Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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More post-game analysis of the Super Bowl commercials from advertising execs and ad watchers: WALL STREET JOURNAL: Kevin Goldman reports that a survey of 350 Super Bowl watchers by Southfield, MI-based Creative Marketing Consultants found, "with two exceptions, the vast majority of the respondents couldn't tell which products were being advertised." The exceptions: Pepsi and Budweiser. Pepsi was recalled by 53%, although Goldman notes, with four spots and on-air sponsorship messages, "Pepsi's results should have been higher." Bud had a 43% recall rate (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31). L.A. TIMES: While Pepsi, Bud and Dorito's were the best remembered, "opinion was mixed on whether Pepsi's humor-laced spots -- linked with the slogan 'Nothing Else Is a Pepsi' -- would motivate consumers to buy some," according to L.A. TIMES ad critic Denise Gellene. Ad execs interviewed "said some advertisers may have been trying so hard to create a memorable ad that they obscured the message." A spokesperson for Honda, whose ads ran in the 4th Quarter: "It's a gamble, but we'd do it again if we had a new product to introduce" (L.A. TIMES, 1/31). NEW YORK TIMES: Stuart Elliott calls the game's spots "actually enjoyable and entertaining. ... The primary reason for the ads' unexpectedly strong showing was that they focused more intensely on the products being pitched than on extraneous elements like celebrity endorsers or special effects" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31). NEW YORK NEWSDAY: Harry Berkowitz surveyed several ad execs and writes, "Thanks to a boy in a bottle and two truckers in a diner, Pepsi blew away other advertisers in Super Bowl XXIX." But the execs "were no more impressed or surprised" by the spots "than by the game's lopsided outcome." The two women advertising execs chose Nike's Dennis Hopper spot as the worst (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/31). SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: John Flinn writes, "For entertainment value ... it was a blowout -- for Pepsi." The Pepsi spots (Boy in the Bottle, Truckers, Field of Dreams, Dollar Machine) "were the ones that glued viewers to their sofas -- and were most likely the ones being talked about long after the game was over" (S.F. EXAMINER, 1/31). BOSTON GLOBE: John Carroll's "Silver Helmet Awards": TOUCHDOWN: Pepsi ("Pepsi ran more knockout ads in one day than most companies do in a year"). FIRST DOWN: Frito-Lay ("Who's next, Ross Perot? 'Betcha can't (giant sucking sound) just one'"). LETDOWNS: Nike, Pork, Wilson, HBO, Chrysler, Quaker State. MELTDOWNS: A-B, McDonald's ("At least, ABC's Lesley Visser gets bopped in the head with a ball, which serves her right since she shouldn't be in an ad in the first place") (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/30). USA TODAY: Donny Deutsch, CEO of NYC-based Deutsch Inc.: "As an industry, we should be embarrassed. There was not one big idea. Not one fresh voice. The agencies should all be shot" (Horovitz, Enrico & Beyers, USA TODAY, 1/31). FAREWELL, STANLEY: Nike's spot with Dennis Hopper portraying the referee "Stanley Craver" continued to draw a mixed reaction. Foote Cone & Belding copywriter Bob Dorfman, who said he "could listen to Dennis Hopper recite a shopping list," chose his fantasy spot for Super Bowl XXX: "Next year Stanley buys some explosives, blows up the Bud Bowl -- and takes out the McDonald's guys and Pretzel Boy with them" (John Flinn, S.F. EXAMINER, 1/31). Bozell's Jay Schulberg: "It's never enough just to draw attention to your ad. You've got to draw attention to the product" (Horovitz, Enrico & Beyers, USA TODAY, 1/31). John Carroll calls it the "wackiest monologue since Bobby Ray Inman bagged out as Secretary of Defense" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/30).
According to his agent Leigh Steinberg, 49er QB Steve Young's post-Super Bowl itinerary begins with a trip to Disneyland today and an appearance on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Both will be done in tandem with Jerry Rice. Steinberg: "He's including Jerry with him on the typical things that you would do alone. He just feels that way." Steinberg said the Super Bowl could be worth $10M in endorsements to Young (Gary Myers, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/31). In Southern CA, Lyle Spencer writes, "Charismatic, smart, generous and funny, Young is about to become the biggest sports figure in America -- bigger than Michael Jordan, bigger even than enormous Shaq, although Steve might have to work on his rap." Steinberg: "The country's been waiting for this kid" (Riverside PRESS ENTERPRISE, 1/31).
L.A. Gear announced it has agreed to acquire Ryka Inc., a small "but admired" maker of women's performance athletic shoes - - a deal valued at more than $16M. For L.A. Gear, "once a high- flying performer in athletic shoes but now plagued by losses, the acquisition would represent an effort to expand its product lines and enter new niche markets." Ryka may be better known for its founder and CEO Sheri Poe, who has used the company as a platform to educate women about violence and abuse. Poe began the Ryka Rose Foundation and pledged $10,000 a quarter to aid victims of violence and abuse. Ryka will remain an independent brand, and L.A. Gear has pledged full support of the Rose Foundation. Ryka had just under $15M in sales in '93 and has yet to show a profit in its 10 years of existence. Poe will remain president of Ryka and is expected to become a L.A. Gear director (Glenn Rifkin, N.Y. TIMES, 1/31). L.A. Gear CEO Stanley Gold: "The footwear industry is beginning a consolidation phase" (USA TODAY, 1/31). '95 FOOTWEAR OFFENSIVE: Athletic footwear companies "are back on the offensive" in 1995, with "revamped" marketing strategies, new designs and technologies, and "aggressive expansion into new categories," according to the latest issue of ADVERTISING AGE. At this week's Super Show in Atlanta, the companies get their first chance to "stake their claims" for the next decade. Nike will "position hockey and soccer as the emerging sports," while Reebok will attempt to establish itself as the "athletic performance brand of the '90s." Adidas America, Converse and Fila USA will "kick off a yearlong fight to be No. 3 by carving out niches for themselves, distinct from Nike and Reebok." Reebok will channel $20M of its $70M media budget into "regional marketing efforts" -- featuring such endorsers as Frank Thomas, John Elway, Shawn Kemp, and Shaquille O'Neal. Fila use Grant Hill for its campaign, titled "A Rookie's Journal" (Jeff Jensen, ADVERTISING AGE, 1/30 issue).
"In a blow to Southern California's tourism industry," Walt Disney Co. has decided against building a $3B resort next to Disneyland, "settling on a vastly scaled-down version instead." When the project was unveiled in '91, it called for 4,600 new hotel rooms, a theme park, a 5,000 seat amphitheater, a 6-acre lagoon and two of the nation's "largest parking structures." Some analysts note that Disney may have "been put off" by Orange County's financial woes (Woodyard & Hernandez, L.A. TIMES, 1/31)....Coca-Cola confirmed an AD AGE report that they have shifted the creative responsibilities for its Nestea tea brands to Creative Artists from McCann-Erickson. Coca-Cola spokesperson Bob Bertini, noting Creative Artists' "Always Coca-Cola" campaign: "It's really a reflection of the quality of the work they've done" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31)....Foot Locker announced yesterday that 16-year-old Mike Hoban of Strongsville, OH, is the winner of the "Foot Locker Million Dollar Shot" sweepstakes. Hoban will get one shot to sink an NBA 3-pointer for $1M. The attempt will be broadcast live on TNT at halftime of the Schick Rookie Game on All-Star Saturday (Foot Locker).... According to this week's AD AGE, CNS Inc. -- makers of the Breathe Right -- may approach the NFL to get rights to use team logos on products and packaging (AD AGE, 1/30 issue). The "GMA" crew of Forrest Sawyer, Joan Lunden and Spencer Christian sported the Breathe Right strips this morning ("Good Morning America," ABC, 1/31)...."Shaquille O'Neal, Larger Than Life," a video about O'Neal's life on and off the court, will be released to video stores this week ("Entertainment This Week," 1/29). CLARIFICATION: The headline over yesterday's story on Pan American Sports Corp. mistakenly identified the sponsorship opportunities available from the Pan American Sports Corporation. They are for the "Basketball in the Americas -- '95" tournaments, as put on by the Pan American Sports Corporation, not for the Pan-Am Games.