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ADBOWL(R) Results - a panel of branding experts give their feedback on the Big Game commercials

February 02, 2014 --

Budweiser wins the hearts of consumers, but not the minds of experts

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There was no consensus favorite Super Bowl commercial among a panel of branding experts assembled by ADBOWL®, the original advertising ranking website developed in 2002 by McKee Wallwork & Company (MWC). But few agreed with consumers' choice of the best commercial of the game, Budweiser's "Puppy Love" (although one of them granted the spot the nod for the best hashtag, #BestBuds).

"One thing we can say for sure is that the ads were better than the game," said Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork & Company. "It's not surprising that consumers and branding experts would disagree on the commercials, because they're looking for different things. Fans just want to have fun, but brands have objectives to achieve. Time will tell who the real winners are."

Leesa Eichberger, CMO at Jenny Craig, captured the formula of the winning spot well, saying, "Budweiser won before the game was played with their sweet puppy/Clydesdale friendship story. Who doesn't love puppies and horses?"

Most experts invited to weigh in on the commercials by ADBOWL had their own opinions; and although there was no clear standout, a handful of consensus favorites emerged:


  • Audi's "Doberhuahua". "Clearly the best spot," according to Daniel Andreani, MWC creative director. "Great storytelling. Great USP. Funny. Soft sell. Smart delivery. Win." Mindjet chief marketing officer Jascha Kaykas-Wolff agreed: "Great narrative. Well placed celebrities. Funny and just the right amount of serious."

  • Joe Saracino , CMO at Erwin Penland, thought Radio Shack had the best ad overall with "The '80s Called" because it addressed a perception with which the brand continually struggles. "The spot embraced the problem and went at it head on." he said. "It was bold, and it worked." Shane Hutton, founder and creative director of Arcana Academy, said, "I love it when brands know who they are, who they're talking to, what the benefit is and are honest about it. RadioShack hit on all four of those cylinders." Nigel Dessau, CMO at Stratus Technologies, brought the point home, "It might actually make me look in their new look stores."

  • Cheerios was another winner. "Brave spot acknowledging a changing America" said Timothy Mahoney, Global Chevrolet CMO. Christopher Krohn, president and CMO of, said the commercial "delivered a pitch perfect brand message," and John Lopes, president of Andretti Sports Marketing said, "Cheerios is part of the story of our families and it is on our tables as part of the story of our lives. Their story was touching and authentic."


Tony Wells, CMO at ADT Security Systems, summed up the consumer/expert divide well: "While every viewer wants entertaining Super Bowl ads, brands have to make sure it ladders back to their brand or product story."


Other members of the panel (and some of their thoughts on the ads) Included:


Kirk Cornelius, VP, Advanced Media Strategy, Specific Media "My personal favorite, was the Bob Dylan ad for Chrysler. I have never seen him promote a brand like that, and it really resonated. We all want Detroit to come back, and between Eminem and Bob Dylan, we love an underdog and would love nothing more to see Detroit come back from the ashes."


Sam Decker, CMO, Mass Relevance "Hyundai Sixth Sense. It grabbed your attention, looking like viral videos at first. Then set an emotional theme. Then paid off that theme into the product and brand benefit."


Marcello Coltro, EVP/COO, Chello Latin America "Coca-Cola - It's Beautiful. It got huge positive and negative response reaching millions of people and attention from the press. It broke paradigms and showed the diversity of America. I am for one a great fan of the ad. Better being noticed and remembered."


Gordon Plutsky, CMO, King Fish Media, LLC "Many of the ads seemed to have a main goal of evoking emotion without a real tie to the products value proposition. The use of animals, cute kids, celebs and heart wrenching stories is getting old. We like to say helping is selling and very few of these ads helped consumers in any way. Many try too hard to be funny."


Thom Kennon, Chief Strategy Officer, Brabble "Axe Peace: Horribly chauvinistic collapsing of discomfiting and paranoid icons and clichés of the past 50 years in global war with all appropriate boogeymen standins for Soviet strongmen, homicidal commie dictators, unctuous, threatening Arabs and spooky jungle-draped VCs. Until Axe solves for it all with "Peace". Get it? Yeah me neither, sorta."


Teri Lucie Thompson, SVP University Relations and CMO, University of Arizona "It looked like most creative teams either didn't or weren't allowed to stretch far enough. Many with good copy missed their target market; many with beautiful images neglected copy; many with high production costs left us wanting a real message. Is it a trend that we're too easy on our teams?"


Erin Levzow, Director of Digital, CRM and Social Media, Wingstop "A lot missed the mark. I am not sure I understand why in an energetic Super Bowl game you would choose to have a very slow paced downer commercial. I did really also enjoy the Radio Shack commercial as I felt it was on brand and spoke to the point they were trying to make."


Paula Hare, Creative Director, HS Design Lab "Bud was a miss with the puppy adoption spot. All they needed was a cute baby and they would have used every trick in the ad book."


Serena Lyons, Director, Marketing and Business Development, Lovelace Health System "[An ad] that stood out was the Turbo Tax "Prom" commercial. Very clever and entertaining trying to capture the audience whose teams did not make the Super Bowl. What was most surprsing was the spot was for Turbo Tax. I did not see that coming."


McKee Wallwork & Company has been bringing ADBOWL® to sports and advertising fans since the site first launched in 2001. Visit to catch up on the last decade+ of advertising excellence.


ADBOWL Winners 2002-2013:

  • 2013 – Dodge Ram "Farmer"

  • 2012 – Volkswagen's "Dog Strikes Back"

  • 2011 – Volkswagen's "Imperial March"

  • 2010 – Snickers' "You're Not You"

  • 2009 - Bridgestone's "Taters"

  • 2008 - Budweiser's "Clydesdale Team"

  • 2007 - Bud Light's "Rock, Paper, Scissors"

  • 2006 - Bud Light's "Hidden Fridge"

  • 2005 - Anheuser-Busch's "Applause"

  • 2004 - Budweiser's "Donkey Dream"

  • 2003 - FedEx's "Castaway"

  • 2002 - M &M's "Chocolate on Your Pillow"

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About McKee Wallwork & Company

McKee Wallwork & Company is an integrated marketing agency that specializes in revitalizing stalled, stuck and stale brands. Founded in 1997, the agency has earned a spot on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation, is a two-time EFFIE Award winner, and has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of the top small agencies in America.

The ADBOWL Branding Expert Panel

  • Daniel Andreani, Creative Director, McKee Wallwork + Company

  • Timothy Mahoney, CMO, Global Chevrolet

  • Tony Wells, CMO, ADT Security Services

  • Leesa Eichberger, CMO, Jenny Craig

  • Christopher Krohn, President, CMO,

  • Kim Downing, Advertising Manager, Allegiant Air

  • Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, CMO, Mindjet

  • Patricia Tang, Vice President of Marketing, Salamander Hotels & Resorts

  • Rod Brooks, VP & CMO, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company

  • Chris Lorence, EVP/CMO, Independent Community Bankers of America

  • Henry Stoever, CMO, National Association of Corporate Directors

  • Kirk Cornelius, VP, Advanced Media Strategy, Specific Media

  • Sam Decker, CMO, Mass Relevance

  • Marcello Coltro, EVP/COO, Chello Latin America

  • John Lopes, President, Andretti Sports Marketing

  • Nigel Dessau, CMO, Stratus Technologies

  • Gordon Plutsky, CMO, King Fish Media, LLC

  • Thom Kennon, Chief Strategy Officer, Brabble

  • Teri Lucie Thompson, SVP University Relations and CMO, University of Arizona

  • Shane Hutton, Creative Director, Founder, Arcana Academy

  • Jason Katz, SVP Marketing, Qello LLC

  • Erin Levzow, Director of Digital, CRM and Social Media, Wingstop

  • Paula Hare, Creative Director, HS Design Lab

  • Sonny Ganguly, CMO, Wedding Wire

  • Joe Saracino, CMO, Erwin Penland

  • Serena Lyons, Director, Marketing and Business Development, Lovelace Health System

  • Ryan Pamplin, Co-Founder & CRO,


Steve McKee (505) 385-1918

Daniel Andreani (505) 417-8884

ADBOWL is a registered trademark of McKee Wallwork & Company, LLC

CONTACT:Steve McKee (505) 385-1918
Daniel Andreani (505) 417-8884

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