Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snicker bars and search engines: How Betty White and Google won our hearts during the Super Bowl

By Kiley Kellermeyer, MZD Account Executive

Let’s face it.

This year’s “Big Game” was mired in a lot of low-brow comedy. Drew and Peyton were sandwiched between so many rodents and Go Daddy Girls it’s a miracle either quarterback could lift a cleat from the muck.

Luckily, if you were willing to search through the commercial haystack, there were a couple of shiny needles to be found.

The ad-aficionados at MZD have spoken, and while our Colts may have lost the battle, we think that Google won the war.

Sure, there are no pasty thighs, furry animals or racecar drivers in various states of undress, but we think the simplicity of Google’s ad is what made it so appealing. The love story told via search terms tugged at our heartstrings and won us over.

“The Google spot did something most brands never do,” said MZD Account Executive Erik Faigh. “It told the story using only its product, and I'm not sure all the production money in the world could have done any better to make a better spot. Google boiled their brand down to a computer screen, a blinking cursor and a user who uses the tool to fulfill their dreams. Everything else in life happens after you ‘Google.’ A life not spent ‘Googling’ the answer? Well, it's just not a life worth living.”

Google’s commercial, however, wasn’t the only favorite amongst the staff at MZD.

Snickers scored big among the agency staff, with senior citizens Betty White and Abe Vigoda getting tackled and muddied on the football field.

The ad got first place on USA TODAY’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, meaning that experts and the Average Joe alike agreed Snickers' ad was sweet. That’s good news for the candy company who got themselves in hot water three years ago for what many perceived as an “anti-gay” ad.

Summary: Mars played it safe this year, Betty and Abe “played” hard.

So, what do we love about seeing octogenarians knocked about the yard? Was this physical abuse of the elderly cruel, comical or just plain clever?

Or was it simply, as MZD Senior AE Ray Volpe put it, “a better football game than the real one”?


To see USA TODAY’s Ad meter, visit

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