The annual obligatory “SB AD BD”

Feb 13, 2023

Yes, it’s time for another long-awaited “What’s in Kim’s Mailbox”. But in today’s issue, I won’t be looking at an ad or promo that landed in my inbox or mailbox.

I’ll be doing the annual, obligatory Super Bowl ad breakdown that you’ve come to expect from any self-respecting copywriter.

Not that I’ve actually done one of these the past 6 years I’ve been writing these emails. Nor do I consider myself a TV advertising expert.

But because I did actually WATCH the Super Bowl last night… more on my feelings about that in a sec… AND I took note of the ads I saw (when I wasn’t refilling my plate or glass or taking “bio breaks”), well, that makes me perfectly qualified.

That’s why I figured I’d send you my thoughts and invite you to share yours (simply reply back to this email and let me know your faves).

I’ll have you know, I’ve had my head down working on some writing projects this morning since 7am… NO Super Bowl hangover for me, thank you very much.

So I have no idea if anyone else out there in the email-social media metaverse has already been pontificating ad nauseum about last night’s Super Bowl ads.

For all I know, I’m the only one writing about them (I seriously doubt that).

Now, let’s talk about the disappointments first… and I’m not talking about how the Chiefs did “smart clock management” (as my husband reminded me several times) in the last 2 minutes of the game when they had the ball.

They managed to burn all but the last 8 seconds, sealing a 3-point lead with a field goal after a somewhat “controversial” hold penalty worked in their favor.

And it seemed like they were burning time in the wackiest ways… making me almost wish their kicker would miss–even though (I swear) I do love the Chiefs.

I was agnostic last night, rooting for the Eagles as well. It just made me wish for a good old-fashioned REAL win, where the Chiefs would have just gone ahead and scored that touchdown they were on the brink of… and then let the Eagles have the ball for the last minute or so. And, you know, let their defense stop them.

But NOOOOOOO… we have to have “smart clock management”. Takes all the fun out of it and doesn’t taste as much like victory. IMHO.

Here’s the only type of “smart clock management” I can get fully behind…

In any case, weren’t we talking about ads here? Okay, so here’s that part of the disappointment: at least every other ad had a celebrity or two in it. Some had MULTIPLE high-ticket celebrities (can only imagine how much that cost).

And the combined effect was mind-numbing. Any thrill or novelty out of seeing a celebrity in one ad was cancelled out by the nonstop onslaught of other celebrity ads that followed.

Just plain regular folks (and dogs… don’t forget the dogs!) never seemed SO appealing by comparison as they did last night.

But out of my top 8 favorite ads, half of them were celebrity ads that worked well in my opinion…

1) The Doritos ad with Jack Harlow, making playing triangles a thing (loved the “try a new angle” tagline, but maybe it’s because I’m a copywriter)…

2) The T-Mobile ad with John Travolta doing a riff on Grease’s Summer Lovin’ (tell me more)…

3) The Popcorners “Breaking Bad” remake, with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul cooking up their latest batch of addictive treats in the desert…

and 4) The Crown Royal ad with Dave Grohl saying “Thank you Canada” for all sorts of things I had NO idea came from Canada.

Then there were my favorite NON-celebrity ads, which were fewer and further in-between…

5) Tubi, who teased about finding “all those rabbit holes you didn’t know you were looking for”…

6) Farmer’s Dog, who made us choke up about how much dogs love us and miss us when we’re away…

7) The dancing, Amazon-shopping couple who bought their cute dog a crate to keep it from chewing up everything they owned…

And 8) the “love your enemies” ad which grabbed my attention with its gripping, black and white pics of angry people and inspiring message… until I realized, wait, Jesus didn’t really buy that ad! You can’t get anything past me!!!

(That one I did actually Google just now and I can tell you… the people behind it definitely aren’t Jesus, nor do they “love their enemies”).

So that’s it for today’s “What’s on Kim’s big-screen TV”. Would love to hear which Super Bowl ads were your favorites.

I’ll be back at you soon with a new, for-real “What’s in Kim’s Mailbox” where I’m focusing on great email and subject lines.

If you’ve got any you’ve seen that you found particularly good, please send them my way!

Yours for smarter marketing,


P.S. In case you missed it, I plan to open up a VERY limited number of spots for private copy reviews and mentoring. To get on the wait list to hear when they’re available, go here.