Top Dad Ads from Super Bowl Sunday 2013

I have not seen all of the Super Bowl ads yet, but did it seem as if car makers and others were pitching directly to parents last night? Maybe it’s just our middle-aged bias clouding our judgment. Here, through a father’s eyes, are the Top Dad Ads from Super Bowl Sunday 2013:

1. The Flaming Lips appearing in and providing the soundtrack for Hyundai’s “Epic Playdate” ad was cool, but the clincher was after the montage of extreme activities showing a day filled with frivolity the youngest child asks, “Dad, what are we going to do tomorrow?” Moms, dads and kids everywhere bobbed their heads to the music and nodded their heads in agreement throughout this commercial.

2. All parents will likely agree that Hyundai knocked it out of the park for our demographic this year. Another favorite ad was “Team”, in which a mom provides car service for a team that will stand up to the bullies that hogged a football.

3. Speaking of car service, parents of teenagers were simultaneously rooting for the underdog who gets a kiss from the queen of the dance while cringing at the thought of their teenager taking Dad’s Audi for an adrenaline-fueled spin afterwards. The marketing side of me also loved that Audi added a link to the song, “Can’t Win Em All” by Hanni El Khatib.

4. Kia’s modern-day take on a virtual, space-age stork delivering babies around the world was a little over the top. Our favorite part was the kid activating the B.S. meter at the end, and the parents instructing the car to quickly change the subject.

Slight aside… another Kia favorite from before the Super Bowl:

5. I don’t have daughters, but I can see how a dad can reach this point, Doritos or no Doritos:

6. I made a very similar milk run on Saturday morning:

7. Toyota taught us to be careful what you wish for, but that does not stop me from wishing Toyota had linked to “I Wish” by Skee Lo that plays near the end of this ad (Was that song really from 1995? That seems like just yesterday). The good news for you is that Commuter Daddy is a full-service operation. “I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller….”

8. This Volkswagen favorite is more from our professional than our parental side. “Respect Boss Mahn!”

9. A glimpse of Super Bowl Sundays of our future from Taco Bell:


In the video “Paranoid,” filmmaker Sean O’Riordan posits what would happen if our offline activities were tracked like our online behavior:

Of course, there’s a little bit of truth in all sarcasm. With all of our grocery and other loyalty cards, not to mention EZ-Pass transponders, Foursquare check-ins and more, the fictional paranoia in O’Riordan’s video is only a hop, skip and a jump away from reality.

Still, the prophylactic flyer inserted into the mail slot near the end of the video is hilarious.

Ads we would like to see on our bridges and toll booths

Photo courtesy of natashalcd

There is little sacred ground left in the public transportation world, especially when it comes to advertising.

I’ve previously Tweeted about ads making their way to license plates. We’ve long been enthralled — and by we, I include my kids — by the ads in the Red Line subway tunnel on the Braintree-to-South Station ride. Now comes news that the New York Bridge Authority is going to accept advertising on the bridges and toll booths it manages, netting a potential $500,000. GEICO is reportedly up first. As commuter columnist Judy Rife points out, 15 minutes could save us from our next toll increase.

Which got me thinking… What other advertisers should line up for such an opportunity to put their message in front bleary-eyed morning commuters and weary afternoon road warriors? Here’s 10:

  1. Coffee shops: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons, McDonalds, you name it. They likely would use the opportunity not only to tout their coffee, but also to promote their breakfasts, smoothies and other coffee accompaniments (music from Starbucks, for example).
  2. Sand and gravel companies: This was really just an excuse to share the cool ad shown at right. Think of this not only as a B-to-B play, but for more consumer-focused messages, think landscaping projects: Pavers for sidewalks and paving services for driveways; boulders for rock walls, and cement-pouring for major home renovations. The ads should urge homeowners to rely on the experts (I know my lower back constantly needs that reminder), and save time in the process. After all, what driver sitting in toll booth traffic doesn’t want to save time, especially on the honey-do list for the upcoming weekend.
  3. Car maintenance providers: Oil changes, brake service, car washes, auto detailing. All no-brainers. Anything to do with cars would work: Manufacturers, gas stations, tire stores, you name it.
  4. Commuter rail: Metro-North, MBTA, BART, pick your favorite rail provider appropriate to the bridges you are driving on. Sure, if the ads are successful, it might cause an infinite loop or at least a riff in the space-time continuum, because the toll delay will be short lived if fewer drivers are using the bridges. But if the end result is a delay in rail fare increases, commuters still win, right?
  5. Snacks: Nature Valley’s Granola Clusters come to mind. Tag line? Portable and delicious, even if the shape is a bit unnatural for granola. This gives me an idea for a whole other post on ideal commuter snacks. Watch for it soon….
  6. Food delivery or take-out providers, especially on the homeward-bound side of the commute. Just remind folks to place that dinner order in a hands-free manner. No texting and tolling, please.
  7. EZ Pass, Fast Lane, or whatever brand your local transponder happens to be: This one is a layup. The ad copy will write itself.
  8. Tax software: Death, taxes and tolls. At least one of them should be quick and painless. (Why no one has hired me to write commuter-related ad copy is one of the great mysteries in life.)
  9. Radio stations: Who knew that radio was still so strong? Wouldn’t hurt to remind commuters.
  10. Job boards: Remember this 2009 Super Bowl ad from CareerBuilder?
    Timeless sentiment.

So there you go, Travelers Marketing of Wellesley, MA. Consider that lead list a gift from Commuter Daddy to you. Money for nothin’, and ideas for free.

Meanwhile, readers, add your suggestions to the comments. And while you are pondering potential and appropriate advertisers for your commute, check out the collection of ads with bridges in them over at Ads of the World. The Lamborghini one is my favorite:

Some manscaping may be required

This is a home-office week, so Mason and I were were able share a daily dose of SportsCenter this morning before he had to catch the school bus.

As we were doing so, on comes an ad for Just For Men. It opens with retired flamethrower Randy Johnson wrestling with his unwieldy lawn and his gnarly, graying Fu Manchu. Enter Emmitt Smith, Keith Hernandez and Walt Frazier, extolling Just For Men’s virtues, among which are instant animal magnetism to draw an army of buxom landscapers to help with the yard work.

If only…. Honestly, I’d settle for a product that got Mason to pick up the sports paraphernalia he leaves strewn about the yard.

As the ad closes, the Just For Men spokesmen smile and admire Johnson’s facial enhancement.

“The Big Unit is chillin’!”

“His landscape is thrillin’!”

Randy Johnson closes it out with a smile, and says, “Keep your edge.”

Mason pipes up: “Dad, you should get that.”

Thank goodness it wasn’t a Viagra ad.