While perhaps no Super Bowl ad can match the green (and controversy) of last year's "Eco-Police" spot from Audi, there were some commercials last night that caught my attention for their environmental angle. Let's see who the winners (and losers) of this niche category were!
1. Chevy Volt "Discovery" ad
For its new electric Volt (which recently scooped up a number of Car of the Year honors), Chevy went with a high-production look at big events in "electric" history — from Benjamin Franklin and his kite to a bunch of geeks building the first PC in a garage. The bit culminates with a Volt being charged and the narrator saying that history is now being made "at the end of a power cord."
2. Bridgestone Tires "Carma" ad
Man helps beaver. Beaver helps man. Everyone wins.
3. BMW Advanced Diesel "Changes" ad
While diesel engines are more efficient than their gasoline counterparts, they're still stuck with the baggage of earlier days, when smoke and noise were the norm. BMW is attempting to change all that with this new ad, showing how their car is quiet and clean compared to other, older diesel engines. (Though in the YouTube comments, there are a few angry Mercedes fans who feel their diesel classics are being misrepresented.)
4. Chevy Cruze Eco "Misunderstanding" ad
Yes, another Chevy ad, but they were the big sponsors of the night and from a marketing angle very eager to get the public in their cars again. Anyways, this spot for the 42MPG Chevy Cruze features several older residents at a nursing home debating what exactly the ad is trying to pitch. Basically, everyone is deaf. Get it?
Grade: B: You can fall into two camps on this one: you appreciate old people-who-can't-hear humor or you found it mildly offensive/annoying. With almost 500,000 views on YouTube, this one has apparently caught the love of the first group — so Chevy scores. Personally I enjoyed the "It's a cruise for plus-sized individuals" line.
5. Volkswagen "Black Beetle" ad
Pixar play attention. You should scoop up whatever firm created this photo-realistic lush world featuring a rocking beetle tearing through the undergrowth. I would have thought this was some kind of stop-motion gig.