lonely ride to treatment.
My Twitter group really liked the message from Radio Shack. I have to admit that I'm impressed with the brand's ability to be honest about itself and admit where it went wrong through the years, with a promise of a real comeback.
Cheerios gets a nod for brand bravery. With a sequel to its campaign and its first Super Bowl appearance, the brand stood tall and proud as did we all watching it.
Honda gave us a surprise, with Bruce Willis talking about car safety. "Those people around you are not crash test dummies." Great "in the moment advertising," with this added little video morsel as well.
"America" was a big theme for the night, as well it should be for the biggest sporting event in the country drawing the biggest audience anywhere and everywhere. This spot for Coca-Cola did the theme best.
But the biggest surprise of them all came when the game was over. It was literally the last spot of the night, right after the game ended. A bit of a risk for any brand since viewership declines drastically at this point. But then again so does the price of the slot. Esurance took that fact in hand and ran with it with a contest promotion that lit up Twitter.
Oh what a night. While many were disappointed in the game itself, the advertising kept us engaged break after break right up to the very end. Now that's what a marketing holiday like the Super Bowl is supposed to do!
What's your experience? JIM.
PS - Stay tuned for tomorrow when we'll recap all the online activity during the game ... just as exciting!