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SBD/February 6, 2012/Marketing and SponsorshipPrint All
ADVERTISER DESCRIPTIONSECS.QTRSCORETOP FIVE Doritos Dog bribes cat owner3028.82 Volkswagen Dog gets fit, "Star Wars"6028.73 Skechers Dog in sneakers wins road race3028.57 Doritos Baby grabs Doritos3028.48 M&M/Mars Introduces Ms. Brown3018.47BOTTOM FIVE GE Appliance workers like their jobs4525.29 Bud Light Platinum New top-shelf beer at work3015.18 Cadillac ATS on "Green Hell" track3045.12 Century 21 Agents best Donald Trump, others3035.03 GE Turbine workers make energy4534.97
CAR & DRIVER: In Detroit, Mekeisha Madden Toby writes Chevy “deserves a gold star for its apocalyptic ad.” In the spot, a man and his dog “are shown in a truck as they're escaping the rubble and chaos left by an apparent attack.” When the man later joins his friends, “all who drive Chevy trucks, he asks about his missing friend” and they “break the bad news: The missing man was driving a Ford. Zing!” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/6). Entertainment Weekly Editor Jess Cagle said the Chevy ad was a “very well-done ad." Cagle: "I just thought a lot of information conveyed in a short amount of time very economically and the end of it was sort of funny. They took a dig at Ford. I love it when one brand takes a dig at another brand” ("GMA," ABC, 2/6). FOXSPORTS.com’ Brian Lowry writes Fiat was a good ad, as a man sees a “stunning Italian woman -- but she’s a car!” That is perhaps the “best illustration of the relationship between buying a car and testosterone I’ve seen in a while.” Honda’s “Ferris Bueller" ad actually plays “much better in the long version posted on the web than what it aired” but it still “was OK” (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/6). JWT New York Exec Creative Dir Matt MacDonald gave Kia four stars and said, “This was a sleeper hit, pun intended. It was a fresh take on a typical guy’s fantasy, done in a way that women appreciated as well” (N.Y. POST, 2/6). Exact Target VP/Marketing Jeff Rohrs wrote on his Twitter page, “Audi wins! Echo & the Bunnymen PLUS killing off Twilight-esque.” Red Bull Dir of Digital Media Kevin Doohan tweeted, "#solongvampires was pretty good. Love the song choice. Shows off gr8 feature with vampire deaths. Fantastic!” (TWITTER.com, 2/5).
CHECK THE WATER: In California, Chuck Barney writes, “We're still trying to figure out how watching a little boy peeing in a pool will compel us to buy software from TaxAct.com” (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 2/6). In Miami, Glenn Garvin writes, “I am still trying to figure out what a young boy peeing in a swimming pool has to do with a Taxact.com’s income-tax software.” Other ads were “less opaque, particularly” H&M's ad featuring MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham “strutting and stretching in his tighty whiteys in a way that gave a whole new meaning to ‘bend it like Beckham’” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/6). In Tampa Bay, Eric Deggans writes too many ads during the game “were too hard to figure.” Why would TaxAct.com “try to sell software helping you prepare your tax returns with a commercial featuring a little boy who seems to relieve himself in the pool?” And why did Chevy “assume that watching people bungee jump and skydive with its new Sonic subcompact car would make me want to buy it?” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/6). Business and media author Steve Garfield wrote on his Twitter page, “I will never buy TaxACT. Disgusting”
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: The N.Y. TIMES' Elliott writes too many commercials "fell back on tactics that were too familiar from a plethora of Super Bowl spots: anthropomorphic animals, second-class celebrities, slapstick violence and riding the coattails of popular culture.” The “dearth of originality was underlined by multiple appearances of some famous faces,” including model Adriana Lima appearing in a spot for Kia and another for Teleflora, as well as Pro Football HOFer Deion Sanders appearing in both Bridgestone and Century 21 spots (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6). In DC, Hank Stuever writes the commercials “blazed no new creative territory and even verged on dud gags and filed-down ideas.” Go Daddy experienced an “impotence brought on by its own puerility, while the E-trade baby ran out of things to say.” A little boy “urinated in a swimming pool to get you interested in software to do your taxes.” A head popped out of a man’s shoulder “to get you to visit a car sales Web site” (WASHINGTON POST, 2/6). In S.F., Peter Hartlaub in a front-page piece notes it “seemed as if the advertisers were playing it safe.” There were “no horrible missteps like last year’s Groupon commercial, which seemed to make an insensitive joke at the expense of the people of Tibet.” Instead, several “major advertisers went with the old reliable: puppies, violence and half-naked women” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6). In Boston, Raakhee Mirchandani writes it was “hard to be bowled over by last night’s pathetic display." What a "Super snooze.” Even Broderick “channeling Ferris Bueller for Honda and comedy heavy-hitters Jerry Seinfeld with the Soup Nazi and Jay Leno for Acura didn’t deliver any laughs” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/6).
WHAT THE ADS SAY ABOUT US: In Baltimore, David Zurawik writes the Super Bowl ads are “a barometer of our culture.” Zurawik: “What they said to me is that we have become a truly dumbed-down, crass, trashy and even cruel society -- and somehow proud of it.” But what was “really sad about most of the ads was how many featured stupid, gross or cruel behavior.” A dog “having killed a cat and trying to cover it up was supposed to be funny in a Doritos ad.” A little kid “urinating in a swimming pool and laughing when his sister jumps in was the punch line for an online tax service.” Zurawik: “The ad that best summarizes how debased our excessive commercialism has made us is the Go Daddy commercial that features two women using another woman's body as a billboard on which to write and draw the Go Daddy brand” (Baltimore SUN, 2/5). The AP’s Mae Anderson writes advertisers “showed a little skin in their Super Bowl.” The Go Daddy ad showed NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and trainer Jillian Michaels “body painting a nude woman,” while Beckham appears “in his undies" (AP, 2/6). UPS Dir of Sponsorships & Events J.W. Cannon tweeted, "Nothing says skank quite like GoDaddy. Why women would belittle themselves to be in those ads is beyond me” (TWITTER.com, 2/5).
TO PREVIEW OR NOT TO PREVIEW: EW's Cagle said companies releasing their ads prior to the game “took away a little bit from the joy of being surprised by the ads during the Super Bowl.” But it was smart, because if “you release your ad a week or two before, you’re the only one releasing your Super Bowl ad that day and you get a lot of buzz, you get a lot of conversation” (“GMA,” ABC, 2/6). However, Tivo VP & GM Tara Maitra said Tivo viewers rated the Doritos highly and “ever since Doritos has been doing user-generated content they’ve had real success.” Maitra said the top three ads rated by Tivo “none of those commercials debuted online” prior to the game. Maitra added, “I wouldn’t say that having the previews online beforehand killed them because of course, you did see a bunch in the top 10. ... But if you want to be in the top spot I would save it for the gameday” ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 2/6).
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THAT? Comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno appear in Acura's spot to promote the release of its NSX car, and AdFreak blogger David Gianatasio wrote Seinfeld "worked really hard and his performance made a so-so script much better than it must’ve read on the page." Gianatasio: "A winged Jay Leno is the stuff of nightmares. He’s also unfunny. Just like he is without wings. This ad tried hard to be BIG -- big stars, budget and concept. Sorry, Acura, big doesn’t always = good.” Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Curator of Popular Culture Barbara Lippert wrote, “Seinfeld is just not funny. ... Recycled Soup Nazi jokes, really? I never thought I’d be dazzled by the dynamic comedic stylings of Jay Leno, but his entrance as Rocky the Flying Squirrel was a huge relief” (ADWEEK.com, 2/5). But Deutsch Inc. Chair Donny Deutsch said, “You had much fewer celebrities this year and even the ads that had them didn’t work” ("Today," NBC, 2/6).
COVER UP, BECKS: H&M’s spot featured MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham promoting its new line of underwear, and in California, John Maffei writes, Beckham “in his underwear is not going to make me rush out and purchase whatever product he was pushing.” That “might work in England, but in the U.S., Beckham is just another dude with a beautiful wife” (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 2/6). On Long Island, Verne Gay writes Beckham’s underwear ad is an “easy call” as a bad ad. It was “appalling for many good reasons -- an ad for soccer? Or for tattoos? Or for some idiot with tattoos who plays soccer and wears underwear?” (NEWSDAY, 2/6). In Detroit, Mekeisha Madden Toby wrote Beckham is “still a sex symbol but his hotness quota has dipped from five years ago.” This is “one reason his body-revealing ad for a new line of dungarees was easy to overlook and ignore” (DETROIT NEWS, 2/6). Adweek's Andrew McMains wrote, “H&M spot just feels like a print ad in motion. Also very ‘80s with the sepia treatment and use of music. Beckham should give a shoutout to Marky Mark” (ADWEEK.com, 2/5). The GLOBE & MAIL’s Susan Krashinsky notes Ace Metrix has “released its scores for the most effective U.S. ads from” the Super Bowl, and Beckham’s ad “fell dead last in Ace Metrix’s scoring.” Krashinsky: “Poor Becks. He flexed, he pouted, he gave the camera a come-hither stare, and yet a nation of football fans gave that prince of the other football a distinct thumbs-down” (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/6). But CNBC’s Darren Rovell said the Beckham ad was “smart because it certainly stopped people." Rovell: "I think women buy most men’s underwear. In terms of practical ads that really worked” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 2/6). ABC's John Berman said, “For advertisers, it’s all about making memories that stick and apparently, something sticks about scantily-clad women near bare-naked Beckhams" ("GMA," ABC, 2/6).
MOSTLY POSITIVE REVIEWS: On Long Island, Verne Gay writes of Chrysler’s ad, “A great director and actor pulls off the most interesting -- and compelling -- ad of the entire Super Bowl” (NEWSDAY, 2/6). JWT New York Exec Creative Dir Matt McDonald gave the spot four stars and said, “Chrysler just won the Super Bowl. ... If there was anyone worthy of giving America a halftime speech, it would be Clint -- right from the heart and from the gut” (N.Y. POST, 2/6). Deutsch Inc. Chair Donny Deutsch said, “Instead of just waving the flag … they’re going at the grit of America, the comeback. Brilliant ad.” Deutsch: “In this political year, you’re going to have a lot of references to that ad. Chrysler’s going through the roof” (“Today,” NBC, 2/6). Former P&G Global Marketing Officer and business author Jim Stengel tweeted, “GAME SET MATCH CHRYSLER! Brilliant, moving, resonant, nothing is close to them" (TWITTER.com, 2/5). In Chicago, Steve Johnson writes there may be “too much calculation in linking Chrysler purchases with patriotism” but it still “worked, though -- a surprising, stirring moment that asked us to think about bigger things” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/6). FOXSPORTS.com’s Brian Lowry writes it was “shameless” of Chrysler to put a message about the U.S. auto industry in its ad. However, it "will put a lump in a lot of throats -- and it’s sure to be the ad that people debate for its political underpinnings” (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/6). But in Chicago, Lori Rackl names Chrysler’s spot among her “fumbles.” Chrysler and Eminem last year “gave us a soul-stirring homage to Detroit.” This year, Chrysler and Eastwood “gave us the advertising equivalent of Ambien with a heavy-handed snoozer that felt twice as long as its two minutes” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/6).
AD YANKED OFF YOUTUBE: In Michigan, Jonathan Oosting reports YouTube pulled the Eastwood ad from the official Chrysler channel “early this morning, citing a copyright claim from NFL Properties LLC.” It is “unclear what prompted the claim.” A Chrysler spokesperson said that the company is “investigating the issue, and the NFL has not responded to a request for comment” (MLIVE.com, 2/6).
The NFL's “concerted effort over the past two years to market the game and apparel to women is showing signs of paying off, but sales of league merchandise still trail” MLB and collegiate-licensed materials, according to Kristi Dosh of ESPNW.com. An ESPN Sports Poll and the U.S. Census found that the NFL in terms of female fans “trails only college sports,” and league officials said that “44 percent of all football fans are now women.” Online retailer Fanatics found that NFL merchandise sold to women “jumped significantly over last year.” The ‘11 playoff season “showed a dramatic change: an 85 percent sales increase in December over 2010 and a 125 percent increase in January from the year prior.” A growing female fan base “creates a more marketable NFL for advertisers and sponsors.” NFL VP/Fan Strategy & Marketing Peter O'Reilly said that the league “has done well in this area the last couple of years.” The NFL in ’10 “introduced a clothing line specifically made for women called ‘Fit for You,’ featuring various choices, from junior sizes to maternity clothing.” Building upon the “positive response to that initiative, the league added to the line in 2011 and opened up a new section of its website just for women: www.nfl.com/women.” The new site “highlights the women's apparel line and also added NFL Party,” a site that promotes "homegating." In addition, wives of players, coaches and owners “donned gear for advertisements, which appeared in popular magazines.” Fashion and sports website AGlamSlam.com Founder Heather Zeller said, "The NFL has done a really good job realizing wives and daughters of coaches are some of the best ambassadors of the game. They could have used Victoria's Secret models, but these are the women actually watching the game, so they're much more relatable" (ESPNW.com, 2/3).
A RARE OCCURANCE: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin noted there are IndyCars painted for the 32 NFL teams around the city, but he wrote, “It’s extremely rare for the NFL to allow another sports property to utilize its logos.” On the suggestion that IndyCar sell individual pictures of the NFL painted cars, Cavin wrote, “It’s one thing to showcase the NFL teams during the Super Bowl; it’s another to move into retail. I don’t see any way the NFL’s licensing department would permit that” (INDYSTAR.com, 2/2).
EPL club Aston Villa has signed a “record-breaking” US$23.7M kit deal with Italian sportswear manufacturer Macron “to replace current supplier Nike,” according to Mathew Kendrick of the BIRMINGHAM MAIL. Macron will “produce Villa’s playing strip, replica kit, training wear and other clothing merchandise for the next four years.” The deal marks the “most lucrative kit agreement" in the club’s history. The new home kit “will go on sale in June.” Aston Villa Head of Merchandising John Greenfield said, “The design team and range of products on offer to the club was second to none and suited our requirements.” The deal comes as the team’s five-year US$15.8M deal with Nike expires at the end of this season. Macron also produces the kits for Napoli, Bologna, Leeds United, West Ham United, Real Mallorca and Braga (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 2/6).