Okay, we have to admit that we’ve occasionally been known to sneak off to the bathroom or kitchen or to Guam during commercial breaks. But as anyone who watches the Super Bowl will realize, sometimes the ads are the best part of the show. And that prompted organizers at the New York Auto Show to add a new feature to the opening morning ceremonies, five awards recognizing the best national automotive commercials.
Categories included the Most Effective Overall Ad: Luxury, which was grabbed by a Lexus spot for the LS, dubbed “Generations,” in which old-timers recalled the days before modern conveniences, like CDs, cellphones – and the new system that lets the LS460 sedan park itself. In the non-luxury category, everyone’s favorite, Kermit the Frog, grabbed an award for his “Easy Being Green” spot for the Ford Escape Hybrid.
The most liked ad, curiously, appeared to generate the most controversy among the audience of journalists, auto industry executives and advertising types. The winner was Honda’s ad for the Pilot, titled “Troll,” in which a family appears to be stuck in the hellish alternative to Disneyland.
The most effective luxury ad might also seem a bit off target – not because of any problem with Volkswagen’s “Safe Happens” campaign, in which cars get into real-world accidents, but because the Passat Wagon normally doesn’t slip into the luxury category.
Finally, Toyota’s ad for its fuel-sipping Yaris, which crushes a spider-like automaton made of gas pump nozzles, beat out the oft-cited Dodge ad, in which the new Nitro gives a bit too much of a jump to a driver with a dead battery.