A day after the 2011 Super Bowl commercials aired, the Volkswagen Darth Vader ad is continuing to generate buzz, as is the grinning pug from the Doritos commercial and a handful of others that made viewers laugh.
Six-year-old Max Page appeared on the “Today” show with his mother to show people the face behind the Vader mask from the Volkswagen Super Bowl commercial.
The freckle-nosed boy, looking a lot like a young Mark Hamill, told Matt Lauer he’d never seen Star Wars before making the “The Force.” Now, people are asking for his autograph, he said, although he figures that’s mostly from an earlier appearance on a soap opera.
Since the Volkswagen Darth Vader ad went viral, the family has received thousands of messages for the young actor, who was born with a congenital heart defect and has a pacemaker, his mother said.
Elsewhere, at least one young filmmaking team became millionaires overnight because of their 2011 Super Bowl commercial. J.R. Burningham and fiancée Tess Ortbals earned one of the top spots on the USA Today Ad Meter for “Pug Attack,” their entry in the Doritos commercial contest. The prize: $1 million and a contract to make another commercial later this year.
Another Doritos finalist, Tynesha Williams, won $400,000 for “House Sitting,” which captured the No. 3 spot on Ad Meter.
The success of the amateur creations prompted some navel-gazing in the advertising and marketing community, as members pondered the question of whether this would render professional ad agencies moot. The answer is of course not, since many of the finalists were at least semi-professional filmmakers anyway.
Other 2011 Super Bowl commercials feeling the love the day after the game:
- “Carma,” a cute and highly effective Bridgestone spot in which a driver avoids hitting a beaver on the road, and, in return, is saved by the beaver several months later. In voting on Hulu’s AdZone, it was beaten only by “The Force” for “most liked.” In fact, voters in the South and East actually preferred it, according to a Hulu release.
- “Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber,” the Best Buy Super Bowl commercial that played up the rock madman’s confusion over mobile broadband. Bieber, in a fake beard, even took a chance to mock his own feminine features toward the commercial’s end. Advertising experts told the Wall Street Journal the “pairing was a perfect match” for the chain’s message.
- “Coca-Cola Siege,” an underrated World of Warcraft-ish Super Bowl ad that showed the soda turning a fire-breathing dragon into a fireworks-and-confetti spitting party favor. While it only hit the middle of the Ad Meter, it received an 81 percent positive rating on Fox Sports’ 2011 Super Bowl commercials site and picked up more than 440,000 views on YouTube. The commercial prompted one online reader to comment that if Coca-Cola had used dragons instead of polar bears, he would have started drinking it years ago.
One of the most definitive statements on what 2011 Super Bowl commercials fared best is likely to come in two weeks, when the results of voting on YouTube’s AdBlitz channel are revealed.