2007

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.

Budweiser wins with crabby crawlers as Anheuser-Busch takes seven of top 10

By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

Anheuser-Busch continued its Super Bowl ad supremacy with a commercial that pure and simple made folks smile.

For a record ninth-consecutive year, the beer giant won USA TODAY’S exclusive Ad Meter real-time consumer focus group ranking of Super Bowl commercials.

The winning ad featured a group of computer-generated crabs on the beach bowing down at the altar of an ice chest filled with Budweiser. The red chest with two Buds for antennae looks like a giant crab — which a crab army worships as the sun sets behind it. That’s the kind of gentle, visual humor folks apparently wanted most this year.

Dissecting the Super Bowl ads

by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Are you ready for some football? Or, more importantly, are you ready for some Super Bowl ads? As I mentioned last week, I’ll be blogging about the big game’s commercials right here, and invite you to join in via the comment field. Note that we’re talking ads only here, leaving the rah-rah rooting and reviews of the on-field action to others. And I may not get to every single ad, so if I skip one and you want to chat about it, bring it up in the comments.

FIRST HALF:

JESSICA SIMPSON FOR PIZZA HUT
Wait, was that a Super Bowl ad? They almost slipped that right past me, it was so ordinary. Was there anything in that commercial that you couldn’t see in any random ad the rest of the year? Cheesy Bites indeed, emphasis on the “cheesy.” And I hear a rumor this is just part of a series. Oh, yay.

BUD: ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS
So they play Rock, Paper, Scissors with real rocks and paper. Rock wins. As a friend of mine says, “It IS a rock, after all. Should beat anything.” But I’m not actually even sure what beer was being advertised, which you’d think is the point.

DORITOS READER-SUBMITTED AD
We’ve certainly heard a lot about these. Can regular folks make ads any better than Madison Avenue? Based on this one, where people smash into a bunch of things because they’re Doritos-happy, my guess is “no.” Reminds me of the VW ads where you start closing your eyes early because the accidents are kind of upsetting.

BLOCKBUSTER PET STORE
Animated animals are usually pretty cute. But the “clicking and dragging” of the real mouse? Yeah, just came across as

Shy Freshman Wins Super Bowl Ad Contest

By John Kreiser

(CBS/AP) Katie Crabb says she constantly struggles to speak up and get her ideas across.

But executives at Chevrolet liked what they heard — and for the past four months, this self-described shy 19-year-old has kept a $2.6 million secret: She’s a big-time advertising guru.

Crabb won a nationwide competition for college students sponsored by Chevrolet to design a 30-second commercial for the company’s new line of crossover cars.

Chevrolet aired the ad during the Super Bowl, an event watched as much for the commercials as for the game itself. The average price for a 30-second spot during the game, which was broadcast Sunday on CBS, is $2.6 million.

Battle of the Super Bowl Ads: Past vs. Present

Are Today’s High-Tech Ads as Memorable As Those of the Past?

At this year’s Super Bowl, advertisers will pay as much as $2.6 million for a 30-second spot.

It’s a huge jump from the price tag of a Super Bowl ad decades ago, and the tactics have changed, too. Instead of relying on stick-in-your-head jingles and unforgettable characters, many advertisers now employ flashy graphics and out-of-this-world effects.

But as the stakes in the ad wars continue to grow, “Good Morning America” wondered, would the memorable, not so well-”hyped” commercials of years past work as well as today’s high-budget, high-tech ads?

According to Jerry Della Femina, CEO of Della Femina Rothschild Jeary and Partners and an advertising industry veteran, today’s consumers wouldn’t fall for the ads of yore.

“Some commercials that worked no longer work because people are smarter. They don’t fall for it,” he said. “Commercials have to be smart and better because you have a much smarter consumer out there.”

Rookies Interfere With Super Bowl Ads

by Andrew Keen

It’s amateur hour at the Super Bowl this year. On Sunday, 90 million television viewers on CBS will be subjected to commercials made by “You” — Time magazine’s Person of The Year for 2006. Three Super Bowl XLI advertisers — Doritos, the National Football League, and Chevrolet — will all be running 30-second commercial spots made by amateurs. The Web 2.0 revolution in user-generated content has infiltrated the American living room. These amateur creators, who Time praise as “people formerly known as consumers,” are now providing the entertainment at the biggest event in the media calendar.This is not good news. The shift from professionally produced to user-generated advertising makes us poorer in both economic and cultural terms. The arrival of user-created commercials at Super Bowl XLI represents the American Idolization of traditional entertainment — the degeneration of professional content into a “talent show” for amateurs.

We, the conventional television audience, are certainly losers in this new fashion for user-generated advertisements. We have traditionally watched Super Bowl commercials to be entertained by memorable ads. Often, these commercials are more memorable than the game. Occasionally, they even represent significant cultural moments in American history. Few of us, for example, can remember who won Super Bowl in 1984 (Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9), where it was played (Tampa), or who sang the national anthem (Barry Manilow). But most of us can remember the Chiat/Day produced, Ridley Scott directed, commercial for the Macintosh computer, with its Orwellian subtext and its indelible explanation of why “1984 wasn’t going to be like 1984.”

Super Bowl ads past and present

Indianapolis? Chicago? Who cares? For many, the battle between Anheuser-Busch, FedEx and CareerBuilder for funniest commercial is what matters on Super Bowl Sunday.

The hype around Super Bowl spots has reached a fever pitch this year.

CBS (Charts), which will be broadcasting Super Bowl XLI from Miami on Sunday, is said to be charging as much as a record $2.6 million for a 30-second commercial, up slightly from the $2.5 million Walt Disney (Charts)-owned ABC got for an ad last year.