— Laura Gutierrez

A week or two after the Super Bowl, I’m not the only one still talking about it (our guest blogger David Mitchel discussed it yesterday). This year’s commercials did not wow me like I expected (sorry, cute Darth Vader kid). What surprised me was the lack of brand message. Sure, Doritos has edgy ads, and yes, Pugs are cute…but what does it have to do with the brand?

There were some odd ones this year. GoDaddy’s ads get stranger all the time, with its new campaign that revealed Joan River’s body (is it her real body?). You may have missed Salesforce.com’s Chatter ad (I mentioned this in my last post) with an animated Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas (I won’t even go there with their performance…or Christina Aguilera’s botched National Anthem…). I thought it an odd choice for a celebrity endorsement. Would the president of your company be more likely to purchase Chatter if a member of the Black Eyed Peas endorsed it? Doubtful.

So, who wins the Super Bowl of Advertising? Check out what the social world thought. “Brand Bowl,” presented by Mullen and Radian6, measured what ads Twitter users were tweeting about. Chrysler had the most buzz, most likely due to rapper Eminem, which was unexpected (he also did a spot for iced tea). Neilsen also has a ratings roll-up of the most recalled ads. From most accounts, the top three are Darth Vader kid, Eminem’s Chrysler endorsement, and the Doritos Pug ad.

A few advertisers actually damaged their brand by their message…I’m sure you’ve heard about Groupon’s terribly insensitive spots, reeling the watcher in with saving the whales…and Tibet…oh, but Tibetans make great food – buy Groupon! They’ve since pulled their ads and are hard to find on video. Sites like Triple Pundit and The New York Times’s Media Decoder have good recaps of the controversy.

If the Groupon commercials weren’t enough, advertiser HomeAway pulled their ad after watchers complained about a “test baby” getting smashed into a window. Yikes. My friend Lindsay Griffiths over at the Zen & the Art of Legal Networking blog has more “misses” of the year. And there are some good tips for not only lawyers but advertisers as well.

(You can find all the Super Bowl commercials here.)

Unrelated to the Super Bowl but along the same line, Kenneth Cole sent a promotional tweet implying that the uprising in Egypt was a response to Kenneth Cole’s new spring collection. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen that tactic used; not long ago, during the terrible fires in San Diego, a bar/restaurant used the heat of the fires as an excuse to grab a drink. The marketing community was a bit stunned. There are many effective ways to communicate a message…but are you communicating the right message? What are the implications of damaging a brand in a way that offends your audience?

Enough about that. Now for the entertaining stuff. Elsewhere in the marketing world…

A girl uses her ex-boyfriend’s photo to create a meme (find that embarrassing photo here). His mother is trying to sue for copyright infringement to remove the picture from Google. Legal types…do you think his mom has a case?

File this under the “is it legal” category: A web designer hacked a chiropractor’s website after the business failed to pay the designer. The commentary on the site was quite comical (I think it’s funny, but I’m sure the owner of the business doesn’t).

(Click here to view the image in a larger size so you can read it)

The site has since been taken down. If someone owns a domain, hires a web designer to create a site but does not pay for those services, does the designer have the right to mess with it? Another brand damaged.

Until next time…work on your brand message and remember your audience!

[Make sure to send me your favorite stories for next time! Duetsblog[at]gmail[dot].com]