I love the Super Bowl. From the game to the commercials, to the halftime show, and the snack food that comes along with it, I love everything about it; but last night was just plain underwhelming.

Okay, not quite all of it, Bruno Mars was good, and so was the baked ziti.

And while underwhelming is probably not something FOX, the NFL, or the big game’s advertisers were hoping for, it’s still better than a poorly timed ad, a cable interruption, or a social media snafu.

Marketing Miscues During the Big Game

Honda’s innocuous commercial about their brand’s safety ratings featuring Bruce Willis and a fun cameo by Fred Armisen had the poor luck of airing in the second half. That wouldn’t have really mattered much, except the score was 29-0 and the commercial began with Bruce Willis saying, “Great game, right?” Between the scoffing and laughter I completely missed that it was even a Honda ad upon first viewing.

Like Honda, Time Warner Cable served up a perfectly competent commercial. It was a fun minute of TV cameos with all sorts of characters and worlds colliding to demonstrate that subscribers can enjoy their favorite shows across a myriad of devices. The commercial then ended with the following voice over, “Whatever you’re passionate about, Time Warner Cable invents ways for you to enjoy it even better.”

That’s all very nice, except Time Warner Cable customers in the Los Angeles area missed about an hour of the game last night, including the half time show, due to an issue with the local FOX feed.

Of course the Super Bowl isn’t just about traditional marketing efforts anymore. Plenty of brands jumped on the social media marketing bandwagon eager to achieve the same level of success Oreo enjoyed during last year’s second half blackout.

However, with a lopsided game and no unexpected power outages to speak of, tweets from brands remained mostly bland, that is until J.C. Penney decided to do some live tweeting while wearing mittens. As one might expect, their tweets were full of typos, which created the perfect fodder for brands like Snickers, Coors Light, and TGI Fridays, just to name a few.

JC Penney Super Bowl Tweets


Snickers Super Bowl Tweet


Coors Light Super Bowl Tweet

I think Payton Manning would agree that sometimes things just don’t go your way, and when it comes to marketing there are unfortunately variables that you just can’t control. When those instances arise, it’s how you respond that really matters.

So excuse me while I go purchase some mittens from J.C. Penney. It’s snowing again in New Jersey.

JC Penneys Twitter Mittens