Brand Strategy

Best and Worst 2012 Super Bowl Ads


The game viewing set-up: Six big dudes and two little dudes in a stylish man cave. No ladies.

Lots of collateral chatter, but also lots of attention paid to the game and the ads.

It was a terrific game and another year of diverse play-calling in Super Bowl advertising.

From my seat, I think the automotive brand category captured the 2012 Super Bowl advertising checkered flag.


Here are my 2012 Super Bowl Ad favorites:

  • The Chevy pick-up spot. They had me at the Mayan 2012 calendar newspaper front-page blowing through the urban devastation. Droll commentary, buddy tragedy, raining frogs.
  • The VW spot with Fatso Fido training like a canine triathlete to leap through the doggie-door and give chase to a Beetle.
  • Fiat 500 Abarth fantasy piece. On a scale of 1 – 100, I give it a cinquecento.
  • The Hyundai ultra-fantasy extravaganza. Was the magic dust gnome the dwarf from Twin Peaks?
  • Finally, Mr. Eastwood and the homage to a recovering Detroit (and his Gran Torino). The half-time theme could have been tagged with “I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message.”

And here are my 2012 Super Bowl Ad not-so-favorites:

  • The Coke polar bears. Premature reintroduction…they should be put in permanent hibernation.
  • Anheuser-Busch. What a mistake to give them product exclusivity. Their advertising is as insipid as their products, and don’t get me started on their obnoxious product placements.
  • Go Daddy: Time to start thinking outside the female flesh box.
  • Pepsi’s Queen Elton and the way-too-campy musical hodgepodge. Belch.
  • Honda/Ferris…if you’re going to spoof the original, at least get back to Chicago.

Non-automotive 2012 Super Bowl Ad favorites:

  • Dannon yogurt head-butting empowerment.
  • Grandma and the bungee-spring kid conspiring to grab the Doritos bag.
  • Another Doritos spot: the blackmailing, cat-disposing, big dog.

It was a great year for the Giants, and another hit-and-miss year for Super Bowl ads.


Would enjoy seeing your list! Please comment.

You are here: Home » Blog » Best and Worst 2012 Super Bowl Ads


  • Editrmh

    Agree with most of this, Mr. Sanders. But am I alone in thinking that the Teleflora gal–Adriana Lima–was smokin’ hot. Made me want to dial to send flowers immediately. To Adriana. Would cause trouble with my wife when the Visa bill came in, though, i’m thinkin’.

    • Yes, a lovely young lady, and an alluring ad. I have a strong sense that your lovely bride is the type of woman who has a deep appreciation for all things floral. Perhaps have Adriana intervene in sending an enticing bouquet to your wife.

  • Mermaid

    How come no one is mentioning the Audi one with partying vampires? I thought it was hilarious. The headlights were so daylight-bright they caused the vampires to go up in smoke; then the driver gets out to see what happened and he gets into his own headlight beams- poof!

    • Hi Mermaid…
      Very cool spot, but I was not blinded by its brilliance. It didn’t connect me to an Audi purchase. Glad it worked for you, though. Which other spots would you recommend as winners?

  • A recent project...

    • Citigroup: From Riches to Rags in Hungary

      Citigroup: From Riches to Rags in Hungary

       “Citi’s global consumer banking business took the hardest hit on Wednesday, with the bank saying it will eliminate 6,200 positions and close 84 branches worldwide,...

      read more
  • From our blog...

    • Top Lehigh Valley Brands of 2014

      Top Smart Branders of the Lehigh Valley 2014, Allentown, Lehigh Valley Style Magazine, Best of the Lehigh Valley Branding, Pat Browne, Ed Pawlowski, J.B. Reilly, Lafayette College, Lehigh University,

      The Lehigh Valley is the third most populous urban center in Pennsylvania. The region is on the move, and a couple of enterprises earned high...

      read more
    • The Ironman of Brands

      Ironman, brand, brand champion

      Would you rather win an Ironman competition, or be the Hits triathlon champion? The Wall Street Journal examines the power of a fabled global brand...

      read more
  • Connect with us...

    Track smart branding tips, trends and surprises on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Join the branding conversations.

    • Join us on Twitter
    • RSS Feed
  • Have a question?

Copyright © 2011 Sanders Brand Solutions. All rights reserved.
site design: ternstyle.us