So, the big game didn’t live up to lofty expectations of Peyton Manning versus the best-corner-in-the-game. Fortunately, we still watched with anticipation for commercials into the second half. If nothing else, Super Bowl the commercials were unique, and definitely attention grabbing. Some hit, some missed, but each commercial could tell us how to, or not to, approach advertising.

The Ones We Liked

Bank of America – “Invisible”

Our fearless leader thought the best commercial overall was Bank of America’s ad in support of RED and the search for a cure for AIDS. For the commercial, Bank of America said they would donate $1 for each download of U2’s song, “Invisible” on iTunes for the next 24 hours. At noon on the following Monday, the song reached two million downloads, at which Bank of America originally capped their donation amount. However, a spokesperson for the bank said they would continue to match downloads until the end of the 24 hour period. As an advertising agency, we loved this commercial because of its strong, successful call to action.

RadioShack – “The Call”

As of late, Super Bowl ads typically fall into two categories: sentimental or funny. RadioShack’s commercial, “The Call,” falls into the latter. The commercial itself featured 80s icons such as Hulk Hogan, California Raisins, and other 80s pop-culture references this 90s child has only seen in VH1 retrospectives. The self-deprecating commercial poked fun at the retailer’s outdated look of its stores and teased a rebrand—a rebrand overdue since the 1980s. We liked this ad because of its sense of humor and memorable, nostalgic images.

Duracell – “Trust Your Power”

Duracell’s “Trust Your Power” ad, featuring Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, tells the story of his journey to the NFL. Coleman is the first legally deaf player in the NFL, and his commercial with Duracell shows how releasing a Super Bowl Ad before the big game can benefit a brand. Duracell released their ad a few weeks before the game and currently more than 17 million views. It also gained national media attention, specifically a feature on Good Morning America. We liked this ad because it showed how brands aren’t putting all their eggs in one, $4 million dollar ad during the Super Bowl.

The Ones We Didn’t Like So Much

Audi – “Doberhuahua”

Audi’s commercial introduced us to the terrifying results of breeding a Doberman and a Chihuahua, or as they call it, the Doberhuahua. Frankly, the ad was pretty creepy. More importantly, it was difficult to connect the dots from that horrifying dog to luxury cars. Even Sarah McLachlan’s cameo appearance, which is hilarious, couldn’t salvage this commercial for us.

JCPenney

Perhaps the worst ad of the night didn’t actually make it to your television. JCPenney, along with numerous other brands, tried to recapture Oreo’s “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark” moment from last year’s Super Bowl. However, the department store’s attempts didn’t go so well. JCPenney sent out tweets with more than a few typos, and many assumed someone hacked their account… or their tweeter was drunk. In reality, JCPenney tried to capitalize on the attention on the potential cold weather and snow of the Super Bowl with the hastag #TweetingWithMittens. On the bright side, their idea certainly gained a lot of attention. However, not all of that attention was positive.