Cocky Award for Best Super Bowl commercial goes to ‘Bud Light Conan O’ Brien’
The results of the sixth annual University of South Carolina student Ad Bowl poll are in, and Bud Light wins again, making this the brand’s fourth win.
The team from DDB Chicago that created the Bud Light commercial starring Conan O’Brien has been invited to campus to claim the Cocky Award for best overall Super Bowl commercial during I-Comm week in April. Alumnus John Baker, a 2001 journalism graduate, was part of the team that created the ad.
More than 60 students and faculty gathered at Newsplex Sunday, Feb. 1, to critique this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials. Ad Bowl is held annually in conjunction with a South Carolina Honors College course on Super Bowl advertising.
Bonnie Drewniany, who teaches the course and oversees the Ad Bowl, was surprised to see the economy have a dominant role in the ads.
“This year’s commercials really captured the essence of what’s going on in society,” Drewniany said. “Numerous commercials featured the bad economy, from the Bud Light ad that showed office workers facing budget cuts to the Cash4Gold.com ad, which showed MC Hammer selling all his ‘bling.’ ”
In juxtaposition were a series of nostalgic ads.
“There were a number of feel-good ads that helped viewers transport back in time when things were more carefree,” Drewniany said. “We saw Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, a remake of the Mean Joe Greene commercial and three charming Budweiser Clydesdale spots.”
In the end, Drewniany said, humor and celebrities prevailed, as the Conan O’Brien ad showed the extremes that celebrities will go to earn a quick dollar. The commercial raises the specter of the economy as much as it conveys NBC’s desire to showcase O’Brien, who will take the helm of “The Tonight Show” when Jay Leno steps down as host.
Through the Ad Bowl, commercials are rated in three categories – most persuasive, strongest brand identity and most likeable – as well as overall favorite.
“Bud Light- Budget Cut Meeting” and “E*Trade Banking Baby” placed second and third overall, respectively. “Audi-Transporter actor Jason Statham” won in the category of persuasiveness, and “Hyundai-Rivals unhappy Genesis is Car of the Year” won in the category of brand identification. “Bud Light Conan O’Brien” won for both likability and best overall.
BBDO in New York won best overall in 2008 for its “Diet Pepsi Max,” with the creative team receiving the Cocky Award in April.