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AD EXECS SAY SUPER BOWL ADS DIDN'T LIVE UP TO THE HYPE
Published January 31, 1995
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).