Super Bowl ad contest peeks at NFL stars’ lives

Consumers are not the only ones intrigued by Super Bowl TV commercials. So are NFL players. Hundreds of NFL stars ranging from veteran quarterbacks such as Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks to rookies such as Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings have responded to the league’s call to pitch their own Super Bowl spots.

Under the NFL’s “Super Ad: Who Wants it More?” contest, fans are voting online to decide which player’s personal story would make the best ad during the big game. The 60-second TV commercial will air during halftime of Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3.

Hollywood Studios Size Up Superbowl Ads

Hollywood Studios Size Up Superbowl Ads

Following a lackluster showing at the 2007 Superbowl, the major Hollywood studios are gearing up for a major presence at the 2008 Superbowl early next year. Variety reports that Paramount, Sony, New Line, Disney, Universal, Warner Bros. and Fox have all bought air time during the game — with some opting to unspool trailers during the pre and post-game shows. Among the films you’ll see trailers for are Iron Man, Will Smith’s Hancock, Adam Sandler’s Don’t Mess With the Zohan and Will Ferrell’s Semi-Pro.

Doritos Narrows its Search for its ‘Cheesy’ Love Song

There was no shortage of cheesy love songs, but Doritos has narrowed a field of unsigned musicians down to 10 finalists.

For its “Crash the Super Bowl” promotion, the PepsiCo-owned brand asked for unknown artists to create music videos. Winnowed down from a field of hundreds, 10 singers and groups have been selected.

Consumers were invited, this week, to cast their votes as to which should run during the Super Bowl. The 10 semi-finalists’ bios and music are listed on a microsite, Crash the Super Bowl.com.

Gatorade gives audience an early look at Super Bowl ads

Pre-game advertising in the NFL’s Super Bowl used to mean buying a cheaper ad slot in the hours leading up to the game. This year it means promoting the pricey ads in the months leading up to the Feb. 3 ad fest on Fox.Starting Thursday, Gatorade gives a sneak peek at their Super Bowl ads featuring sports stars Derek Jeter and Dwayne Wade.

As demand and prices continue to rise for the huge TV event, marketers are trying to get more bang for their 2.7 million bucks, the record ad rate for 30 seconds in this year’s game. As opportunities for big audience shows continue to diminish, advertisers are willing to pay more.

Ads used to be top secret until game day, but marketers are finding that more visibility and promotion in advance of the game can help cover the cost of the ads by generating more brand awareness or juicing sales.

Advertisers must do a delicate dance to get their brand out there without spoiling the fun for Super Bowl ad watchers. More than 90 million people are expected to watch the game and marketers want to make sure they tune in for their ads.

Audi, Toyota to Advertise in Super Bowl

After a 20-year absence from the game, Audi will advertise during Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLII.

Toyota, which advertised during this year’s game in February, will also return.

Audi will feature is $109,000 R8 roadster in a 60-second spot that will air during the first quarter, said Scott Keogh, CMO of Audi of America.

“We are going to keep our cards close to the vest until Super Bowl day actually arrives, because I think we have a dramatic message,” Keogh said.

Super Bowl launch is a free kick for record labels

From piracy to job cuts, it has been one negative story after the other from the struggling music industry. At first sight, news that Pepsi will offer a billion free downloads through Amazon appears to be another blow for an industry struggling to cope with the challenge of the internet.

Digital downloads are challenging music’s traditional marketplace – but as marketing tools, the potential of downloaded tunes is only just being tapped. Pepsi customers are one click away from a download: imagine the logistical challenge of giving away the same volume of music on CD or vinyl. Pepsi has recognised this potential and the company is expected to announce the promotion at the Super Bowl on February 3.

Upon further review, ad chief drops CareerBuilder

The chief executive of Chicago’s Cramer-Krasselt wasn’t monkeying around.

CEO Peter Krivkovich didn’t just drop the CareerBuilder.com advertising account in response to the job Web site putting the account up for review. Incensed at learning the review was spurred by the performance of CareerBuilder’s Super Bowl commercials in USA Today’s annual poll, Krivkovichtook the unusual step of writing an internal memo that tore apart the client his agency had spent the last five years building up.

Snickers pulls plug on Super Bowl ad

Gay rights groups complained content was homophobic

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — A commercial for Snickers candy bars launched during the Super Bowl broadcast Sunday was pulled after its maker got complaints that it was homophobic.

The ad showed two auto mechanics accidentally kissing while eating the same candy bar and then ripping out some chest hair to do something “manly.” One of the alternate endings on the Snickers Web site showed the men attacking each other.

The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation complained to the maker of Snickers, Masterfoods USA, a division of Mars Inc.

Bloggers Bash Super Bowl Ads

Ads Not So Super?Is the art of creating a creative Super Bowl ad lost? Corporate America spent about $85,000 per second of Super Bowl airtime, but many bloggers said most of the ads missed their mark.

Many bloggers were eager to weigh in with their lists of the funniest, dumbest and weirdest ads that aired during the big game. But Sarah Jean Snarker captured the overriding sentiment in the blogosphere that this year’s ads were “pretty snoozy.”

“We have once again been underwhelmed both by the game AND the ads that were supposed to be worth $2.6M/30-second slot. To be honest, I didn’t see ANY worth that much coin,” FairWeather Zealot adds. A blogger at It’s On My TV agrees. “I thought they all lacked that edginess we’ve seen in past years,” he writes.

“2007 was one of the worst years when it comes to Super Bowl ads. It seemed most companies either went the celeb or violence route, producing nothing near as powerful as Apple’s 1984 or as addictive as Budweiser’s Wassup,” YoungGoGetter.com blogs.

Super Bowl ads disappoint advertising experts

Anheuser-Busch scores points for some clever spots, but most ad critics think this year’s big commercials were underwhelming.

By Paul R. La Monica, CNNMoney.com editor at large

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Boring. Poorly executed. Unmemorable.

These words could not only be used to describe the action that took place on the football field during Super Bowl XLI Sunday night but also the uber-hyped commercials that aired during the big game.

Several advertising experts said Sunday night that, with a few exceptions, most of the commercials were disappointing. So it looks like many corporations may have wasted the $2.6 million that CBS was said to be charging for 30 seconds of ad time.

“This was not a banner year for Super Bowl ads. Nothing really stood out,” said Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising, an agency that runs Adbowl, a site that tracks opinions about Super Bowl commercials.

Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence, Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War

More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.

For instance, in a commercial for Bud Light beer, sold by Anheuser-Busch, one man beat the other at a game of rock, paper, scissors by throwing a rock at his opponent’s head.

In another Bud Light spot, face-slapping replaced fist-bumping as the cool way for people to show affection for one another. In a FedEx commercial, set on the moon, an astronaut was wiped out by a meteor. In a spot for Snickers candy, sold by Mars, two co-workers sought to prove their masculinity by tearing off patches of chest hair.

There was also a bank robbery (E*Trade Financial), fierce battles among office workers trapped in a jungle (CareerBuilder), menacing hitchhikers (Bud Light again) and a clash between a monster and a superhero reminiscent of a horror movie (Garmin).

It was as if Madison Avenue were channeling Doc in “West Side Story,” the gentle owner of the candy store in the neighborhood that the two street gangs, the Jets and Sharks, fight over. “Why do you kids live like there’s a war on?” Doc asks plaintively. (Well, Doc, this time, there is.)

During other wars, Madison Avenue has appealed to a yearning for peace. That was expressed in several Super Bowl spots evocative of “Hilltop,” the classic Coca-Cola commercial from 1971, when the Vietnam War divided a world that needed to be taught to sing in perfect harmony.

Coca-Cola borrowed pages from its own playbook with two whimsical spots for Coca-Cola Classic, “Happiness Factory” and “Video Game,” that were as sweet as they were upbeat. The commercials, by Wieden & Kennedy, provided a welcome counterpoint to the martial tone of the evening.

Those who wish the last four years of history had never happened could find solace in several commercials that used the device of ending an awful tale by revealing it was only a dream.

The best of the batch was a commercial for General Motors by Deutsch, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, in which a factory robot “obsessed about quality” imagined the dire outcome of making a mistake.

Freelance Copywriter Reviews the 2007 Super Bowl XLI TV Commercials

Five Star players and a Couple of Goats.

Like last year, the winner of this year’s Ad Super Bowl had to be Anheuser-Busch with five great spots and a few that were merely very good. A line from the “Classroom” spot gets our vote for Most likely to make it into popular vernacular: “Gimme a Bud Light, Feller.” This one was multicultural without being politically incorrect. Just fun. How many product mentions do they get into this spot? Nearly a dozen — and without being offensive. Brilliant.

Another example of a star player was Bud Light’s “Axe” spot. This one was solidly in the vein of “True” comedy from start to finish. “I’m sure there’s a reason for it” is a savvy way of saying guys dismiss anything for a Bud Light. The spot gets even better when the guy actually stops and asks the hitchhiker about the axe. Of course, it’s a bottle opener. Great spot.

With the stray dog ad, Budweiser proves once again how well they can do regal noble and sweet just as well as comedy. A cute homeless pooch (having a very bad day) sees a wagon in a parade and the Dalmatian on board. He gets splashed with mud — instant spots — and gets to join the Bud parade with a cute wink to the other dog. This is a great example of how to do sweet right (are you listening, GM robot?).

Opinion: Game Serves Up Good, Bad, Ugly

Eleftheria Parpis

NEW YORK I could honestly say that I was disappointed in this year’s crop of Super Bowl ads, that most weren’t all that special or even worth a late-night cable buy, let alone the $2.6 million that gets prime positioning during the game.

But I won’t. The truth is, just like every other year, there were highlights and lowlights. And at least this year I didn’t feel like throwing anything at my TV.

TiVo: Bud Light Wins Ad Bowl

-David Gianatasio

BOSTON A pair of 30-second spots for Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light were the most viewed Super Bowl commercials, according to data provided by TiVo, which measured both live and recorded viewing in 10,000 subscriber households.Bud Light’s “Language Course,” starring comic Carlos Mencia, was the most viewed spot, followed by a commercial titled “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” TiVo said.

Ameritrade had held the lead slot among TiVo viewers in each of the last two years, but that company did not run any ads on yesterday’s Super Bowl.

This marks the fifth overall year that TiVo has measured Super Bowl viewing.

A-B Super Bowl Ads Top National Polls

-Steve McClellan

NEW YORK Anheuser-Busch topped a pair of national polls that measure the popularity of Super Bowl ads.

A-B placed seven spots among the top 10 in the annual USA Today survey. A-B also took five of the top 10 slots in an online Wall Street Journal poll.

The most popular ad, per USA Today, was a Budweiser entry that showed crabs worshiping a beer cooler. A Bud execution starring a stray puppy and the Clydesdales placed second, while Bud Light’s take on the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors” came in third.

The survey, published in the paper’s Monday edition, was based on the responses during the game of 238 adult viewers in Houston and McLean, Va.