How about that, I watched this year’s Super Bowl like I always do, for the ads, and they threw in a terrific football game as a bonus.   Extra bonus: The Who (Hey, old guys can still rock!!).  The story this year: storytelling.  Or, more specifically, a few great ads found their way into the normal sea of men-behaving-badly mediocrity.  I must admit to wondering beforehand what advertisers were going to do at a time when the country is in a less-than-carefree mood.  Three great examples of creating a story that captures and demonstrates your message (In case you forgot, that’s actually what we’re supposed to do as marketers.)-

Google Parisian Love Ad

This is my favorite ad.  It demonstrates the power of search in an intimate, interesting way.  The camera never leaves the Google search screen, but takes you, via searches, from a young man’s quest to study abroad and his courtship of a Parisian woman to parenthood.  Plus, the experience of the ad — its simplicity — is consistent with what Google is.  A wonder concept masterfully executed.

Dove for Men Ad

Those three words ought to strike fear into any marketer’s heart.  As in, how do you take a product for women and convince men, during a football game, it’s okay for them to use a version of the product that’s just for them?  First, you take a minute instead of 30-seconds (if you have the $5 mil).  Then you spend the bulk of the time convincing men you know what it’s like to be a man.  Amazingly, 49 seconds into a 60-second ad is the first mention of Dove for Men.  Friends, I’m here to tell you, THAT took some real stones.  But if they’re going to convince you it’s okay to use a product perceived for women, that’s when to do it, BEFORE they show you the product.  Nothing about the product will convince you.  They needed to convince you that now that you’re comfortable being a man, isn’t it time for comfortable skin?  That’s the proposition.  That’s what they’re selling.  Hats off to the product managers and agency for understanding this.

Monster.com’s Fiddling Beaver Ad

So what’s not to like about a violin virtuoso beaver that gets the girl in the end?  Monster.com was promoting a new wrinkle: their “precision” job search to help you “find your own path.”  And, they pulled it off by showing a talented beaver in the sticks looking for a job playing the violin on monster.com on his laptop.  He ends up playing a concert and driving off in a hot tub-topped limo with a beautiful blond.  All in 30 seconds.  Not bad!

Bonus spot: the Letterman promo

I loved it for the surprise it created.  Letterman being Letterman on the couch.  Then revealing Oprah (the subject of his imaginary long-time feud), then revealing Leno.  I laugh every time I think about it.