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