What makes a good/bad Super Bowl advertisement?

What makes a good/bad Super Bowl advertisement?
February 3, 2014, 7:15 pm
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CSN Staff

Though the winner of Super Bowl XLVIII was decided one play into the second half, the good, bad, ugly and weird advertisements stayed interesting and entertaining for all four quarters. We've all got our opinions on which ads we liked best, what what exactly makes a good spot? 

Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, joined Jen Lada on SportsNet Central to talk about which 30-second spots he liked best and why, and which $4 million spots flubbed out as wastes of money.

Included in those ads was the Cheerio's spot that captured the hearts of millions. A father explains to his young daughter that the family is adding a new member by adding a single Cheerio to the three (Mom, Dad, daughter) in front of her. The daughter smiles, adds a fifth Cheerio and says that the family is also getting a puppy.

"What really worked with the panel is that the branding was very strong. You knew exactly what that was for and it gave a nice message; you felt good about the brand and that gives an overall effective spot," Calkins said.

The nearly unanimous winner for best ad of the game was Anheiser-Busch's "Best Buds" spot, where a small puppy is sold to another owner but continues to make its way back to the farm it was born at and formed a friendship with a Clydesdale horse, the company's famous image. The commercial went viral before the game but the company waited until the 2-minute warning to run the spot, something Calkins said sent the message home.

"You knew they really liked that spot because they saved it until the very end of the game, and they wanted to leave people with that," he said. "That's a winning formula. The branding is really strong."

Check out the video above to see which other ads Calkins said worked, and which wound up like the Broncos.