SBD/February 7, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Super Bowl Ads: Celebrities Take Center Stage In Several Noteworthy Spots

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Celebrities who starred in ads during last night's broadcast of Super Bowl XLV “helped commercials stand out, for better (Faith Hill in an amusing Teleflora ad) or worse (Joan Rivers as the new GoDaddy.com girl) or weird (an animated Eminem, pitching Brisk; Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber pitching for Best Buy) or kinda sad (Oscar winners Adrien Brody and Timothy Hutton shilling Stella Artois and Groupon, respectively),” according to Robert Philpot of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. The “biggest Super Bowl celebrity may be the E-trade baby, making his annual funny/creepy appearance” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7). In Detroit, Mekeisha Madden Toby notes Eminem, who also appeared in a Chrysler ad, "wasn't the only celebrity to appear in commercials this year.” Rivers “made a splash in an offbeat Go Daddy ad, or at least her head did.” The 77-year-old's “famous noggin was superimposed on that of a much younger and firmer woman's body, giving the spot a shockingly funny punch line.” The “same can't be said for the Snickers spot starring comedians Richard Lewis and Roseanne Barr.” The two “played cranky and lethargic lumberjacks,” but “for some reason, Barr is violently slammed with a log.” Toby writes the Snickers spot “is just a recycled idea with new celebrities.” Also, Kenny G “must've gotten the memo on unconventionality." The saxophonist "lent humor and music to a very cute and clever Audi ad while Oscar-winning actors Cuba Gooding Jr. and Timothy Hutton poked fun at themselves and celebrity endorsements for Groupon” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/7).

AND THE CRITIC’S CHOICE AWARD GOES TO: In Dallas, Tom Maurstad writes there were "several famous faces popping up, but the ad making the most of its star" was Stella Artois' spot with actor Adrien Brody. The "flat-out funniest commercial" was Best Buy's spot "featuring Ozzy Osbourne dazedly at work on a new high-tech ad for some whiz-bang phone that has him dressed like he's in a Janet Jackson video." Meanwhile, Snickers' ad featuring Lewis and Barr "followed last year's hit of the game -- featuring Betty White and Abe Vigoda," and it was "not nearly as funny” (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/7). In Ft. Lauderdale, Tom Jicha writes Kenny G “has to be a good sport to allow himself to be the punchline of this joke” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 2/7). Author Sally Hogshead said of the Audi ad with Kenny G, "It made statement about the product that we wouldn't have thought of before" ("The Early Show," CBS, 2/7). In Ft. Worth, Rick Press named Go Daddy’s first spot among the best, noting Rivers, “in all her enhanced glory, is revealed as the newest Go Daddy.com girl in a sly Super Bowl ad.” Press writes the worst ad during yesterday’s telecast featured Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber "in a fake beard shilling for Best Buy.” Press: “This was one of the worst ideas ever” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/7).

FALLING FLAT: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Emily Steel writes “several star-studded ads flopped, at least among Madison Avenue peers," including the Snickers spot that "failed to live up to the buzz of last year's Betty White ad.” Ad execs said that “some ads featuring Super Bowl ad icons, such as CareerBuilder's chimpanzees and the GoDaddy.com girls, felt stale” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/7). Albuquerque-based McKee Wallwork Cleveland President Steve McKee said Rivers' Go Daddy ad "was dreadful, as were all the Go Daddy spots." He added Skechers' ad featuring reality TV star Kim Kardashian "was beyond bad" (MEDIAPOST.com, 2/7). In San Antonio, Jeanne Jakle writes the best moments during the Super Bowl ads were when companies "kept it simple instead of trying too hard by utilizing big celebrities ... to no effective purpose" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 2/7).

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