SBD/Issue 81/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Controversial Spot Pulled From Doritos' Super Bowl Ad Contest

The Controversial Ad Featured A Priest
Handing Out Doritos During Communion

The “hot spot” advertisement for the Super Bowl XLV broadcast on Fox is an “entry in the annual Pepsi-owned Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest that will never air for being over-the-top offensive to people who take Communion seriously,” according to Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA TODAY. The ad “plays the bread and wine for snack food” and is titled “Feed the Flock.” It “begins with a priest at his desk surrounded by bills for the parish.” The video then “shows the faithful lining up for Communion and getting Doritos instead of the wafer.” The wine, “considered by Catholics to be the blood of Christ, is dished out as Pepsi MAX.” Philadelphia-based Media Wave Video Productions created the ad, and company President Dave Williams said that “he pulled the ad from Pepsi's site and from YouTube.” Williams: "We felt bad. Our intention was to win, not to offend." Grossman wrote, “What's surprising is that it made it up on the Pepsi site for consideration at all. Were there no standards for submission?” The PepsiCo site listing the top 10 finalists “does not include ‘Feed the Flock’ and a representative of the company apologized for any offense” (USATODAY.com, 1/7).

GIRL POWER: USA TODAY’s Bruce Horovitz reports “female celebs plucked for 2011 Super Bowl ads could even outnumber the guys." Skechers today announced that reality TV star Kim Kardashian “will be featured in its" Super Bowl spot, while Teleflora announced that singer Faith Hill “will star in its Super Bowl spot -- a far cry from last year's Don Rickles voice-over.” The Skechers ad promotes the company's Shape-Up line and features Kardashian “involved in yet another breakup as she trains.” Meanwhile, Go Daddy will air ads featuring spokeswomen Danica Patrick, Jillian Michaels "and yet a third, big-name Go Daddy girl to be revealed in its commercial during the game.” Several more “high-profile female celebs are expected to be tapped for Super Bowl ad stardom over the next few weeks." Teleflora President Shawn Weidmann said, "Even though the Super Bowl is a male event, women drive a lot of buying" (USA TODAY, 1/10).

OFFERS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN: The N.Y. POST's Page Six cited sources as saying that Ted Williams, the homeless announcer who has been offered a job by the Cavaliers, has been “deluged with freebies,” including a proposal for him “to make a five-second appearance in a Super Bowl commercial” (N.Y. POST, 1/9).

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