SBD/February 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

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  • Budweiser Tops USA Today Ad Meter With Sentimental Clydesdale Spot

    The USA Today Ad Meter shows that Anheuser-Busch “climbed back into the saddle with the Super Bowl’s top commercial,” according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The ad is “a heart-tugging tale of the bond between a trainer and the Budweiser Clydesdale he raised.” The trainer "breeds and raises a Clydesdale horse, only to wistfully watch it leave for the big-time." Then three years later at a “big-city parade, man and horse re-unite in an emotional embrace.” The A-B spot marks “a return to marketing glory after slipping out” of the ad meter's top five last year. Procter & Gamble’s Tide “pulled off a close No. 2” with an ad featuring “an image of football legend Joe Montana miraculously appearing in a salsa stain on a rabid fan’s jersey.” The stain “causes a media uproar and becomes a relic of worship until the fan’s wife -- who happens to be a Baltimore Ravens fan -- washes the stain out with Tide.” Meanwhile, CBS in a statement said that “no advertiser lost air time due to the power outage and that ‘all commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored.’” The top five most popular ads and the bottom five least popular ads according to the Ad Meter are listed below (USA TODAY, 2/4).

    TOP FIVE MOST POPULAR
    BRAND DESCRIPTION
    SECONDS
    QUARTER
    SCORE
    Budweiser Clydesdale, Man reunited
    60
    3
    7.76
    Tide Miracle Joe Montana stain
    60
    4
    7.75
    Ram Praise for farmers
    120
    4
    7.43
    Doritos Guys join princess party
    30
    2
    7.27
    Jeep Oprah, vets return home
    120
    HT
    7.20
    BOTTOM FIVE
    BRAND DESCRIPTION
    SECONDS
    QUARTER
    SCORE
    Calvin Klein Man vs. machine
    30
    2
    3.88
    Budweiser Black Crown Partiers celebrate Black Crown
    30
    1
    3.73
    Beck's Sapphire Black goldfish sings to beer
    30
    3
    3.66
    Budweiser Black Crown Here's to Black Crown
    30
    1
    3.64
    Go Daddy Bar Refaeli kisses geek
    30
    1
    3.30

    TEARS OF JOY: AD AGE’s Ken Wheaton gave Budweiser’s Clydesdale ad a four-star rating out of four stars, as “this year the horses return to their rightful role as stars.” Wheaton: “Weepy, sentimental, nostalgic. I don't care. This is everything I want from a Budweiser Super Bowl spot.” Samsung also received four stars for its ad as it “takes a break from mocking Apple to mock all the other Super Bowl ads” in a spot featuring actors Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen (ADAGE.com, 2/3). YAHOO SPORTS’ Jay Busbee wrote Budweiser’s ad was among the “winners” of the night. Busbee: “Are you kidding me? Super Bowl commercials aren't supposed to make you cry! They're supposed to make you laugh or cringe or go reload your plate. This? This ad makes you want to call your parents, hug your kids, and maybe just buy a horse. Flat-out winner out of the gate” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/3). CBS’ Frank Luntz said the Bud spot was the best ad, “and it’s been the best ad for many years.” It is “pretty easy to make people laugh" at a Super Bowl commercial, but it is “very difficult to make them cry” ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 2/4). 

    TOUGH TO BEAT
    : The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Suzanne Vranica writes Chrysler and Taco Bell won “the advertising battle at Super Bowl XLVII.” Oprah Winfrey did the "voiceover in a touching Jeep spot that paid tribute to the troops,” which was “one of the big game's most liked commercials.” The car maker's Ram spot “about farmers that featured the voice of Paul Harvey was also applauded.” Chrysler “kept its ad a secret, unlike many other Super Bowl advertisers that released their spots online -- in whole or in part -- days before the big game to generate early chatter” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/4). Association of Independent Commercial Producers President & CEO Matt Miller said of the Ram ad, “This is the best ad I’ve seen in a year.” USA Today’s Laura Petrecca said Chrysler execs wants “to get Americana now, so that’s what they’re aiming for as a company." Petrecca: "It’s no longer apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet. They want you to think Chrysler, so it’s a really great use of Americana.” Deutsch Inc. Chair Donny Deutsch: “A brilliant piece of advertising” ("Today," NBC, 2/4). In Chicago, Lori Rackl wrote Ram “delivered with its moving two-minute long love letter to those who till the land.” The ad was “powerful in its straightforwardness, stripped-down authenticity and subtle patriotism.” Rackl wrote of Taco Bell’s spot, “No Super Bowl ad so far has made me laugh as hard as this one chronicling a wild night on the town with a group of crafty retirement home residents” (SUNTIMES.com, 2/3). In DC, Maura Judkis writes the Taco Bell ad’s directors “found some great character actors -- especially that guy who presses his nipple against the restaurant window -- and a cool Spanish rendition of ‘We Are Young’” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/4). In N.Y., David Li writes Taco Bell “found the marketing end zone with senior citizens going crazy” (N.Y. POST, 2/4).

    FUNNY BUSINESS: In New Orleans, Dave Walker wrote Volkswagen’s “Jamaican dude” spot is “a winning ad entirely because of the delivery by the lead actor ... though there’s something to be said for its deftness in implanting the notion that a car and its payments and repair bills and dings and flat tires can make you more, not less, mellow and island-y” (NOLA.com, 2/3). In Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter listed Volkswagen’s spot as No. 1 in his top 10, asking, “Hey, Mon, who’da thunk it a German car maker would have a Minnesota guy in a Jamaican accent?” (CINCINNATI.com, 1/31). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes in a “hilarious commercial” by BBDO, N.Y. for M&M’s, the “character Red warbled ‘I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ to express his desire for a human woman.” She “reciprocated his ardor with a disturbing hunger for more than hugs.” Meanwhile, for an Oreo ad by Wieden & Kennedy, the “most delicious moment came when a police officer trying to break up an Oreo fight in a library whispered through his bullhorn.” The ad “ended with a 21st-century twist by asking viewers to ‘choose your side on Instagram’” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/4). On Long Island, Verne Gay writes the best ad of the Super Bowl was for Samsung Galaxy, an ad that “has it all,” including “very big stars, along with humor, sharp writing and an effective send-up of other Super Bowl advertisers, while managing to twist it all around into a self-parody” (NEWSDAY, 2/4). Boston-based FUSEideas CEO Dennis Franczak said, “The Hyundai spot with the kids was hilarious, and you could really get the message, that Hyundai is a lifestyle vehicle” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/4). Hill Holiday/Boston Creative Dir Tim Cawley: “Hyundai is really winning points for its broad, populist humor. That kind of humor used to belong to Pepsi and Bud Light” (BOSTONHERALD.com, 2/3).

    CELEBRITY SKIN: In L.A., Mary McNamara writes the list of celebrities in this year’s ads was “pretty lame.” They were “better than your average night on network television, certainly, but by Super Bowl standards, decidedly low-wattage.” Where other years “boasted Jerry Seinfeld, Cindy Crawford, Matthew Broderick, or ... Dave [Letterman] and Oprah cuddling on the couch, this year we got Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson and a strangely unfunny Seth Rogen-Paul Rudd spot.” Amy Poehler “rocked her Best Buy spot as a ditzy shopper testing the merchandise.” But there was “possibly the grossest kiss in television history, between Bar Refaeli and an overweight splotchy faced-nerd, courtesy of godaddy.com” (L.A. TIMES, 2/4). In San Jose, Chuck Barney writes, “Bravo to Best Buy” for “Best Use Of A Celebrity.” Barney: “You just can’t go wrong with Amy Poehler as a pitch person.” Poehler is “money, even if she can’t find the ‘cloud’” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/4). FOXSPORTS.com’s Todd Behrendt writes of Poehler’s ad, “We’d have thought this one was amusing even if it was just Amy Poehler repeatedly saying the word ‘dongle.’” But that was “only one of several good lines the 'Parks and Recreation' funny woman got off as she peppered the most attentive Best Buy employee ever with a series of questions” (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/4). In Tampa, Eric Deggans writes actress Kaley Cuoco “lit up an ad for Toyota’s Rav 4, playing a genie who made the car’s emergency wheel vanish when an overweight driver wished for her to get rid of his ‘old spare tire’” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/4). In Detroit, Tom Long wrote comedian Tracy Morgan was “funny preaching change you can believe in for Mio Fit, but less successful -- or at least a whole lot less appetizing -- was Danica Patrick inducing a supermodel and a nerdy fat kid to slow kiss for a Go Daddy ad.” The “Gangnam style Pistachios ad” starring rapper Psy was “not exactly cutting edge” (DETROITNEWS.com, 2/3). FOXSPORTS.com’s Todd Behrendt writes, “Not only did we have to endure a completely inane commercial in which Psy sings about pistachios, but Gangnam Style’s 15 minutes have been officially extended. Thanks a lot, Wonderful Pistachios” (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/4).

    NO. 1 IN PRIMETIME: In Boston, Mark Daniels writes the “best commercial” of the Super Bowl was an ad for the upcoming NFL Draft, in which Deion Sanders “expressed his desire to get back into the game, so he wore a wig and changed his name to Leon Sandcastle.” He was “ironically drafted No. 1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, whose fans often referred to quarterback Matt Cassel as ‘SandCassel’” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/4).

    RIGHT BACK AT YA: ADWEEK’s Tim Nudd noted Pepsi “posted a video purporting to show behind-the-scenes footage from Coke's Super Bowl set -- with the actors working tirelessly to get a Pepsi Next out of a vending machine.” Pepsi was “blunt with its tweet linking to the video, too.” Pepsi NEXT on Twitter wrote, “Forget what happens at the end of #CokeChase, check out what happened behind the scenes.” Coke later “responded to the Pepsi video.” Nudd: “It's not quite a worthy counterpunch, but hey, nice quick turnaround” (ADWEEK.com, 2/4).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Super Bowl, NFL
  • Critics Find Super Bowl Ads Flop, Many Lacking In Appeal

    The commercials that aired during Super Bowl XLVII last night “were, by and large, disappointing,” as they represented a “missed opportunity for marketers and agencies to demonstrate that they had at least some understanding of how contemporary consumers think and behave," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. Ad execs “chose once again to fall back on familiar strategies and themes that would have appealed more to viewers during the Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan or Clinton administrations.” There was a “mother-in-law joke in a commercial for Century 21; a commercial for Audi that was set at a prom; a gag based on a young man’s nervous uttering of the word ‘panties’ in a commercial” for Mennen Speed Stick. The “vintage vibe was underlined by a preoccupation with space,” as at least four commercials “included images of astronauts.” There also was the “usual overreliance on tried and true -- read: ‘tired’ -- Super Bowl ad tactics.” Elliott: “Anthropomorphic animals abounded in spots for brands like Cars.com, Doritos and Skechers, and slapstick violence, with men always the victims, in spots for brands like the Kia Forte” (N.Y. TIMES, 2/4). In Detroit, Julie Hinds writes, “Maybe Madison Avenue has run out of great ideas. Haven’t we seen all of these a) extremely dumb guys, b) wacky old people, c) blockbuster movie trailers before?” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/4). In Miami, Glenn Garvin writes most of yesterday’s commercials “continued a recent trend toward terminal weirdness” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/4). In Charlotte, Scott Fowler wrote the ads were “down a notch overall from some of the past years” (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 2/3). CBS' Frank Luntz said, “There was some disappointment that the ads were not seemingly as good this year as last year. ... I just wish the ads were as good as the game” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 2/4).

    KISS ME DEADLY: USA TODAY's Melanie Eversley notes a “big chunk of the social media buzz during ... Super Bowl XLVII was over a kiss -- a long, slurpy, noisy one” featured in a Go Daddy ad. The spot featuring model Bar Refaeli “engaged in a wet lip lock with a bespectacled tech nerd” in a first-quarter commercial saw Twitter “exploded with disgust.” #GoDaddy and #thekiss were “trending on the social media site for a while” (USA TODAY, 2/4). In DC, Maura Judkis writes the Go Daddy spot “objectifies women and makes fun of unattractive people.” Judkis: “Just another day at the Go Daddy marketing headquarters!” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/4). In Tampa, Eric Deggans writes the “title for most reviled ad" likely went to Go Daddy. The question “left for ad experts: Is it a triumph to create an ad everyone talks about because it repulses them?” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 2/4). CNBC’s Julia Boorstin wrote, “Seeing a lot of tweets abt how @godaddy ad was inappropriate for family audiences- that attention a win or lose for #GoDaddy?” Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi wrote, “All of us flinched during GoDaddy commercial. Hard to watch that kiss” (TWITTER.com, 2/3). Comedian D.L. Hughley said, “It actually made me want to take antibiotics” (“GMA,” ABC, 2/4). Meanwhile, in Chicago, Lori Rackl wrote of Mercedes-Benz’ spot featuring model Kate Upton, “I'm fed up with ads where men are led to drag their knuckles through their own drool pools because of some titillating woman” (SUNTIMES.com, 2/3).

    A-B'S BAD POUR: AD AGE’s Ken Wheaton writes the ad for Beck's Sapphire, "Serenade," makes "no sense in any universe” because there is a “CGI goldfish singing to a beer bottle.” Wheaton: “Someone was consuming something other than beer when this was created. And when it was approved” (ADAGE.com, 2/4). The goldfish in the ad sings the song "No Diggity," and the SUN-TIMES’ Rackl wrote the “singing fish aren't funny, interesting or moving, and neither is this commercial.” Rackl: “I certainly didn't dig it” (SUNTIMES.com, 2/3). Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Rob Owen writes it “seems likely Americans will come together to declare the Bud Black Crown ads the worst.” The ads, set in a “club with supposedly hip people -- ‘the loud, the savvy, the famous’ -- made it look like anyone who consumes this beer will instantly be transformed into one of these pompous, poser jerks” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/4). BevNET Founder John Craven wrote, “Black Crown...for people who dress in black and like swill.” Daily Variety’s Brian Lowry wrote, “No offense, Budweiser, but if I want a really classy beer, you're not my first option” (TWITTER.com, 2/3). Lowry added Budweiser “cast the biggest shadow, and laid one of the bigger eggs.” Lowry: “Sure, those Black Crown bottles are kind of cool-looking, but I'm still not sure Budweiser is the name anyone thinks of when looking for an upscale brew.” An extension of the Bud Light "Superstition" campaign with Stevie Wonder “fared considerably better, but it was a Budweiser ad featuring a horse breeder reunited with a Clydesdale that put a sizable lump in your throat” (VARIETY.com, 2/3).

    CRUISE CONTROL: The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER noted the Church of Scientology “followed through on its promise to air an ad during Sunday's Super Bowl game,” and it aired “not long after the game went into halftime.” The ad featured “several shots of books and close-ups of various people.” It also featured “other people perusing library shelves and books and sitting in a classroom, among other images” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/3).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship
  • CBS Adjusts Ad Schedule Around Super Bowl Power Outage; Marketers Turn To Twitter

    Oreo's Twitter post during the outage was retweeted 10,000 times within an hour

    CBS during last night's Mercedes-Benz Superdome power outage “more or less stopped showing commercials from Super Bowl advertisers, choosing instead to keep to short breaks with promos for its own programs,” according to Brian Steinberg of AD AGE. Once play proceeded, the net “reran a commercial break containing ads from Bud Light and Subway.” Ad execs said that CBS was concerned the outage had "somehow disrupted viewing of the spots.” Steinberg noted it “isn't immediately clear what recourse advertisers might have, if any.” CBS is “likely contractually obligated to air their commercials at a specific point in the game -- and it continued to do just that as game play resumed.” Coca-Cola was “less concerned about the effect the blackout might have on ratings and more worried about keeping its ad effort trending on social media.” Prior to the lights going out, its ad, identified by the hashtag #CokeChase, was “trending nationally, but was quickly overwhelmed by chatter about the blackout." Meanwhile, some Super Bowl sponsors “used the blackout to further their own ends.” Audi's official Twitter feed posted, "Sending some LEDS to the @MBUSA Superdome right now." The Twitter account of Procter & Gamble's Tide brand wrote, "We can't get your #blackout, but we can get your stains out" (ADAGE.com, 2/3). USA TODAY’s Lindsay Jones writes while the power outage was “a nightmare for some, it presented a golden marketing opportunity for some brands.” Oreo, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tide and Audi were “among the brands that used the break in action to engage with their fans during the power outage.” Audi’s tweet about sending LED lights to the Superdome “received more than 8,000 retweets and was favorited more than 2,000 times” (USA TODAY, 2/4).

    COOKIES & CREAM ALWAYS RISES: Oreo during the power outage wrote on its official Twitter account, "Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark." AD AGE’s Ives & Parekh noted the tweet was “retweeted 10,000 times within one hour.” 360i President Sarah Hofstetter, whose company is Oreo’s digital agency of record, said the graphic used for the brand's tweet was "designed, captioned and approved within minutes." All the decisions were “made in real time quickly because marketers and agency members were sitting together at a ‘mission control’ center, or a social-media war room of sorts, at the agency's headquarters in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan.” The agency acknowledged that it was “able to make decisions so quickly because the Mondelez-owned cookie brand was a broadcaster advertiser in the Super Bowl, and so was closely monitoring chatter and interaction with consumers on all social media channels” (ADAGE.com, 2/3). FOXSPORTS.com’s Nancy Gay writes Oreo's parent company deserves “credit for quickly adjusting and capitalizing on what became a social media marketing dream"(FOXSPORTS.com, 2/4).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Super Bowl
  • Xerox Set To Finalize Three-Year Deal With WTA Making It Tour's Largest Partner

    The WTA today formally announced a three-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship with Xerox, which will become the tour's supplier of business services and office document technology (WTA). SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Daniel Kaplan reports this is the tour's "most significant such pact since Sony Ericsson departed as lead backer last year." While the new deal "will be the tour’s largest sponsorship, the WTA will continue to seek a partner to fill the role of lead sponsor." The WTA "initially wanted Xerox to take that top sponsorship position, a slot the tour has been shopping since early 2012, but the business services and documents company did not want to spend that requisite amount of money." The WTA’s six-year, $88M title sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson was announced in late '04 and was "touted at the time as the largest in pro tennis and the largest in women’s sports." WTA Chair & CEO Stacey Allaster said that the tour is "happy to work with an international brand like Xerox, calling it a very significant deal." As part of the new sponsorship, Xerox will "perform audits on the WTA and the 19 tournaments that initially will take part in the sponsorship, assessing their business processes and informational technology systems." At those events, Xerox "will have on-court branding, though not net signage as Sony Ericsson had." The WTA has made a "big push into Asia, though none of the 19 events affected by the deal are in that region." The WTA and Xerox "will assess after this year if the sponsorship can expand to any of the WTA’s other 35 events" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/4 issue).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Xerox, WTA
  • MLS Dynamo Ends Sponsorship With Greenstar Recycling, Looks For New Jersey Partner

    Greenstar originally had signed a three-year deal with the Dynamo in December ‘10

    The MLS Dynamo on Friday announced that the club has reached an agreement with Greenstar Recycling that will end its team sponsorship as well as jersey title sponsorship. The termination comes as a result of Greenstar’s sale to Waste Management. The Dynamo signed a three-year deal with Greenstar in December ‘10. The company will not receive any further sponsorship benefits from the Dynamo (Dynamo). In Houston, Jose de Jesus Ortiz noted the Dynamo join the Rapids and Earthquakes as “the only franchises without a jersey sponsor in the 19-team MLS.” It is “unlikely the Dynamo will have a jersey sponsor at the start of the season,” but team President Chris Canetti “isn't ruling out finding a sponsor during the season.” Canetti declined to discuss the financial settlement, but he “doesn't expect the defending two-time Eastern Conference champions will suffer on the field because of the termination.” The team “doesn't have to re-brand any of its 2013 uniforms or equipment and has been playing exhibition matches in uniforms with no sponsor's logo.” Canetti said, "The beauty of it is that we're free and clear to find a new sponsor. We're really confident that there's going to be some excellent opportunities with some strong global companies" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/2).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, Houston Dynamo
  • Super Bowl Marketplace Roundup: Jell-O Consoles 49ers Fans With Free Pudding

    ESPN.com's Darren Rovell reported Jell-O tomorrow will give out "thousands of cups of free Jell-O product" in S.F., as a "gesture to the sad fans of the Super Bowl losing team." Jell-O Senior Brand Manager Greg Gallagher said, "It's a fine line and we don't want to ever come across as rubbing it in. But it was a big accomplishment to get to this game and we want to give these fans a little something to look forward to." Rovell noted the brand will have a "former player from the losing team helping to hand out cups of chocolate pudding, its best selling product, and displaced fans of the team, who don't live in the local area, can download a coupon." A special website that Jell-O has set up will "have a plug-in that fans can download." Once they do so, if the "winning team's name appears in an article on a webpage, that will be blurred out" (ESPN.com, 2/2).

    KICKED OFF: In Baltimore, Jill Rosen noted local company Gardiners Furniture offered a promotion in which "all furniture bought between Jan. 31 and 3pm on game day would be free" if the Ravens scored a kickoff return touchdown at the start of the game or just after halftime during last night's Super Bowl. Gardiners Advertising & Marketing Manager Kasee Lehrl said that this year they will be "giving out $600,000 of free furniture" after WR Jacoby Jones' TD to open the second half last night. Lehrl said that since this kind of kick return had not happened "in nearly 50 years ... the store owners figured they were pretty safe." But they "took out an insurance policy -- just in case"  (BALTIMORESUN.com, 2/3).

    CALLIN' COLIN: Univ. of Nevada Associate AD/Marketing Mike Samuels said that the school and its athletic department "are already benefiting from" 49ers QB and Nevada alum Colin Kaepernick's "time in the spotlight." Samuels: "I promise you we'll see an increase in applications to University of Nevada, because every time he plays they mention that he went to Nevada. ... We get a lot of free publicity from Colin." ESPN.com's Kristi Dosh noted fans who "renew or purchase season tickets" for Nevada football will be entered in a drawing for four tickets and pregame field passes to the 49ers' home opener (ESPN.com, 2/1).

    Print | Tags: Marketing and Sponsorship, NFL
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